Report on the Timeout Dialogue

Report on the Timeout Dialogue
5th of December, 2019
SKY: Suomen Kulttuurienvälinen Yhteisö organised a TIMEOUT dialogue during the ‘Timeout Week 2019’ in cooperation with Eratauko Saatio, on the topic ”How’s it going Finland?” We gathered people living in Finland with immigrant background. Using the tool and method provided by the Eratauko Saatio, we facilitated the dialog which turned very effective. There were two main questions each participant need to think and talk about in the first round. In the second round, we gathered the most important(vocal) points from the first round and discussed it.
On the question ”What is Finnishness and how you experienced Finns?”, participants answered:

-Finnish police attitude at the airport was shocking-positive for me since I came to seek asylum from Turkey and expected a rood attitude. They carried my bags and transferred me via taxi.
-Finns are very warm and inclusive of my experiences.
-I have not noticed extreme fanaticism in Finns in regard to ethnicity and race.
-We always had positive experience with Finns, have not noticed exclusion. We have to know more if it similar in the deeper society or is it the attitude of the social workers only?
-Finns are very helping and open minded.
-I would say, Finnish people always ready to support others.

To the question ”Will you consider/belong yourself to a Finnishness and Finland at some point?”
-It depends on how we define Finnishness. If we consider Finnishness narrow such as a single race, ethnicity, have fought for Finland, have been born in Finland, have Finnish mother tongue – that might be not possible for our generation.
-If we define Finnishness by feeling, by citizenship,  by belonging to oneself, by believing in Finland, by the love and link to Finland, by principles and values of the society, I would definitely fill Finnish when I master the language and knowledge about Finland.
-For me, the research telling that only 1 from 3 say that Finnishness is all about ethnicity and race, truly surprised me in a positive way that I can also belong to Finland without someone saying I can’t be a Finn because I don’t look like.
-I think, at some point, Finns are very reserved, which is not my nature. I can take other good sides of Finns, but I can not feel completely Finnish.
-We can define Finnishness for ourselves and try to fit in that definition.
-I think one immigrant background person who belongs to Finland and does care about Finland is more Finn than an ethnic Finn, who does not care about Finland. By care, I mean contribution and commitment. Serving the country.
-For me, the important thing is what Locals expect from newcomers. If they do not claim that I do not belong and I can be a Finn if I like to, I would do my best to become useful and committing citizen to Finland.
-If we can equally accept others as they are, we can be a Finn.
-Maybe I can not be a complete Finn but I would like to be a well-integrated resident.
-I can fill myself a Finn by speaking Finnish, knowing and embracing the culture, history, and customs, but I can also not forget my native culture/identity.

Finally, participants enjoyed the discussions and hoped for continuation in the near future.
These insights collected during the Timeout weeks are also sent to ErataukoSaatio.

#howsitgoingFinland #mitäkuuluuSuomi
#timeoutdialogue #erätauko
@ErataukoSaatio @SuomiSky

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