Thursday, August 15, 2013

foreigner forever

I hope to see more of Finland in the future so I could share impressions also in this blog. My friend just came from the most northern parts of Finland. I must go there one day (with a good camera). Amazing sceneries. Anyhow I got some new impressions without distant travels.
I have been living in Finland for about 9years now and I realized I would always be foreigner here. Knowing the language helps a lot but I will never get rid of a strange accent and imperfect pronunciation. Grammar mistakes happen as well. (about learning Finnish I wrote in post: Finnish IS difficult.) But this is not only about language - this is about character, personality, culture, my past, my almost 30years of  living in a different reality. 
I have already accepted my position as the eternal foreigner and I am sure I am not the only one who moved to another country with such feeling. This is not complaining. That's the situation to cope with and I share my thoughts on this subject. Sometimes I face funny situations and sometimes I need to have thick skin. Pardon my foreignity:-) I respect Finnish way of life, culture etc. but I see no reason to attempt to transform into a Finn. It would be ridiculous anyway.
I was buying Finnish gifts for my family, and the nice saleswoman offered me very colourful wrapping paper and ribbon. She explained me, that presumably I would not be pleased with the typical Finnish white, blue or grey tints, cause as she said I seemed not to be Finnish. Nice, talkative young woman, and very attentive:-)
When I talk to a strange Finn, I hear the question: 'Where are you from?' almost always.
I do not feel offended nor hurt. They notice I'm not from here and they ask. It's understandable
Immigration to Finland is relatively fresh phenomenon and it rose tremendously in recent years. There were not many foreigners here 20 years ago. Look at the picture I got from Wikipedia: (Allophones, i.e. residents with another native language than Finnish, Swedish or Sami, in Finland, 1980-2011, according to Statistics Finland)


  1. Totta, maahanmuutto on Suomessa vielä todella uusi asia - omassa lapsuudessani oli todella harvinaista, jos tapasi muualta Suomeen muuttaneita. Ja minä sentään asuin Helsingissä :-D.
    Totta myös se, että me olemme uteliaita. Ainakin minä olen, ja olen utelias myös erilaisista kulttuureista, en niinkään näistä nähtävyyksistä tai historiasta, vaan siitä, millaista arkielämä on Suomen ulkopuolella, historiasta sen verran, että ymmärtää, miksi jossain toimitaan eri tavalla kuin täällä :-)

  2. Zawsze sądziłem, że wymowa jest całkiem prosta i sensowna (zwłaszcza dla nas, Polaków). Moi znajomi zgodnie twierdzą, że czytam prawie jak Fin (choć możliwe że, najzwyczajniej w świecie, są po prostu mili ;) ). Co do całej reszty, to nie wyobrażam sobie nauczenia się odpowiednich końcówek, gramatyki czy chociażby osiągnięcia poziomu "fluent" w normalnych ramach czasowych.
    Choć mimo wszystko uważam, że bycie takim "obcokrajowcem" w Fin ma też wiele plusów ;)