Helsinki - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Finland is a largely homogenous (white) country still, and while on paper progressive and welcoming of all, in reality, bias and microagressions towards people of color absolutely exist. Same goes for minority religious groups. Women, even young women, occupy positions of prominence in Finnish culture much more so than in the U.S. - Oct 2021


Helsinki seems to suffer from some anti-immigrant sentiment, especially after the migrant crisis of 2015, and Finland's first terror attack (by a Moroccan asylum-seeker) in 2017. It also feels as there is a low-level but pervasive anti-Russian sentiment. Regarding gender equality, Finland has one of the highest rates of gender equality (as measured by presence in executive positions, salary, etc.) in the world. - Oct 2018


Overall, No. However, there are some isolated cases of general stereotyping and racism toward blacked-skinned nationalities and Gypsies. There is a very large ethnic Somali and misc. African community in Helsinki. Finns sometimes are biased about these dark-skinned nationalities. In addition, there is a large ethnic Gypsy population in Finland. Gypsies are frowned because of their reputation for being swindlers, con artists, and thieves. Although not every story is true, many Gypsies are glared upon at a distance with great disdain. Gypsies women are very noticeable by the traditional ethnic clothing which they wear in public. (Large traditional "bustle dresses." Almost look like "Ye Olde English Tavern Maids.") Men are harder to notice, but tend to wear an exaggerated amount of overt jewelry and have Eurasian/Mediterranean facial features. Don't be surprised if you are standing next to Finn when they see a Gypsy, and they tell you "to watch your wallet." - Jul 2012


Nope. - Jan 2011


Not much with religion or gender prejudices. But there are definitely some racial tensions with African and recent Roma immigrants. There are also still issues with the Romas that have lived here for generations. I have also seen clubs not allow anyone with darker skin in. They will just make up reasons that they can't come in. But this is not common. I have also personally seen someone asked if they were an illegal immigrant. There are definitely underlying tensions here. - May 2010


Overall, there don't seem to be any problems. However, there seem to be underlying racial tensions with immigrants. - Apr 2009


Not that I'm aware of. - Mar 2008


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