THE CONCEPT OF “FAMILY” IN SOMALIS’ IMMIGRATION TO FINLAND

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Outi Fingerroos University of Jyväskylä oufinger@jyu.fi

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In Addis Ababa one can see dozens of Somali families waiting daily in front of the Embassy of Finland to be interviewed. The interview represents a means of entering Finland, since those waiting presumably have a so-called family re-unifier in Finland, a relative who has of ten already received a residence permit and sometimes even citizenship. This article examines the family reunification process of Somalis who travel from Ethiopia to Finland. Drawing on the experiences related by Finnish immigration officials, it focuses on the fact that they do not share the same definition of “family” as the Somali asylum applicants. Using extensive inter views and observations, this article aims to elucidate the complex cultural understandings involved in the Somalis’ process of immigration to Finland.

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