China is Finland’s most important business partner in Asia . There are around 350 Finnish companies in China and their number is increasing steadily. In the mean time, from 2012 to 2017, Chinese direct investment to Finland accumulated to over 7 billion euro, which means Finland becomes the fifths largest investment destination for Chinese investors in Europe.
I feel really happy to see the closer cooperation between the two countries in my heart- my home Finland and my motherland China. I feel very proud to be a Chinese; I feel very blessed that I came to Finland and fell in love with this country. Indeed, I had spent my first 20 years in China, and it has been 12 years since I came to Finland for exchange study. I sometimes feel how amazing it is: if I am in Finland, I miss Beijing, but if I am outside Finland in other countries rather than China, I will miss Finland! The two counties are where my loved ones live and they both give me education and empower me to grow…💖
So with so many years experiences living, working and studying in both countries, what I think how Finland and China can learn from each other? Here are my point of views:
1.From complexity to simplicity, a fast growing economy needs to learn from the North.
Growing in a fast growing economy, it is easily to be very ambitious. We strive for excellence and hard work, until we finally climb to the very top, we could overview the downhill with relief. But why? Is it really that important to be on the top of the mountain? Have we forgotten to appreciate the views while we were climbing?
I truly appreciate how Finnish möki life had renewed me: while I was sitting on the bench, looking at the swans on the lake, with no human noise bothering me, I started to listen myself within and my soul was echoing…No matter at which phase of economy and human development, we all need to get back to our root, to respect the power of rules and laws by nature, and to embrace the simplicity and authenticity in life.
2.From Simplicity to complexity, a younger land needs to learn from ancient Eastern wisdom.
I was reading wisdom from Confucius, while thinking why Chinese people are so friendly and hard working. Especially as Chinese women, our participation rate in the labor market is over 75% which ranks one of the highest in the world. Suddenly the answer knocks my head while reading- it is our ancient wisdom that acts as value foundation for our behaviors. So from thousands years ago our philosophers were discussing about the topics we are still talking about today: How can we live a happy life? And they were trying to give us answers by the following key words: hardworking, learning, respect, perseverance and sharing.
These values and wisdom are integrated in our family and school’s education at an earlier stage. We are discussing about different schools of philosophy particularly in Chinese literature courses throughout our school years. Finland is a relatively young country. I would say, many social challenges Finland faces today can be solved by our ancient wisdom.
3.Loving and sharing, family based culture in cooperation with independent thoughts and individualism
I would say it is not white and back, neither nor. We are trying to say in general only here as everywhere can have particular cases: the family culture in China can be too close to be spacious and in Finland can be too aloof to feel being cared. Of course people are benefiting also from different modules of family cultures. For example, in Chinese family culture, you are cared, loved and it is very rare to feel lonely and being neglected. Family members are supporting each other and sharing together. In Finnish family culture, people enjoy personal space. Children understand their own uniqueness and take self leadership in many decision makings from childhood.
How I wish the two culture modules can be integrated together sometimes so that we can both enjoy individualism and close family ties, from the bigger picture. ” The previous generation plans the trees, so that the next generation can enjoy the shadow.” And the healthy circle just continues…
The cooperation between Finland and China in education, innovation, culture, business are strengthening and blossoming from diverse perspectives. The longer I live here in Finland, The more I feel it was not a coincidence to come here as an exchange student. As a person embracing simplicity, honesty and straightforwardness while deeply appreciating ancient literature and wisdom, I think something is written. Indeed, we are learning from each other!:)