I want to focus in question in terms that we use in finnish. The term "maahanmuuttaja" is the word used in media and in politics. MAAHANMUUTTAJA is a problematic word. I once talked about this with a romanian-born lady, whose opinions was as following; maahanmuuttaja is a wrong term, because its not including the process of BEING AND LIVING here, muuttaja means literally "one who is moving from one place to another". , so it would mean one who is moving to the country.
people are moving only ONCE and for short time, but after that they are not "moving" any more, they settle down, they make their home here. So in her opinion "maahanmuuttaja" is creating more conflicts in finland and terms should be re-evaluated. Even she pointed out that these kind of terms are creating dicotomies from where an actual "war" would begin.
what do u think of this? there is also different words used but less, in public, like KANTASUOMALAINEN which would mean originally finn person, and UUSSUOMALAINEN describing the person, who has lived here for many years.
Because when using only the word maahanmuuttaja, for people is coming an image of people outside, who move here and its only rising a question in what grounds they move here, and they will have always the "stigma" of being maahanmuuttaja. Lets take excample of my husband who has been finnish citizen for 4 years now. He is still guided to go "maahanmuuttajakurssi" from employment office, he is still regarded as "maahanmuuttaja". Actually it should not be anymore possible to call him maahanmuuttaja, because he is officially a Finn and also having a kind of "double-nationality". Still he is regarded as maahanmuuttaja and the only question that is arising is "where have u come from" or "oletko sopeutunut suomeen?" . he has been here now almost 11 years and the question would already be, would he cope with living in his home country for longer time…So people are living here for decades but they always have to answer these questions. The more here is immigrants, the less there is those questions arising , i suppose, in time the change will appear…
also they use "maahanmuuttaja" very wildly and with not understanding, that i learnt when i had to teach my sons teacher that she cannot put my child to "mamuryhmä" at school (that was actually finnish as second language-group but the school called it "mamuryhmä".) She had already put him to group where was children whose both parents were from some other country and language at home was other than finnish. citys co-ordinator was surprised when i told about this. my son has born here and is finnish citizen and his mother-language is finnish- and thats the thing for sure was in teachers knowledge, but is the diffferent look enough to determine him as "maahanmuuttaja!?!" Of course the main thing was the teacher did not know what is "maahanmuuttaja" and they dont have proper education, still, to multicultural issues and even they called this particular group with wrong name…etc.
and same thing happened in day-care with my daughter, they asked me when its a proper time for me to come to "kotoutumissuunnitelma" discussions for my daughter….AMAZING, person is having immigration plan in her homecountry! !! have u heard about that before? of course they apologized after i had complained about that but REALLY they did now know what that thing means and for whom they have to offer it! so they did not have bad motivations to categorize, just people who dont have links with these things in their personal lives, they dont have to understand them because surrounding society is putting things only in these dicotomies "SUOMALAINEN" or "MAAHANMUUTTAJA."
And, if a child is BORN HERE, even if parents are somowhere else, should we call him or her maahanmuuttajà?! only on the grounds that his or her parents have moved here some 15 years ago? DO you get the point that i mean here? this way we capture people to very artificial categories!
so this "maahanmuuttaja" is very damaging word and they use this word only in all the public services we have in Finland….and even people dont know what that word means, and who you mean by it, everybody, ? =who is "nobody."…
Also in maahanmuuttaja-term in Finland they link very closely only to pakolaiset, refugees, what u may hear in general discussions -AND THE DIVERSITY OF PEOPLE CANNOT BE SEEN OR ACKNOWLEDGED. so in language its not the same which terms we use. In english and in America you can see media to use terms Mexican-American, African-American and so on. What about same in finnish? UUSSUOMALAINEN is quite a nice word for excample. anything else?
Give your comments and IDEAS of these new terms! and tell of your EXPERIENCE concerning the subject. and when creating new terms, lets start to use those as well!!!!