Friday, May 15, 2009

Finnish Cultural Assimilation Lesson # 98

Yet another lesson designed for immigrants in Finland who wish to better their chances for a prosperous future by assimilating into the host culture. These lessons are also handy for those who intend to relocate to Finland, legally (recommended) or otherwise.

Greetings fellow immigrant!

One of the first things you will likely notice about your new homeland is that there seem to be slot machines everywhere. They can be observed not only in casinos, but also in grocery stores, kiosks, restaurants, and bars.

The machines come in several types:

The basic mechanical hedelmäpeli (fruit game) into which you simply deposit money, push the buttons, and watch your money disappear.

The video poker machine, which tends to offer a variety of different poker styles. Again, operation is simple - kiss your coins goodbye, drop them in the slot, push the buttons of your choice, and walk away a few euros poorer.

The video multi-game machine, which is as it sounds, a machine which offers a variety of games, usually keno, poker, and your tradition slot machine-type game. You know the drill. Insert coins and never see them again.

Playing these machines is a mandatory part of being Finnish. If you truly wish to blend in, never go to the kioski for a pack of gum or a newspaper without at least playing a few rounds on one of these machines.

The money goes to RAY - the Raha-automaattiyhdistys (Finland's Slot Machine Association) which, through its marvelous gaming operations, supports Finnish health and welfare organizations.

Ray has a monopoly in Finland when it comes to slot machines, casinos, and table games (blackjack, craps, roulette - all of which you will find in your finer nightclubs). Due to this exclusive right, the amount of funding they generate for charity is quite impressive.

So blend in, new immigrant, blend in! Although these games essentially increase the amount of tax you pay, its worth it! Every coin you lose may help buy a blind child some glasses or allow a lazy native Finn to remain on unemployment for another few years.

The machines at my local kioski, part of my daily routine as a responsible New Finn.


The opinions expressed above may involve sarcasm. The reader is encouraged to think briefly before reacting angrily, especially if they have been consuming large amounts of Koskenkorva at their local True Finns meeting while verbally bashing immigrants and unrealistically dreaming of an immigrant-free Finland. This also applies if you are an immigrant who feels that all Finns are racists and that all of Finland is against you.

The author is a grateful, tax-paying legal immigrant resident of Finland who believes that all immigrants should assimilate into the host culture to the best of their ability. He has no desire to be stomped by the chronically unemployed, booze-soaked shocktroops of the True Finns or by the roving gangs of marauding immigrants that are apparently lurking around every corner waiting to rob and/or physically abuse us all while simultaneously building a mosque on top of every church.

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