Immigrant’s Perspective to Finland

​It is snowing outside, but PhD Mehdi Ghasemi arrives to the interview smiling.

– I see winter as a part of life, with its own beauty.

His experience of winter was quite different in 2011 when he arrived to Finland with his wife and daughter.

– It was January and the temperature was -25 Celsius. I had visited the country before during the summer, and found it lovely with all the green vegetation and singing birds. My family was shocked to feel the freezing air, tells Ghasemi.

He is originally from Iran, where he studied and then taught at a university. The wish to continue his studies on a doctoral level and the need to have a positive change in his life led him to look for a place as a doctoral candidate in Europe.

Ghasemi had visited Finland before and found it peaceful and a developed country. When he received a doctoral candidate position from Turku, he moved here with his family.

– However, the first weeks were very hard. At the time, the University did not provide tutoring for people arriving in the middle of the academic year, and we had to do everything ourselves.

Now Ghasemi enjoys his life in Finland and would like to continue as a researcher at the University of Turku.

Writing Science and Fiction

Ghasemi tells that he loves writing. He has already published four scholarly books and ten articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals with three more articles in the pipeline. Now he has also written a fiction.

In his book Flight to Finland: A Noveramatry, Ghasemi employs different techniques to transform the conventional forms of writing and transfer his feelings to the readers. The form noveramatry combines prose, poetry and drama.

Ghasemi got an idea for writing his work already in 2013, but did not find time to sit down and write it. Right after he finished his doctoral studies in June 2016, he started writing the book.

The book handles immigration in Finland, its many good sides and some of the few not very good sides as well. It uses different characters from the Finnish history, such as The First Woman Voter, The Swedish Finn and The Finnish Immigrant.

– These characters share their own experiences and history, and in some cases they re-historicise Finnish history, Ghasemi tells.

The book is not an autobiography, but rather a collective voice of immigrants who work, study and reside in Finland.

–The book is a collection of experiences collected during five years, not only by me, but also by immigrants and Finns I’ve met and talked with, Ghasemi tells.

– I really love the country and wish that it becomes greater. I recommend the book to all Finns and immigrants in Finland. 


Text and picture: Saara Järviö

Published date 11/15/2016 9:25 AM ,  Modified date 11/15/2016 11:38 AM

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