Internationals in Seinäjoki 2/6
Today I would like to bring you Kazues's story a little bit closer. We had a really interesting interview together and a very nice lunch break.
What’s your name?
Where are you from?
Kazue is from Japan.
How long have you been in Finland?
Almost 7 years.
Why are you in Seinäjoki?
Because of marriage.
What are you doing in Seinäjoki?
Kazue is working mainly in her husband’s company but sometimes she also works as a guide in Seinäjoki and she’s writing blogs to visitseinäjoki.fi in Japanese.
Did you have any difficulties when you came here? Do you feel well integrated?
In her first year in Finland the winter was very cold, it was the coldest winter since 100 years, she was told. "In Japan there’s around 5-10 degrees during the coldest season and it might snow on three days in a year." she said. So at the beginning she had some problems with the Finnish winter.
With the people she didn’t have any difficulties so far and she feels very comfortable. Kazue’s Japanese friend who lives in USA has had different experiences with integration, she told. There some people might look down on Asians but not so in Finland. "People often say that they appreciate Japanese technology or that they want to visit in Japan someday."
What do you miss about Japan?
"Meeting my friends". But with the internet it’s pretty easy nowadays to stay connected. Kazue can even read Japanese newspaper online, she said.
What would you miss about Finland if you were back in Japan?
"The silent atmosphere", Kazue said. She has been working in Tokyo before she came to Finland and there everything is really busy. "Even in the cafés there’s music always and everybody is stressed." There Kazue was working from 08:30am until 11:30pm because there the costumers are treated like gods: "I used to work in the field of customer service", Kazue said, "and if the customer called and asked me to investigate something just before the working time ended, I did overwork for them. Since the requests from the customer were really demanding, we called them ‘gods’ ironically." In Finland the people appreciate the private life much more and there’s a good balance between work and free time.
Which 3 things would you take with you to Japan?
"The sauna, the nature and maybe a rocking chair", Kazue said. She likes rocking chairs, especially old ones and it was in Finland when she first discovered it. "It swings deeply and I was scared when I used it for the first time. But I really like it because it straightens my back and it’s a good stomach exercise."
What is your favourite place in Seinäjoki?
"Kyrkösjärvi." Kazue likes to bike there a lot. There she thinks about memories and about her future plans.
Text and photos. Anja Kaufmann