Friday, May 20, 2011

Howdy from Helsinki

Arrived two days ago. I think I brought the Melbourne weather with me. It was cold, wet and windy on the first two days. Beautifully sunny today though.

Man, I love Helsinki. Such a stylish city. There are changes happening here though...and it is palpable.

My friend/work colleague was telling me that nationalistic sentiment is growing and that people are becoming more and more xenophobic. I suggest it's because Finland is essentially a mono-culture and with an increase in migration (and tourism from asia), the people here are being exposed to non-caucasians in large numbers for the very first time. It might take a generation for things to improve but, in the meantime, I hope it doesn't get too bad.


Andrew said...

It is an interesting observation about more immigrants and tourism. You friend/work colleague is presumably as you describe. What might the basic worker think? As you have said I expect. Does Finland have foreign workers who in theory won't ever be Finish?

Adaptive Radiation said...

I'm not sure what the average worker would think...probably that foreigners are taking all their jobs. Like the rise of One Nation in Australia last decade, the political party known as The True Finns has done very well in recent elections out of this growing nationalism. The weird thing is that even Finns are falling victim. My friend, a swedish-speaking Finn, was recently targeted in the street for speaking in swedish. Both Finnish and Swedish are official languages of Finland but I guess there are still tensions between swedish and finnish-speaking finns.

Victor said...

No shortage of tourists in Vienna. We were battling each other for viewing (annd breathing) space at all the main sightseeing venues.