As we know the debate about immigrants in Finland is not an easy task. It goes from negative to positive and the balance is hard to achieve. A friend of mine, who had moved from Britain a short while before, said tentatively that, of course it is good that immigration and integration is discussed, but sometimes it feels so strange that the whole issue is discussed and thought about in all possible manners over and over again, as it is actually not so strange to have people with different backgrounds living in one place. I myself I believe that it is good to discuss, so does my friend, but sometimes it feels like the issue would be discussed and discussed but the real multicultural society is perhaps when we accept each other as persons and individuals and not as representants of a specific culture. How do we get there? When seminars about integration and immigration dealing with starting point issues are no longer relevant in the same extent? I guess, it all lies in that Finland has so few immigrants that it is still possible to scrutinize the issue as a glasbulb in your hands at a half meters distance and say : hmm, what should we do with this thing then?
I hope these debates and seminars eventually leads to good integration methods. the positive side of it is that perhaps some mistakes can be avoided. However, people need to learn the language and need a job. If these two challenges could be overcome then a big step forward would have been taken. To achieve this it is not only strategies on paper but also a change of attitudes tht is needed. Sometimes solutions are more easy to find than we thought and are found by thinking soundly without always picturing the worst of scenarios.
The only way this matter eventually can be solved is by living in a society where you meet people with different backgrounds and get used to it. It is our incompetence in dealing with difference on homeground that is part of the problem. It is good to discuss and have a discussion in public about integration but at some point we just have to calm down and not make things into bigger issues than they are.