“Home is where a person lives permanently, where you keep your personal stuff, where you spend your free time and your family lives there.” – Wikipedia
Can we relate to this quote? How do we define home? Can we have many homes? Home, can we feel it, can we see it or is it an abstract? What do we consider as a home?
These are the questions that we are going to discuss during our posts. We as a group of students from different backgrounds, studying Social Services at Laurea University of Applied Sciences feel that many of us have similar questions and stories. We might wonder if we have found ourselves at home in the places we live. Many of you reading this post might also ponder these questions that” Did I feel at home in anywhere I have lived.
Does the norm of how we look, the way we dress, the language we speak define our home and how we are accepted as a member of a society?
There are five of us in this group and each one of us has a different culture, religion or other norms in our lives that differ from the country we live in. While writing we want to share our own experiences, challenges and how we deal with them for the readers to understand our point of view and to see this society from our different perspectives. We are hoping that someone might feel the same about their own lives as we do and to get support, encouragement and knowledge. We also want to raise awareness about these issues and how to find different support groups in order to cope with the challenges.
This is who we are:
“When I was a child, I loved swimming, especially in the ocean. I loved the scent, the feeling of water on my skin, sun shining and the waves moving me around. I started swimming in the morning and ended it before bedtime. My mom used to yell at me “Henrietta, can you at least come to the table to eat?” Mostly I didn´t feel like it but I had to. We spent a lot of time in our house nearby a lake in a central Finland but also travelling around Canary Islands. My parents spoke Russian at home and around our friends, but I learned Spanish and English through studying and friends. Then I started to wonder, where am I really from, what is my cultural background, where is my home?” -Henrietta
“I was born and raised in Finland by my parents who moved here to give their children better future. All my life I’ve heard from Finnish people that I’m Somali and from Somalis I’ve heard that I was Finnish, because I was born here. As I young child, I never thought about home. Whenever we travelled and I wanted to go back home, I thought about Finland. Now older I see that it is not that simple, and I wonder where home really is”.
“From the city life to the countryside, I found myself in a serene environment awaiting the experience ahead of me. As a young girl in her mid-twenties, I arrived in Finland from Lagos, Nigeria to obtain the best education I have heard the country is noted for. Graduating, I have enjoyed the quietness and the peaceful atmosphere while raising two innocent children. Irrespective, there are things I still miss like the sound of the cars horning, the loud voices of people on the street, the street foods and the fun of playing outside without considering the amount of clothes to put on. When I travel back to Nigeria, I miss where I was coming from which I have made my home upon becoming a woman, a mother and a national. Which one can I choose as my favourite home, sometimes I ponder upon that question without finding a definite answer” – Omobola
“As a kid we used to cycle a lot and spend time in the woods with my family. Nature has always been an important part of my life. I remember often sitting on a rock as a child and eating snacks while my parents were collecting berries or mushrooms. I was born and raised in a medium sized municipality in southern Finland, I grew up in Finnish culture. Now my current family is multicultural; a blend of East Africa and Finnishness. The mix of different cultures and my loved ones have made me wonder the definition of home.” – Riitta
“In the 1990’s my Palestinian parents came to Finland for a better future and soon after that I was born. I was the first person in my family to get a passport with a nationality, my parents had alien’s passports. All my life I have been extremely happy living in Finland, but still longing for Palestine. As a child we used to travel a lot with my family to different countries, once we even went by car to Syria. There we visited my grandma, aunts, uncles and other relatives. Travelling was at that time truly exciting, but the best part of it was returning “home”. –Nuura