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Finland for Thought » 2005 » March | Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & the United States | Blog of an American living in Finland

Finland for Thought
             Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & United States

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Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 10:56 am

From Helsingin Sanomat International Edition in an article titled, “Trade unions have few means to increase employment “…

“I think it is great that there is qualified staff in Finnish restaurants, compared to the U.S. where there are people working part-time with small wages who do not know at all how to do the job”, Mäenpää muses.

Huh? First off, I’d reckon U.S. restaurant employees earn much much more than their Finnish counterparts. Americans dine out more often and thanks to tips, waiters and waitresses make very nice salaries. Back in the states, many of my friends were waiters, they took home way to much cash for the little bit of work they did. The restaurant industry in the U.S. is great because people without even a high school education can easily earn $40K/year and upwards.

And calling them “unqualified”?? C’mon, it’s waiting tables, cleaning tables, seating patrons…how much qualifications are there? Of course the chefs and managers need to be qualified, but I doubt Finnish employees are any more or less qualified than in the U.S.

Soviet Union tried to turn Finland into Socialist country

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 9:33 am

If I didn’t know better, I would have thought they succeeded

The Soviet Union strived for a Socialist Finland 35 years ago. No coup was in the making, however, as the objective was to be reached peacefully.

An important step was the choice of predecessor for the long-standing President Urho Kekkonen. The left-wing parties were to rally behind a Social Democratic candidate. The Soviet Union wanted Väinö Leskinen for the job; somebody it had earlier loathed, but who had since jumped over the fence politically and become Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1970.

If SDP and the other socialists were able to have their way in Finland – what do you think would be the major changes we would see?

Ministry of Education: Internet is useful

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:42 am

Diving enthusiasts were awarded a much deserved award for compiling a list of Finns that have been found and missing during the recent tsunami, and also for picking up the slack of the Finnish government.

The Ministry of Education, that handed out the 10,000-euro award, said that the divers’ Internet pages showed how the World Wide Web can be used to provide data fast and under rapidly changing circumstances.

I too was a bit skeptical of the usefulness of the World Wide Web, but those divers made me a believer in the internet. :roll: I think the Finnish Parliament is still using dial-up modems.

Finnish flag days

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:42 am

Female SDP members want to add another flag day to the calendar…

Women members of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Finland wish to spread the message of women’s sexual inviolability by declaring 26 March, the Name Day of Sisko (Finnish for sister), an official flagging day. The women’s organisation of the party suggests an official flagging day would remind of “the importance of women’s inviolability for the society as a whole”.

Hmmm….no mention of the SDP men? I guess they’re not interested. But about these “flag days” – what’s with the strict flag laws in Finland? I know we Americans can get quite silly with our flag, but this is just as ridiculous. Shouldn’t I be able to fly a Finnish flag on my flagpole on my property whenever I damn well please without threat of receiving a nasty fine from the government? Don’t you think that’s imposing on your supposed “freedoms” in this country?

Yes yes, I know, it looks very pretty when everyone has their flags up – but take a look at the U.S., we have our flags up all the freakin’ time and there are no specific days as to when you can and can’t raise your flag – and yet, everyone seems to make fun of Americans for their flag-obsession – why no mention of the Finnish flag day obssesion?

Tsunami Heroes Receive Award

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:31 am

World Wide Web can be used to provide data fast and under rapidly changing circumstances

Finnish women suggest official flagging day in honor of non-harassment

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:31 am

Spread the message of women’s sexual inviolability by declaring 26 March

Soviet Union tried to turn Finland into Socialist country – Historian

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:28 am

The left-wing parties were to rally behind a Social Democratic candidate

Finnish companies hiring metalworkers from Poland

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:27 am

However hard the companies have tried, they cannot seem to find workers from Finland,

Thousands of Finnish cleaners may get new employer

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:27 am

Purchase offer for world’s largest cleaning and maintenance company

Vantaa students and parents protest against city’s plans to close down schools

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:22 am

No promises were made to tone down the planned cost-cutting measures

Suspicions of human trafficking stigmatise Georgian women

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:21 am

Women want restitution – Finland denies bad treatment

Strike on train ferries ends – ships flagged out to Finland

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:21 am

Seamen’s Union denies breaking Polish strike


Georgian workers, hookers, or tourists?

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 3:40 pm

So what happened here? The women arrived back in Georgia, they’re labeled as whores. Their husbands leave them, their families are embarrased over them. They claim they were tourists, they claim they were treated poorly by Finnish officials? Did the Finnish authorities screw this up bigtime?

“I wanted to visit my sister’s family in Italy”, one of the women, Nato Portshkhidze, said to Helsingin Sanomat

Then how’d you wind up in Finland!? Did the bus miss an exit on the highway or something? Did they have the map upside maybe?

Now I haven’t seen to much other info on this situation, but here’s my guess as to what happened: The women came into “Europe” (via Finland) to work. They got busted. But the Finnish authorities didn’t think they were workers, they thought they were hookers. Word about this made it home to Georgia and now the entire family and neighborhood is ashamed, dishonored, or whatever. So the women had two options:

1) Say nothing – all your family, friends, and neighbors will think you’re prostitutes.
2) Get really pissed off and go public – this brings doubt into everyone’s mind, “maybe they’re not prostitutes afterall!”

They choose option #2 and it appears to be working out for them. As much as I’d like to think the Finnish authorities made asses of themselves, I have to question what really happened. But why did the Finnish customs authorities call the media in for this? Don’t people get turned away from the border all the time? After the recent (VERY recent) outcry over human trafficking, were the Finnish authorities trying to prove to the public that they’re actually working hard to stop this illegal activity?

Any thoughts on this? Think I’m on to something or am I completely off?

Pictured above, Pati Portshkhidze says she thought that she was going on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to Europe – she got quite upset when she was told that they arrived in Finland, and not Europe like she expected.

Podcasts in Finland?

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 12:28 pm

Has the podcasting wave hit Finland yet? Can you find any decent podcasts in Finnish? Do any of the radio talk shows release their programs in podcast form?

Do any of you listen podcasts? Do you have any favorites you’d like to share? Any thoughts on the future of podcasting?

Class action lawsuits in Finland

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 12:14 pm

Class actions lawsuits might be coming to Finland in a few years. The Finnish Central Chamber of Commerce doesn’t think it’s a good idea…

The Central Chamber of Commerce says class actions are a bad idea. It maintains that consumers are well-protected in Finland. What’s more, it argues that allowing them would make Finland far less attractive to foreign investors.

Yeahhhh……no need to sue cause the government will take care of you. I don’t think so.

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