Some time ago I wrote in my Finnish blog how I experience positive racism here in Italy. Several readers argued that racism can never be positive, so maybe I could say that as a Finn I have experienced inverted racism. In urban dictionary I found this definition of the inverted racism:
“Inverted (or reverse) racism means being prejudiced against your own race or valuing other races more than your own.”
With this concept I want to express the feeling that I am treated better than an average Italian just because I arrive from Finland. For some reason many Italians consider Finland as a paradise on earth. Maybe because they don’t know anything about Finland, or they know rally drivers, Räikkönen, excellent schools. How many times I have heard about their trips to Oslo, Finland, but unfortunately Oslo is the capital of Norway not of Finland. But for the Italians all the Nordic countries are the same and it is useless to explain that Finland is not part of Scandinavia. For the Italians Scandinavia includes Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Last summer I caused a traffic accident, and somebody called police and an ambulance there. The police were mostly enchanted about the fact that I was a Finn. He said that he admires the calmness of the Nordic people and how we speak fluently foreign languages. A month later, when I went to pay a fine this same policeman asked me to pass by whenever and we could have a coffee together. Ok, the Italian men have the tendency to flirt with ladies, especially with exotic Finnish ladies. The ambulance drivers also started to tell how they had visited Finland and wanted to know why I live here. This is a very common question, why on earth I want to live in Italy and not in Finland. The Italians get especially confused when I tell them that also my husband is Finnish. Once a couple of Guardia di finanza (financial police) stopped me near the Swiss border. When they figured out that I’m originally Finnish they started to tell about their travel to Finland 20 years ago. Meantime a truck passed them and this customs is not commercial, so they should have stopped it. But instead they looked this truck passing them and instead of stopping it they continued talking about Finland with me.
Many years ago, when my daughter was born with C-section here in Italy the anesthetist said to me “Forza Häkkinen” and nurses told me how happy they were that once there is a patient from European Union and not one of the refugees – I was stunned to hear so open racist comment from nurses. Sometimes I hear comments that here are too many foreigners and then I usually remind the speaker that I´m a foreigner here. The answer is always that the speaker doesn’t mean people like me – white, European and graduated.