Tag Archives: Finnish

Where is really Home?

The basic reference of the word home comes as follows.
/hoʊm/noun, adjective, adverb, verb, homed, hom⋅ing
1. a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.
2. the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.
3. any place of residence or refuge: a heavenly home.
4. a person’s native place or own country.

I have been for the last 7 years now in this northern part of the planet trying to figure out really what is home. Is it really true that when you are an immigrant to a new country, it’s like you are reborn. Is it true that you do the baby steps again, you build yourself, you integrate, you learn?  But does that make where you are now, your home?

As hard as it was to learn how to adapt, work, communicate in a new culture. Finland became my home! Every aspect of its society affect me, from its politics, to the little things of everyday life, even to the way i think. I have become “Finlandized”

When i came to Helsinki, i fell in love with the peace, with the system, the mentality of the Finns, their appreciation of everything given to them, their modesty, and the real democracy and freedom. This freedom and democracy is something people in the Arab world seems to be eager to have now, the youth of the Arab world are revolting to be able to live free, have jobs, a good life, standards, infrastructure, development and “democracy”.

But democracy cannot sadly be given in matters of days or even months, as i see after my experience here in Scandinavia, it is given by the way people  are raised, people learn to live  it, learn to be free, they learn to be given these rights. Our choices are ours, we are responsible of our actions.  The way you behave to respect  other humans even if different from you is the real democracy, the way you live is the real democracy.

Responsible for our actions is something that the Finns take seriously, they stand up to their country. I always say that the nationalism in Finland is not a curse, i wish my real home country was as nationalistic as we are here or patriotic and not divided over religion, over foreign interests or assets.

It is not the flag put on every building, it is not the love to “Lihapulla” or “Makkara” or the love to the “Suomi T-Paita” that makes Finns nationalistic really in my opinion, it is the way they are proud of their country, or the way they are proud of what they have built from the welfare state to the way how they  handle any breach of their air space or to the way they respect the value of a citizen. You can feel safe in Finland.

Many might say i am wrong, but i appreciate the love people have to their nation even though it is changing and maybe not toward the best. But well Home is a place where you are valued as a human, where you are treated with respect, where you are not scared from the police like the case in most of the Arab world. Home is the place where you can say to a certain extent what comes to your mind without fearing to lose your job or get in trouble. Yes! I know it is not the paradise, Finns still tend not to like being criticized and it is one of their weakness but the reality I feel home here and i am blessed to feel so. Domi ego sum!

A year of change, a year since that winter!

Wow! What a year it has been since my last post here.

You might think that this blog is dead! Well, you are wrong. big time wrong.

The Finnish experience is on and on and that winter in my last post is way gone, but hell the current winter isn’t going anywhere. A bit of spring shows today though in Helsinki.
A year has passed and i have been busy with life, integrating, adapting, cooking, going on holiday’s, dreaming of how a democratic Middle east will look. Dictators have fallen, others have risen, majorities became minorities, disasters that shatter the heart have taken place in great nations. and even a nuclear fear populated by the world media that sparked the Finns to empty the pharmacies of Jodi Tablets.
But my Finland, is the same except of course Timo Soini is a powerful leader with 17.2 % of the voters wanting him to lead them to the new Finland, the nation of perfection.

Anyhow, before going into politics, I could talk a bit about how did Finland change in my eyes in the last year, last summer was extremely hot, the fans ran out from the stores, the Finns were sun worshipers again, nobody stayed indoors, the terraces were full of the happy Finns, but then …

Came winter again, a harsh one with -0C and much below for more then a 100 day, skins have dried, hearts have shaken, minds gone nuts, but all what i did was work. Working at night in Finland is scary for a lebanese soul sometimes.

In Lebanon, we are hyper, active, too sociable, and imagine the peace of the night of Helsinki, tasks are there to be done but the night is quiet, really quiet. sometimes at least!

But this year also, has been full of surprises, of hours spent watching Aljazeera, watching a new world being born, a new middle east, Tunis and Egypt got rid of their pain in the ass aka dictators, these brave nations youth showed that they are too eager for democracy, for change. Hoping few others will follow.

But what they forgot, that the democracy has taken the west years and decades to be learned, it is not something that you get after toppling a dictator in a matter of weeks, this is gonna be a long process and eduction will play a huge role in it. The future will show us great success in the region if the youth of these nations take control and know how to go from here.

As for the disasters of this year, the upcoming Finnish elections will be one heck of a disaster with the True Finns leading. It seems that the trend of blaming the minorities for the problems of the majorities, has become a habit in the Finnish society, leader like Soini tend to fool the people into following them promising them a better Finland (without modern art???!!! ).

What is wrong with today’s Finland ? That answer i keep it for my next long post. And i promise it will be before the upcoming heated elections.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for my following post dedicated to the brave nation of Japan.

C’est la vie en bleu!

So many ideas and so little time, work is a big part of life here and you must use your free time carefully!

I started working recently and it looks good, well regularly at least and with a lot of Finnish colleagues, a true Finnish experience. I am enjoying it, enjoying the organized system and the work place. and the old ladies working with me are treating me well.

Finns tend to trust a foreigner if he gains it with time. It’s a global rule i think, this reminds me of a Lebanese proverb  my mom used always to say: ” Live with the people 40 days, either you stay with them or you leave them.” The unfortunate thing happening in my own opinion in Finland, is the fact that the Finnish media does not fetch real stories on relations between the  society, Media tend to exagerate and show foreigners are victims but in my case and concerning my work field, The answer lies here : “Read this to know more!” I am proud of this article.

Finland and Lebanon on the mind still always, pro’s and con’s always. Everyday, Facebook is  offering a comparison to the two cultures free of charge!

Finland’s reputation has been seriously damaged recently by it’s beloved politicians to a level that we could for sure send them to Lebanon. Why?

Well, they need to get some courses on “how to hide well your corruption.” A scandal, well scandals have erupted here about Finances of the government parties by companies and the last story was contributed to M. Vanhanen our prime minister here that accepted gifts as bribery for building his home. Yes! M. Vanhanen could for sure form a Lebanese goverment since now he has all the capacity and the necessary demands for the job 🙂 Unfortunate, M. Harriri got  the job alas!

Otherwise, winter is coming, it has been raining here and its getting more boring then ever since we see no snow neither sun. Am so waiting for the snow to come, that will cheer me up for sure.

People abroad do not understand why Finns loves the snow, based on my experience after living here, snow brighten everything when it’s dark, the darkness is a big part of the winter since we get only a few hours of light or something similar to light, makes you so frustrated and causes a lot of depression so when it snows it actually turns into all white and blue, a beautiful scenery. Will post a picture about it one day!

Christmas has been knocking on our door here, the festivities and celebrations are all about to come and the plans of the next year with it. I am going to  continue in my current job for a longer while, which is good news in this time of crisis. Nothing that i am doing is my favorite carrier, since i wish to be in the hotel field, but c’est la vie!

I will be writing a few posts to recap on the lost time and since i have a lots to share with you about Finland, I seriously feel like a child here born again discovering things from scratch.

A quiet city and a dull weather,  still the Finns and their country have a way to amaze me with the smallest details ever! and their care of the smallest details. Only a Finn would do such a thing i told my wife when i read the article. Read this link!

Thank you for dropping by.

Jad ( With Swine flu) … Oh that’s another blog story to tell! 🙂

Time to make a tea and lots of honey, and to read Maiku’s newest blog posts on AngoraKaneli (in Finnish only!)

P.s: To the people of the world, remember Santa comes  straight to your house all the way from Finland  where he lives under the northern lights 🙂