Gambian Lad


This is one of the best African gentlemen in Helsinki. I met him at the Mosque in the City Centre. He’s been here since mid 90s. Married to a Finn female.

He is humble. He’s courteous. He works hard. And he wears his African clothes.

Are They Somalis or Finns?


(from Hamlet, spoken by Hamlet)
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause—there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovere’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.

They look like Somalis. They think like Finns. The boy in the top photo is 19 year-old. He’s been in Finland for 3 years. The other young lad (bottom photo) was born in Helsinki. He speaks Somali proficiently. Nevertheless, he is fluent in Finnish. 

They have lost their identity. 

Invisible People in Helsinki


First they laugh at them; then they fight with them; then they do not see them.

These nice Roma (Gypsy) people become faceless in the eyes of the Finns. No-one sees them anymore. 

                      Look at their eyes. They’re delightful. 

Go to the opposite direction — respect these people for the sake of humanity. We do not know their stories. The best we can do is respect them.