Finland: Somali youth want to go home

Finland: Somali youth want to go home

Immigrant youths often want to leave Finland, according to a new survey. Networking and linguistic ability are factors helping them move away while racialism and prejudice accounted in Finland often provide the springboard.

According to a survey carried out by TAT Group, SEK PRO Oy:n and 15/30 Research, integration of young immigrants into Finnish society is a long process. For many building a life in Finland is not on their agenda.

Youths with a Russian, Estonian or Somali background often do not consider themselves as Finns, even if they have resided in the country for most of their lives and are Finnish citizens.

On the contrary, they maintain a strong individual cultural identity and an awareness of where home is. Youths say they are from Russia, Estonia and Somalia and are proud of the fact.

Finland is not an easy environment for all young immigrants. Public structures present a picture of equality while in reality racialism and prejudice remain fundamental problems.

Those interviewed said they often experienced racialism from older people and inebriates but they also singled out the media.

Somali youths were, in particular, the target for racial abuse. However, Estonians felt more at home in Finland with a much smaller cultural gap.


Youths interviewed for the survey would easily be prepared to leave Finland. They cite the lengthy duration of integration as well as racialism. Other factors prompting departure included internationalism, a desire to travel and a desire to develop themselves.

Somali youths had the greatest willingness to leave and often wanted to return to their homeland. They cite a common desire of the Somali community to be able to someday return to their country of origin or live in a Muslim country. In addition, Finland is perceived as being prejudiced and unequal in working life. Somali youths often feel they cannot achieve their goals in Finland.


Source: YLE (English)

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