Another way to discover Finland (Free subject)
During my semester in Jyvaskyla, I had the chance to be part of the cross cultural lesson. I was with different student come from all the word and also refugees come from Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria. The purpose of this lesson was to learn about the different culture and create question cart about the Finland culture and the refuge’s culture in order to create a game. This game will help news refugees to learn faster about the Finland culture and be able to adapt themselves faster to the country. I learn a lot about the life of the refugee and I think it can be interested to understand the vision they have about Finland. It’s another way to discover Finland.
So I interviewed one woman come from Iraq. In order to protect her identity, I changed her name.
Hello, can you introduce yourself?
I am Alia, I come from Baghdad, Iraq. In Iraq, I was working as a lawyer. I came to Finland, because I need my children and myself to have peace and safety. I have completed two university degrees. English language in University of Baghdad and after that I completed my law degree in the University of Baghdad.
As long have you been in Finland?
I have been here for months now, I can stay here for a months and I ask to have another visa to stay longer, I’m waiting for the answer.
Can you explain why you are here?
There is the war in Iraq and the Taliban killed my father, my husband and a lot of people I knew. I have five children so I try to find a good, safe and peaceful place for them to grown up.
Can you describe your life in Finland?
When I arrived it’s was the winter, and it was the first time me and my children saw the snow. It was really difficult and I felt really alone. But we are lucky in Jyvaskyla because, we have a dynamic association how help us a lot.
We have a little flat but it’s great and we leave with the other refugee. There are different nationality together.
We have a simple life, I still can't work but I think it’s really important to find activity to do. I’m lucky because I speak English so I had the opportunity to came to this lesson. Because a lot of refugee don’t speak English so it’s difficult for them to find an activity to do during the day. So they have nothing to do, and it's even worst to stay on a good mood.
Can you explain the main difference between your culture and the Finland culture?
For me the main difference is that in Finland people are really more open-minded that in Iraq. Is not the same religious and the woman has a difference place. For example, is my country a woman can’t do a lot of think. You have a lot of rules in my country. It’s difficult for a woman do be without a husband. When you grow up, people explained to you that it’s great to be married. I’m lucky because I had the opportunity to go to the university.
In my country you have a lot of code and rules, here is more free. In Iraq if you are different people will easily judge you, and talk about you. I never have this in Finland. For example, in Iraq even if it’s possible it is difficult to be divorced. Or in Iraq a woman is not allow to swim in the river with men. People can judge men if he is talking to you, because you are a woman.
You can really fell the difference between men and woman and people think it’s normal. But in Finland is not like this.
At school the children as the same education as if they are a girl or boy, and you cannot see discrimination.
What did you learn in Finland?
I have learned about many different cultures; I have especially learned a lot about Finland, and the rules Finnish people have. I also broke a lot of my prejudice. Before I came here, people told me that finish people are shy, and it’s difficult to star the conversation you them. But actually I don’t think it’s true. People are different than my country, here it’s a little city without a lot of noise. But if you need help I think it’s easy to find someone how will help you.
I’m really glad to be here, of course I prefer to be on my own country with my family. I started to learn Finnish and I hope I can stay in Finland for a long time, and start to work.
Thank you Alia, for taking this time with me and shared your history.
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