Saturday, March 24, 2012

Exactly 20 years

and a week ago we moved from The Philippines to Finland. Someone has said that I've perhaps had a rockier path in growing up, when I am more Finn than other family members. Always have had to learn and understand my homework myself, when my parents couldn't help with the language and six years older siblings were somewhere else. Being raised with three cultures, of couse I've suffered from identity crisis. Especially, when I haven't been able to fulfill the culture, which has had the biggest influence on me through my family. Christmas ham is missing from the table and on Midsummer Day we're one of the few, who stay in the city.

Is this how non-Christians feel during Christmas?

Some have raised the issue of when second generation immigrants feel they've become truly Finns. The world at home and outside are two different places. For me all it took was to leave the country. It wasn't until moving to Holland that I started to tell people that I come from Finland and didn't explain my roots further to just make things simple.

I also began to realize that I actually am a Finn.

It's not about your blood, but your mentality. Though my family coming from somewhere else makes me special and makes me more aware of happenings.

I remember my teacher once saying that the Finns abroad are more Finnish than the ones here. What she meant was that while abroad you embrace better those characteristics, which define you as a certain country's citizen, but without feeling superior towards other cultures. After all you don't only start to appreciate the positive things in your country, but also dislike the negative.

The funniest part though is that Finnish people constantly think that at least one of my parents must be a Finn. And the most common comment of people abroad was 'I thought that Finns had blond hair and blue eyes!'.

No, it's the Swedes.

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