Where do I belong?

World is our home

Can you imagine a place where everyone will feel at home? Sounds like a dream to me. Finland is a country with many systems and services. Everything sounds almost perfect.

But still, Finland is one of the most racist countries in Europe. Sometimes reading comments on different blogs and news makes me anxious. So much hate towards peoples from different countries, beliefs, and minorities. Do you know what is the saddest part? In Finland, most peoples are quite educated. I always thought education, learning, and knowledge is a door to an open mindset. But eventually, it is not.

Some discrimination Immigrants, refugees face while trying to integrate into society. These things are quite opposite of making them feel part of the society.

  • Racist name-calling and violence in public places is directed at persons who are members of visible minorities (with dark skin or an otherwise different appearance to the majority of the population).
  • Demands for language skills are set as a requirement for jobs where they are not necessary concerning the performance of the work in question.
  • People who have a foreign name or who speak Finnish with an accent find it harder to find employment than ethnic Finns. (yhdenvertaisuus.fi)

How can we change the situation?

Working with immigrants can give professionals a free hand to pass the feeling of inclusion, there should be more awareness in this subject. Also, we as future professionals will have quite much power to make some changes through structural social work. Through Rising awareness. When peoples from different countries come to a new country and everything is new, we can give a voice to them by acting in our future workplaces.

Most of the time problems in society begin when the voices of peoples are not heard well. Our working life representative Mr.Malin while we were interviewing him, he mentioned that “while the refugees are going through integration programs and trying to adapt to a new situation in the new country, we will also have to be open to learn from them”. I think This is how we can reinforce and empower, when for example the immigrants feel that people also respect them, of course, peoples are then more willing to learn and integrate into this society.

In Finland, there is a saying “Maassa maan tavalla” that in the country you live you have to live like them. I agree partially that people will have to respect and be obedient to the law. But other than that why someone from a different part of the world will have to leave their values, dressing code, food culture behind? Why cant everyone appreciates the differences and live together in many different ways? Why the  Finish person cant look brown? Even though there is a whole generation born and growing in Finland including me, why we can’t say loud we are Finnish? Because society sees a different colored person as an immigrant always.

How to make an inclusive society?

The mindset of peoples has to change, while in other countries has a long history with Immigrants and diverse living style. Finland is still at a very early stage regarding these issues.

There is now more awareness related to the issues, but there is a problem. These changes are mostly because of some policies, but only individual-level changes can allow an inclusive society to flourish. When society is cohesive the results will be felt. Everyone knows the feeling of inclusion.’

Some interesting articles and sites about the issue:







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2 ajatusta aiheesta “Where do I belong?”

  1. Thank you for a very insightful post. I do think what we need is lots and lots of awareness, educating and promoting inclusion. Many Finnish people do come across as racist, and I feel in many cases this is due to a fear of the unknown, and the lack of education. I have a close relative who posts all these borderline and just plain racist things on Facebook, and when I confront him, he is often puzzled, because he didn’t think there was anything wrong with the content he shared. The education shall continue!

  2. I agree with this blog post – there are still a lot of racists attitudes in Finland. Sometimes I can’t but just wonder how someone can be so hateful towards others, just because they come from other country or maybe look a bit different. I don’t know is it the lack of education or just fear of something unknown, or is there another reason? Either way, I really hope these attitudes will change in the future, even though I feel it is hard to change these hateful attitudes.. Thank you!