Thursday, July 24, 2014

Finland is intolerant, not greedy and self-serving

Finns are "naturally honest". A lost wallet test conducted by Reader's Digest supports the assertion. Therefore something said by a majority of Finns about themselves is plausible. The majority of respondents in survey of how Finnish people view themselves say Finland is not a nation of tolerance and open-mindedness.

In a survey of how Finnish people characterize themselves and Finland, the majority of respondents submitted that Finns are intolerant and close-minded. According to Yle, only 37 percent of those questioned in the survey commissioned by business think tank EVA ascribed tolerance and open-mindedness to Finnish national identity.

In addition, according to results of the survey, as reported by Yle, 56 percent of Finnish respondents saw their fellow countrymen and women as "greedy" and "self-serving".

Certain results of the survey reflect my view of Finland. Finland is, without a doubt, intolerant in my view. Racism and xenophobia are still widespread in the Nordic country, and enough is not being done by the authorities to combat the social ills. The story about a group of 10-11-year-olds returning from a football tournament in Åland puts into perspective my view of Finland in the tolerance department. It is an inconceivable reality that an adult in modern-day Finland can tell a 10-year-old junior Finnish footballer that he (the 10-year-old boy) is not a Finn simply because the child is not white -- or not white enough. The story of the violated junior footballer is unique but is shared by countless number of people, including children who are pigeon-holed by a bigoted definition of "Finnishness".

Regarding the question of greed in EVA's survey of Finnish self-image, Finns, I believe, are generous and charitable. I look no further than the yearly "Nenäpäivä" three-week campaign to conclude that generosity is a Finnish trait. Finns donated over 2.2 million euros through the campaign in 2012 to support children living in poverty around the world. In 2013 over 2.9 million euros was donated. I therefore disagree with respondents of EVA's survey who regard Finns as "greedy" and "self-serving". Finland would not have been, in my opinion, among least corrupt countries in the world if Finns were greedy and self-serving.

A staggering 84 percent of Finnish respondents in the survey said Finns as hard working. 77 percent believed Finns value work. Hard work is a good and important ingredient for nation building but, as far as I am concerned, diligence without tolerance and acceptance is worthless for humanity.

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