Friday, September 16, 2011

Smelly Media: Cognitive Dissonance; Misinterpreting the numbers; It is time to differentiate

Does mutual prejudice keeps Finns and foreigners apart?

Finns are not the easiest people on earth. And if you look at my older stories, it would be clear that it is so. Though, the case is that they are not easy for other Finns either.

They are a silent bunch. Distant, and reserved. Friendship comes not easy, but when it comes, you know a Finn is there for you.

Many times have I been the only person helping a Finn move, many times have we been few foreigners the only helpers in a move.I know this contradicts the above statement; complicated.

It is not like Finns are living in a social fanfare and excluding foreigners from it. Edit: This is one point that I will talk about later, when I write about the band (5-10) of immigrants walking together in town; Finns totally excluded and shunned.  

It is a difficult situation for all, but including me, foreigners are the ones to complain.

The Family Federation of Finland believes that more information would help to dissolve stereotypes about immigrants.

The assumption that stereotypes are stereotypes ignores the fact that stereotypes come from somewhere.

The Spanish are loverboys, the Italians lotharios and the French romantics. The Germans emotionless, The Russians drenched in vodka. The Finns stoic, the Swedish gay, and the Norwegians smell of fish. English are hooligans while the Scots are sexy and the Irish are free. Portuguese love wine, Greeks love goats and all Malta men are descendants of chivalrous knights.

Is there not a point in these? Did they just come out of the blue?

No. Centuries of interactions gave rise to these stereotypes and even if they are not 100% true, they are not 100% made up, either. Though I would call the Spanish love interests, the Italian smoothness and the French romanticism a result of good marketing and a positive feedback loop...

In many cases, more information would only cement those stereotypes and that would allow the society to behave more to the benefit of all.

Sarah Ameyaw moved to Helsinki from Ghana about three years ago. She and her husband have three children, with two-year-old Joel the youngest. As a student, she says day-to-day life in Finland is generally good, but that it is difficult to get to know Finns.

I quote this for future reference.

"No, no it is not easy to meet Finnish people," she says with a wry smile. 

Now I am not talking about Ghana. One of my very good friends is a Ghanian, and from what I hear from him, what I am going to say in the next sentence is not valid for that country.

It may not be easy to meet Finnish people, but at least they do not rape assault or kill you.

And try being a Finn trying to meet an immigrant girl (I call academic immigrants "foreigners" or "Non-Finns")  and see what happens. Which is also true for me. Claiming Finns are not easy to meet, forgets about the fact that is almost impossible to meet an unattached female immigrant, let alone see her without 2-3 kids in tow.

What the Finns are doing? Complaining? Näää... Giving more benefits.

What I am trying to say, is that the Finnish society is bending over backwards to appease foreigners. Of course nothing is perfect, no one is perfect; but if you came from a worse situation that your own people put you into, please, people, cut some slack to different people that have welcomed you, and are providing better conditions to you than your own people. Even if many of you do not want to/ are not allowed to (by your own people) interact with the host culture.

Minna Säävälä, a senior researcher at the Family Federation of Finland, notes that foreign families and their neighbours often keep their distance because of mutual prejudices and assumptions -- which are often not based on fact.

Now, imagine you are the father of a daughter. Do you need fact?

She says that many Finns assume that foreign women are forced to remain home and that they have a lot of children.

Now back to the reference quote: "She and her husband have three children". 

And now go back to the quote: "stereotypes about immigrants"...

Case in point.

But let's not leave it there.

Women in Finland give birth to about 1.85 children the yle article says. Women from Russia have it at 1.73, while African women make 3.33 children on average, says this same article.
I read somewhere though, that while Ethiopian  women have 2.2, Somalians have 3.9 children.

So, since Finns do not have the stereotype that Russian, German, Spanish, Japanese women are breeding in droves, and their stereotypes are closely following actual statistics, I do not see where they are wrong.

You don't like the stereotype? Don't be a baby factory.

Finns also tend to lump immigrants together without realising the vast variety of lifestyles and backgrounds they represent.

The text above this quote is valid for this quote.

