You will not find many countries that are more different than India and Finland. For starters India is huge, they speak multiple languages, multiple dialects, religions, customs, food, climate – everything is so different. So I was curious to find out how an Indian female engineer finds life in Helsinki.
Please introduce yourself. How did you end up in Helsinki of all places?
My name is Anoja – I am from South India. I am a Software Engineer living in Helsinki with my family consisting of my husband and one daughter.
I came to Helsinki for my Master’s degree.
What is the best and worst about Helsinki for you…what is a typical day and weekend??
The night life is awesome here compared to India.
However, winter time is hard. A typical day is waking up early morning close to 4:30 AM and doing some religious rituals. After breakfast work till 3:30 pm and then head home. At home, I spend time with my daughter, have dinner with family, enjoy some family entertainment and then go to bed.
Weekend is also similar but instead of going to work, we spend time shopping or have hobbies with my daughter- or party with friends.
How do you find the lifestyle in Helsinki compared to your hometown?
The lifestyle in Helsinki is far better than in India. There is such a professional touch with everything and also the quality of service is really good.
How do you make your living now? Do you see the differences between nationalities easily – Indians vs. Finnish vs. other Europeans?
I am working here as Software Engineer.
Culture wise noticeable differences are there and now we too learned those.
What is the essence of Helsinki to you – what do you absolutely want your friends to see or feel in Helsinki?
The weather in Helsinki is awesome. I would love to show my friends and relatives how Finns adjust to these extreme climatic conditions by just wearing the proper clothes.
Is there anything that you really miss/do not miss from your country/elsewhere heritage …or elsewhere? Are Finns different from Indians workwise?
Food is one of the important thing that we miss.
Friends………. Finns are more friendly and helpful.
Finns put more importance to time and their words. (they say what they mean and mean what they say)
When you think about what did you think about life in Helsinki before you moved there – did you have misconceptions that turned out to be wrong?
We were very concerned how to overcome the language barrier. After we arrived I understood Helsinki is more international than I had imagined.
Knowing more about life and having lived with your decisions for a while (like work) – would you still choose to be there and why?
I still would choose to stay here because of its international nature. Life is extra-ordinary because of the quality of service we are receiving.
What cafes or restaurants do you recommend to tourists to go to in Helsinki and why?
It depends what they are looking for. For coffee we recommend Starbucks. If they want some Indian cuisine then Samraat.
If they want to have some burgers then Hesburger or McDonalds.
Would you move back to India fulltime? Nevertheless, I am curious what has been the worst social issue to deal with in Helsinki for you?
No, we would not move back to India. Quality of education is best here. We also feel more connected to Finland now than to India.
In some places the language has been a barrier – especially in shops and hospitals.
I have noticed some very negative discussions against immigration in Finland in press lately – it seemed to be fueled particularly as the 3 Somali youths got a rather light sentence in some people’s opinions and some people felt that was only due to their race? India has had its own very bad rape cases in public very much so. Any opinion?
I would say it all depends on the person and should not be generalized as country or race as a whole.
Rape cases are not rare in India but it is not the only thing that is happening in India. If we just go in front of a Lion it will rip us into pieces. The same applies to any rapist. So better watch out and act accordingly.
Anything else you would like sharing with us?
Finland is a safe country to live with respect to law and order.
Connect with Anoja: