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With financial support from the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union

Fondi Otto per Mille della Chiesa Evangelica Valdese

With financial support by Society Integration Foundation (SIF)


“Is it wrong to use stereotypes of your own country to your advantage?”, Mari Ahokoivu

Picture 1 of 3


Before I moved to Denmark, I thought all Nordic countries were pretty much the same. They are indeed very similar, but I have noticed many differences too. Those differences often turn into stereotypes, which are sometimes funny and sometimes harmful. I have noticed that I have started to use my nationality as an excuse to get out of situations I don’t want to be in. Is that wrong? I do feel a bit guilty about it…


Mari Ahokoivu has been creating comics her whole life. Her short comics have been published in anthologies in Finland and abroad, as well as in books. Ahokoivu has also been teaching the creation of comics in various Finnish schools. She now lives in Copenhagen.

Page 1

1. Is it wrong to use stereotypes of your own country to your advantage? by Mari Ahokoivu (a Finn living in Denmark) / Where did she go? / (stereotyphical Copenhagen hipsters) /-I think she did the Finnish goodbye again. / You know how the Finns are

2. #1 Fact box / Finnish goodbye: / Bye / Max 5 minutes, NO TOUCHING!

3. Danish goodbye: / It was so nice /See you! / Say hi to your brother / It was very nice / Have a nice weekend / At least 20 minutes, remember to shake hands, hug and FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE

Page 2

1. Can I pretend I do something just because I’m a Finn?/ (another stereotypical Copenhagen hipster) / You don’t really talk much / Well, I am a Finn! / (actually just shy)

2. #2 Fact box / Finnish small talk / (A Dane feeling uncomfortable because no one is talking)

3. Danish Small talk I (A Finn feeling uncomfortable because someone is talking) / So where do you live? / What address? / What’s your religion? / How much money do you make?

Page 3

1. Stereotyphes can be funny… / #3 Fact box / What Finns think of Denmark: /The little mermaid /Danes are Swedes who talk in a funny way /Fairy tale princes and princesses

2. What Danes think of Finland: / They sit in a sauna all day and hit each other with branches / Sisu / Knives / Finlandia vodka / Best metal bands

3. …But many times they are not helping / (just a normal Dane) / But I don’t want to drink vodka… / (just a normal Finn) /  And you call yourself a Finn!?