Saturday, May 09, 2009

AN APPROACH TO INDIVIDUALISM



In my previous post, I was writing about Finnish food, so let’s just continue with my recent observations of Finnish culture. When I have checked keyword analysis of my blog, I have noticed that somebody visited my page due to the word finish individualism. Thus, I am offering one of the possible approaches to the subject; however, please be aware that Finnish individualism has many faces, and this is just one among many. The post might feel a bit black-and-white as I am just writing from my angry part of self. Of course there are always some nice exceptions – but do they only prove the rule?


The beginning of my interaction with Finnish individualism reaches about four years into the past. Even then I had some feelings the society might be very self-orientated. However, when I have started to live with Finns and when I have started to deal with Finnish society more active, my experiences have grown. What bothers me, and sometimes also hurts me a lot is the fact that what an outsider would perhaps see as individualism might actually be egocentrism. The I-only-care-for-myself-and-my-own-good attitude. Egocentrism surely is a part of human nature after all; my friend M. would even say that altruism does not exist.


Blame it all on the developed capitalism. Finland is among the richest countries in Europe; their social system is functional and standard more or less high. They have never gone through the socialistic system as Slovenia did – and I guess here is one of the differences. In a way, society feels less compassionate. For me, it seems the sense for sharing and cooperation almost does not exist. No ‘together we can do it’ feeling. No care for the other, no care for the people around you; thus meaning those people that are not a part of one’s own private world, but still in close distance.


Lately, I have been reading some forums where the Finns themselves were complaining over their Finnish flatmates; and no wonder some magazine was writing how to behave towards those that live with you. In this society, everything feels like a competition. I was here first, I don’t care about you. This is mine, I don’t care about you. If one is too soft and too kind, one gets hurt; the developed and welfare world is cruel. No, I guess young Finns are not so introverted – they can be just so very ignorant. And that ignorance produces social coldness here up North; the frost among people which might also appear as daring individualism.

3 comments:

Nárëlaimë said...

Zanimivo. O takih izkušnjah sem poslušala tudi pri ljudeh, ki so dlje časa živeli v Angliji. Medtem ko sem jih jaz videla skorajda romantično vljudne in zadržane, se bojda to na koncu izkaže za hladen, neoseben odnos jebivetrizma do druge osebe. Isti občutek sem imela vedno pri finskem narodu, in spet se je pojavil ta zorni kot ... morda pa je res kaj na socializmu vs. kapitalizem ... glede na to, da so slovenske mlajše generacije veliko bolj podobne severnjaškim, morda tudi zato, ker smo "gor rasli" s kapitalizmom, in se nas socializem niti ni kaj dosti dotaknil, razen s strani nostalgičnih staršev. ;)

alcessa said...

Po eni strani bi se lahko lepo strinjala... po drugi pa osebno nič ne vem o pozitivnih vplivih socializma na družabnost in socialnost ljudi.

Nasprotno. :-(

Kdor se ne vtika v moj lajf, kadar mu ne bi bilo treba in na očitno neprimeren način, in potem ne stisne repa (in še česa) med noge, kadar bi ga potrebovala (to je opis mojih praktičnih izkušenj z izumrlo zmagoslavno proletarsko družbo), je zame dober človek. Tudi če se v glavnem sploh ne zmeni zame in mi da vedeti, da bom zmogla tudi sama.
Ker so me v socializmu učili nečesa drugega, kot pa sem potem doživljala v praksi, me takšne očitne razlike "socializem - socialni, prijazni ljudje / kapitalizem neprijazni osorneži" zelo zmedejo, ker so moje izkušnje ravno nasprotne.

Če pa mene pustimo ob strani: razlika zna biti v splošnem mnenju, da v družbi relativne premožnosti težave in pomanjkanje pač niso tako veliki (večinoma), da bi bilo treba ves čas biti izrazito socialen (med drugim tudi zato, ker nikoli ne veš, kdaj boš koga potreboval) in si moderen homo potrošnikus pač lahko privošči samotarstvo.

Da moja teorija mogoče res lahko razloži vsaj del tega fenomena, je mogoče dokazati z opazovanjem čvekavih babnic v manj urbanih okoljih, kjer se človek vpraša, zakaj za vraga toliko časa izgubljajo s pogovori in očitnim utrjevanjem svojega statusa v skupnosti, z uslugami, protiuslugami in natančnim mentalnim beleženjem le-teh... Jasno, ker jim to koristi.

V totalno skapitaliziranem svetu z dovolj denarja (gledano relativno) pa je stvar drugačna: namesto dela, ki ga posamezniki vložijo v ohranjanje takšnih odnosov, ta čas raje delajo za denar in si potrebno/želeno stvar kupijo. In ker se ne počutijo ogrožene, ne ohranjajo razmerij oz. mrež, ki bi jim pomagale.

Seveda pa sem resnično radovedna, kaj o tem menite ostali.

kaneli said...

@alcessa:
Strinjam se tudi s tem mnenjem, itak je moj pogled verjetno malce bolj neizkušen. :P Vsekakor pa opažam, da ljudje tukaj enostavno ne znajo deliti z drugim, in to me jezi. 'Jaz tebi - ti meni' se zna kaj hitro spremeniti v enostranski in brezbrižni 'ti meni'. No ja, pišem glede na svoje izkušnje s finskimi cimrami...

Neka finska deklica mi je prav pred kratkim povedala, da je nekoč svojo cimro vprašala, če si sme sposoditi nekaj njene kuhinjske opreme, ker se je sama na novo preselila in ni še nič kupila. Odgovor pa je bil 'ne'... ko sem živela z Estonko, katere država je prav tako šla čez socializem, sva vsaj v vsakdanjih zadevah glede deljenja stanovanja mnogo bolje sodelovali. :)