Saturday, 10 January 2009

Contribution of Finnish society to pursuit of interests and dreams

This is the bit that I really struggled - I know too little about Finnish society to say anything meaningful perhaps, but I have still thought about some observations I had through my own eyes and other people's lenses.

Firstly, I can see the Finnish society provides the necessary foundation for the flourishing art and culture industry.

  • strong social welfare that removes a lot of economic and financial worries and anxiety behind innovation, which is high risk investment. The costs and disincentives of creative endeavours are reduced. This is the MOST important factor I think - people's livelihood is not threatened or undermined or prejudiced by doing what they want to do. (this is also possible only because the population is very small for a country of the size of Finland - only 5 million)
  • a multicultural society that already exists - this is a controversial statement, certainly not to the same extent as London, and most Finnis would seem to disagree with this, but I found the atmosphere in creative industries pervasive, for example. There are enough people to appreciate the diversity - something akin to a cultivated civil society.
  • equality between jobs – different occupations are respected in their own right. There is less pressure to do some kinds of jobs than in many other places. this leads to a more even distribution of manpower and financial resources.
  • society values the individual – respect what each individual thinks and wants to do. less family pressure or pressure from social norms.
  • education promotes freedom and liberty in students’ development from an early age. students have always been encouraged to think for themselves. There is a City architecture project for children, and they apparently adopted children's proposal for building a prominent city building. That sounds like incredulous confidence in children, but that says quite a lot. Regrettably I didnt manage to find out more about this when I was in helsinki.

Secondly, there is some contribution from the 'Finnish character' if there is any such thing (which I believe there is).

  • honest and serious worker who only wants to do the job well. It might initially sound a very plain irrelevant statement, but that actually makes a HUGE difference. I strongly get the impression most people in Finland (except the drunken) had a serious attitude to what they did as a living in respect of the SUBJECT MATTER itself, rather than treating jobs as a means to earning money.
  • don’t like money, just for fun - thats what someone wrote and told me before. I also got that impression from the Finnish guide who led me to wonderful tours at EXTREMELY LOW PRICES with a meagre profit )

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