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Growing up between two cultures

Growing up between two cultures can be contradictory and exhausting; on the other hand, it can also be an enriching experience. Children and young people can experience pressure if the expectations of their own family or community differ from the expectations of society. Do they have the support of their own family so that they can feel like they are Finnish as well and adopt Finnish ways? Do they get support for their own identity from their environment?  

In terms of the formation of the identity of children and young persons, it is important for them to feel that they belong to something. If you feel that you are the wrong kind of person and you experience a constant feeling of being an outsider, unpleasant phenomena can follow from this, including crime, joining gangs, substance abuse or radicalisation.   

Stand-up comedian Fathi Ahmed describes in a podcast what it was like to grow up between two cultures: (in Finnish)  

In an article on the website, Finnish-Somali Amina Mohamed talks about identity between two cultures and finding one’s own place in Finnish society.  

In a video of the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL), people who grew up between two cultures talk about their own experiences growing up between two cultures, and about how parents can support their children in this situation (subtitles are available for the video in multiple languages including Finnish, Arabic and English):