By: Briana Romero
The National Finnish borrowing service Kuinoma that launched in 2007 has already become a local term with the hip and young community living in Helsinki. Created with the intention of the sharing of goods and services for the community it has made itself a market for every age and individual. You can rent and borrow goods for a cheap price from the private market. For instance if you need a power tool immediately to finally hang those curtains for the midnight sun’s arrival, or your heading for a weekend of cross country skiing and need a pair of snow shoes for your growing daughter, Kuinomo is the network to go to.
Instead of heading to a huge sporting goods warehouse, or the Halloween store at Kaisaniemi to purchase a Viking costume you will only wear once you, can just go to your neighbors home. All you have to do is sign up online and you can become a renter or disperser for free. This means you rent and disperse goods, meet people and have a social interaction with them and even receive the renting fee directly from the customer.
But wait, does this sharing network have any limitation though as to who knows about this community? If you take a look at their website as a Finnish mother tongue speaker it might not occur to you that the entire website is in Finnish. Odd considering that half the population of Finland is bi-lingual, speaking English as well.
Mitä? The organization Kuinoma has done everything to create a community of sharing while including the one basic aspect of Finland that keeps foreigners from deciding to live in this far north. The Finnish language! The national language that is the painful struggle of every immigrant moving to Finland or planning on staying temporarily. It is Kuinoma’s protection from the immigrant population that is increasing everyday in this far north of the world. As a U.S. born immigrant myself, I have struggles that the Finnish language would prevent me from experiencing and exploring new possibilities in my close community worker in Finland.
Although Finland is a rare country in Europe that values and educates their population in the English language it is not. Finnish language spoken by more than five million individuals in Finland remains predominant. More than half of all Finnish citizens are fluent in English yet that doesn’t mean they are going to create a culture of English language in Finland. This why we are in Finland ladies and gentlemen!
It is necessary than to expect and to know that the traditions of a culture and attitude are firmly strapped to the national language. A company as Kuinoma than is one of the many examples of a communications network that uses their national language to build closeness and trust with their citizens. It is through the Finnish language that cultural events, advertisements, and networks are understood by the population.
As a student of the Finnish language and a native speaker of English it can be difficult to understand Finnish mentality of language and culture. It is understood though that the root of any culture comes from how they communicate and what they communicate with. For instance the Finns don’t normally share all their expertise and skills to the rest of the world unlike Americans. This modesty is something that can work to their advantage but also hinder their profile as a multi-lingual country.
Kuinoma could benefit then by translating their page into English as well and inviting foreigners to know more about they’re sharing network.