Finn and Foreigner Marriage — a mesh of cultures. There are things to bear in mind regarding marriage between a Finn and a foreigner.
When searching for a life partner, some people choose to marry someone that hails from their city, state or country while others look beyond the confines of their own country or culture. Whether it be due to cultural preferences, different worldviews or values, a varied cultural mix can bring a lot of benefits to the table for the Finn and the foreign partner alike or could mean the beginning of a miserable life for one or both partners.
With this in mind, let’s cover the most important aspects of Finn and Foreigner marriage.
Why foreigners marry Finns
Some foreigners intentionally marry a Finnish woman or man in other to get their stay or move to Finland. A foreigner can obtain a residence permit/status by marrying a Finn. See this article.
Since Finland is part of the European Union, getting a Finnish passport unlocks the doors to more than a single country (and most European countries are quite well off). Although, 5 years of continuous residence is required to obtain Finnish citizenship.
Being a married couple makes many things much easier. For example, coming home from work and finding food on the table, having someone to lean on, someone to take care of you (i.e. during illness), etc.
A common belief among foreigners is that Finnish women are down to earth and self-reliant — a majority of foreigner men think if you marry a Finnish woman, you won’t have to worry about incessant demands for money like other women (wives) do in other countries. The truth is, most Finnish men and women, don’t care about your money.
For social status
Finland is one of the richest countries in Europe and being married to a Finn will earn you much respect in the eyes of your peers. On a similar note, if a foreigner chooses to seek employment in the country, it will probably be on a whole other level compared to what that individual’s home country can offer.
Societal expectations certainly play a role in why Foreigners marry Finns in Finland. Sometimes we do things out of peer pressure or just to follow the social norms.
Some foreigners marry Finns because they are tired or no longer like what they are used to, hence, their quest to try women from a different culture. You might think that is weird, but some men and women are like that.
For love, lust or infatuation
After a long courtship, some foreigners end up marrying their partner, whether out of love, infatuation or lust. And if the love is strong, they may grow old together in their marriage.
Why Finns marry foreigners
Some people are attracted to men and women from certain countries or races. For instance, some Finns may prefer black men or black women. Since Finland’s temperatures are rather freezing, most of the country’s natives are characterized by white skin and Caucasian features and other ethnicities are considered a rarity.
Also, stereotypes play a role in why Finns marry foreigners. For example, there is a popular belief or you may call it a myth that
Some Finnish men and women think mulatto children are cute and would love to raise one themselves. Personally, i think so too. But who am I to judge other people’s perceptions?
For love, lust or infatuation
Just like a foreigner will marry a Finn out of love for him or her. Finns also marry for love as well.
While a Finnish woman could struggle to find a partner in her local area, looking beyond the country’s borders may yield better options. Foreign men are readily available for Finnish women due to their predicament, i.e. residency and economic status.
Since Finns are reserved in nature — they keep to themselves. A typical Finnish man will walk by a beautiful Finnish woman and wouldn’t even care to look at her talk more make advances. However, that is not the case with foreign men — they are not shy and will make advances if they have the opportunity to do so, and some Finnish women tend to appreciate it. Generally, a woman will start feeling unattractive or ugly if she doesn’t get attention from men.
A Finnish man, on the other hand, may find that women from other cultures are more feminine or subservient, thus making them the preferred choice for any kind of romantic involvement.
Issues with Finn and foreigner marriage
Just as is the case with any other marriage, a Finn/foreigner partnership can encounter certain challenges down the road. The obvious being cultural differences, of course. Through no fault of their own, each of the partners may have a different worldview based on how they were raised by their own parents or the way the environment where they’ve spent the majority of their time has shaped their minds.
Due to this, there may be problems not only with day-to-day interactions but also in the way they want to raise their children. One partner may be a firm believer of permissive parenting, while the other one may choose to be a tad bit stricter.
According to Wikipedia, Finland has a crude divorce rate of 2.5, which is in the top 10-20% of all countries worldwide. If it does come to this, the Finnish partner will always have the upper hand in court, which is another potential issue in child custody.
How to make Finn and foreigner marriage work?
Although there is no universal recipe since every marriage is different, there are more than a couple of universal ways to increase the chances of a successful long-term union. I am a strong believer that everything is possible with the “All-Knowing and the Most Wise”.
Most of it boils down to understanding, love, and sacrifice. Given the obvious cultural differences, wants, and needs of the two married individuals, it will require a great deal of patience and willingness to adapt on both sides. The Finnish ten commandments
Being married to a Finn myself, i will advise both partners to get to know each other very well before jumping into marriage. Decide based on logic rather than emotions.
It is crucial for both partners (especially interracial couples) to have a marriage agreement in place that will address potential issues like child custody and parenting “before marriage” — this may sound weird to you now, but it will make sense when things get crazy later on in the marriage and divorce ensues with you having no access to see your child (oops).
In the end, true love will prevail in a Finn to Foreigner marriage — if the love is mutual and both are willing to make the changes necessary to make it work. As with all things in life, where there’s a will there’s a way. If both partners know what they’re getting into, all will be well.