Xenophobia against Asians in Finland prompted by the coronavirus

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The fear of the Chinese corona virus has affected how Asian people are treated in Finland; several Asians in the Nordic country have reported cases of discrimination, apparently prompted by the outbreak of corona virus in China.

Several Asians share that they get unfriendly stares and slurs such as “Chinese disease” and “corona virus” thrown at them when they take the bus, metro or are just doing their groceries.

The Finnish newspaper Yle shares the story of a Chinese woman whose Finnish friends’ mother forbade her from meeting the Asian woman.

“My friend first mentioned it as a joke, but afterwards it was painful when I realized that her mother was serious when she blocked her from seeing me,” the woman added.

The Chinese woman shares that she currently works from home to avoid causing panic in public transportation and at work in case she must cough or sneeze.

Even Asians of non-Chinese backgrounds are met with suspicion and hostility, according to the newspaper. A Japanese exchange student in Helsinki noted that several people avoid her on public transportation and didn’t want to sit near her, when they noticed she was Asian.

And apparently the hostility against Asians isn’t limited to adults.

Yle reports that several Asian parents in the Chinese Friendship Association have shared instances where their children have been bullied as a result of the Chinese virus. The children are called names such as “Chinese virus” and being stared at.

Similar cases of apparent discrimination have been reported all over the world, where people of several Asian backgrounds have been met with inappropriate jokes, stares or avoidance in public places.

Source: yle.fi

About Sofia Flittner

Journalist • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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