Ethnic Groups and Discrimination
The ethnic group which I belong to and have decided to write about is the Finnish. Finnish immigrants came over much later than the “old immigrants”, and faced many prejudices because of this. The Finns had to work harder than immigrants that came before them to gain the same resources. My great grandmother Eva was one hundred percent Finnish and I loved hearing her stories of the old country. She was only six when she arrived at Ellis Island with her parents in search of a better life as many others did. Every day she would get a copy of the Finnish paper delivered to our house. My great grandmother would anxiously wait for this as it made her feel like she was home. One of the things I remember the most about her is the story she would tell of her birth. In Finland in that time period woman had their babies in steam houses. These steam houses were a huge part of the Finnish culture. Listening to her speak of her coming to America was amazing. She experienced discrimination because she spoke absolutely no English. She overcame some of the prejudices when she was able to speak clear English. Eva was always proud to talk about the day her family arrived in America. Emigration of the Finnish did not happen till mid nineteenth century after many other ethnic groups had already established themselves in America. This led to discrimination of the Finnish as many thought they had no part in making the American Republic but came over once everything was done. [ (Reino, 1976) ] They were given the label of the “new immigrants” which was a leading role in how the Finnish settled in America. Sticking together was one of their only resources against the prejudices they faced. Most of the Finnish coming over were looking for work as farmers. Many could not afford proper land and this caused a meager outcome of what they could grow. Construction work was also a large part of what the Finnish did. They were workers that used their hands as...
M, B. (2010). Immigration challenges for Finns, Poles. The Finnish American Reporter , 20.
Reino, K. (1976, November). Finnish Immigrants in the United States. Retrieved December 19, 2010, from http://www.genealogia.fi/emi/art/article234e.htm
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