I say it is time the Finns start dislumping the immigrants and start grouping them. which is difficult actually because Finns are a pretty much homogenous nation, and they tend to think all other cultures are like Finns: Relatively homogenous.

How much have I suffered because guys from my country (ignoring the other origin for a sec) came here in the nineties, got married to an unsuspecting woman, got hundreds of thousands of markka credit(6 markka 1 euro) , only to go buy a sheep flock back home and leave the woman stranded with the debt.

How many guys from my country have married a Finnish woman for a passport while still being married at home?

How many have beaten up a sister because she was seen with a Finnish dude? How many have beaten up the dude? How many women actually are allowed out?How is this the fault of the Finns?

I suffered because Finns could not distinguish between those lowlifes and others. Oh sh%t... Call the hate speech police. (Accusing me of hate for these words means you hate women's rights, and you want to oppress women, and want them to be barefoot and pregnant, and beaten because they talked to a man, and you apologize for rape...)

It is time the Finns start dis-lumping foreigners from the category "foreigner" and start lumping them into categories of "working", "education", "origin" etc.

And I tell you what, if what this official requests is done, i.e.: undoing the "Finns also tend to lump immigrants together without realizing the vast variety of lifestyles and backgrounds they represent."; few like me will be free of the shackles of my origin, but others deservedly will lose their privileged status of "poor soul" that they abuse 24/7.

What will people tell if it is openly discussed that women from YYY are having 1.9 kids; at 12% unemployment, while women from XXX are having 3.5 kids at having 35% unemployment. numbers are random, XXX and YYY are imaginary countries.

Be careful what you wish for. You might get it. 

As a result of such preconceived ideas, newcomers frequently feel rejected and turn inward toward their own ethnic group -- which further exacerbates stereotyping from the mainstream population and sets off a vicious cycle, says Säävälä.

Is it not possible that we are tribal people, and we like to hang out with people of our own tribe? When I hang out with different nationalities and Finns, we have a common thing: We are all educated, all have higher degrees, all speak excellent english, and have a shared vision of doing good in life. Left, right are some differences, but once we agree on disagreeing, civilized discussions can occur. That is one tribe; culminated on years of interaction.

Foreigners also are a tribe, mainly organized around the idea, "Us vs the Finns".

Apparently the origin tribe supersedes all other factors for many people.

What are the Finns to do more than they do now? What is Europe supposed to do more than it does now? (Not the effing EUSSR)

If the cycle in Finland is a vicious cycle, how does one define the cycles at some parts of the rest of the world? Bloodcandy cycle?

The Family Federation believes that more information would help to dissolve these stereotypes. For instance, it notes that on average immigrant families have nearly the same number of children as others, statistically three-tenths of a child more.

Yes, what were the numbers?

Total: 1.85

Foreigners: 2.2

Roughly .3 difference, yes.. Not much.


Russians 1.75

Somalian 3.9

Ethiopians 2.2

Iragis 3.7 (or something)

Germans possibly under 2, safe to assume, just like Spanish, Italian, Estonian, Greek etc.


If you lump all the foreigners together the difference is negligible.

Now go ask a German:

"Would you like to be counted in the same bucket as Greek?"


You get the picture...



I am a Greekophobic. Yup. Greekist.


To all my Greek friends, I always hid my real feelings about you. You goat loving ouzo smelling, olive nibbling gay sons of Sparta.


Ah, laughing to myself. At the Greek's expense. Still laughing.

Or, you can ask an ethnic Estionian woman if she wants to be counted in the same bucket as a Russian. A Pole? They will not give you the light answer the German woman will have given.
Säävälä stresses that that despite superficial differences in customs or appearance, most families' dreams and goals are fundamentally similar. Asked about her hopes for Joel, Ameyaw replies: "I want him to grow up, go to school, and then I will not force him to do something, but whatever is good for him. He should be a great person in the future."
I do hope all the best for her, her husband and her children.

Hope for them to be great persons and be a benefit to the society.

Wish her all the luck, strength and patience she will need.

Wish her and her family happiness and success.

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