Typography

The Ministry of Interior provides a unique - and positive - view of immigration

MIGRANTS and migration have become a burning issue in Finland during the past year, but for those who have found the debate almost entirely negative, events have now taken a new turn. The Ministry of Interior has launched a website called puhetta maahanmuutosta (talk about immigration) which manages to be at once informative, entertaining and unusual in proving that the authorities do not wish to censor the discussion on immigration, of which they are often accused by the immigration sceptics. Those commenting also do so using their own names, a point the so-called immigration sceptics have often claimed was impossible without being called racists or kukkahattutäti.

The key terms

‘immigration sceptics’ - an umbrella term for those opposing immigration, modelled on so-called ‘climate sceptics’.

hyysätä - to pamper or coddle, a word often used by immigration sceptics to describe the way Finland treats migrants.

hyssytellä - to shush or censor, a word often used by immigration sceptics to describe the actions of the left wing and media.

kukkahattutäti - a term often used by immigration sceptics, literally “flower hat ladies,” do-gooders or busybodies, the kind of people who think they know what is best for everyone.

www.puhettamaahanmuutosta.fi

Much of the debate recently has focused on the idea that immigration can not be openly discussed without accusations of racism. The site itself allows the immigration sceptics to frame the debate, but far from dodging the questions, it seeks to identify the key questions and tackle them head on: Is racism a natural consequence of immigration? How can people of different opinions discuss this subject? And are immigrants really looked after better than ‘original’ Finns?

Cartoons in each section do a nice job of both highlighting some of the absurdities and also asking some fundamental questions, such as: what is the opposite of immigration scepticism?

The site presents a variety of opinions and positions, including those of the anti-immigration website homma.org and comments from immigrants themselves. Although the site is largely in Finnish, one or two sections are also in English, and more English language content is expected to appear in the future.

David Brown