Monday, 9 May 2011

233rd issue: Multicultured - Finnish background as strength?

This is not that Helsinki based post, but it has something to do with being a multicultured Finnish.

Today I met my dad's friend who is Turkish but is married with a Finnish woman. They have half Turkish children too. Like I have told, I have Turkish background. I speak Turkish with a very strong accent. My family in Turkey are Atatürk kind of Turks, so they are preferring modernism but still they are muslim and pray regulary.

My dad's friend said to me that I should go and work in media in Turkey. Straight away I said "no, never ever I could do that, they would shoot me straight away!" He said "this is what many people think, but now they have cleant the streets in Istanbul and Taxim (=shopping district) is very safe" I just started to think all those cops who surround Taxim always, honestly there are always like 50 cops standing. Sure it's safe.

Since child I have heard stories from my grandmother how our neighbor, a very famous singer in Turkey, has problems with mafia. This scares me even more: in Finland we don't have mafia, or we do have some semi-mafia but it's harmless. I'm not used to have problems with people who have guns! My biggest problems reach only the level where enforcement authority send me letters...

My dad's friend based his thoughts about me working in Turkey for the idea that Turkey need my kind of people to be as an example for other people. Why then me, why not the ones who have grown in Germany? Because they are usually the ones who come from villages, not from big cities. And in Turkey the village life is like night and day when compared to the city life.

In Turkey people say I'm Turkish, but I have never felt like a Turk, because that culture is just way too much for me.

But what I didn't see before was that at the same time some Turks could learn from me, like what is to be Turkish, who has got very strong influence from other culture: who is not a muslim (I'm an Atheist), who has traveled around the world, who shows her boobs in television (yes, been there done that) and who has simply had Turkey in her side all the time, but not so strong. Like for me some Turkish habits are very normal, like when I'm in Turkey I kiss people, in Finland I wouldn't do this. Also I have been eating hummus since I was baby, and hummus become famous in Finland something like 10 years ago. Same with tabouleh, filled wineleafs, imam bayildi...

Also there has been all this Kurdish issue around for years and years, and how ataturkism is fading... But if they chew these same issues all the time, but what I mean, Turkey needs action, chewing the same issues won't bring anything. Turkey needs new examples.

My kind of people could show Turkish people example how to open doors for different things, not only follow the rules families have settled. Actually many of Turkish celebs have Kurdish background, or are coming from poor villages. Some of them have really lived in the same cottage with farm animals and some of them have never even gone to school. Some didn't even have shoes when they were children...

And now they have money and Jeep's and diamonds and they are getting drunk. But what did they give to people? Hope? Is life only weither to be poor or to be rich? People are just adoring their beauty and money, but actually many of these people don't have anything to give people, anything else than a dream about better life.

"Before I didn't have shoes, now I drive a Jeep with my diamond rings on!" American dream, yeah. But how realistic is this? How many people can even reach this?

I don't say I could give anything to Turkey, but after my dad's friend told me to go and work in media in Turkey, I started to think about these things. And I totally understand his point, but I'm still very scared. I'm so sensitive, like Finns are...

I have to add that today I posted a recipe for imam bayildi on Facebook, and my friend Laura wrote me "did you see from which year that recipe is. It was from 1990! Here you can see it (only in Finnish)

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