A look at life as an immigrant in Finland during quarantine

Interviewee: Alinda P Mema 
Music and project by Amelia Ray 
Project funded by Taiteen edistämiskeskus (Finland) 
© 2021 Amelia C Ray


My name is Alinda. I’m originally from Uganda and I have been living here for about two years. At the moment I’m only living here with my husband and my daughter. And it’s just the three of us. 

Well, obviously, I miss my family. And I miss my friends because it always feels like a party when I’m around my family and friends. So I miss a lot of that. 

I could say I miss food, the food in Uganda. Oh! Definitely I miss the weather, definitely. It’s always, most of the time at least, it’s sunny. And, um, the music, the music. 

I was actually planning on travelling back to Uganda but then at the health centre they insisted that I don’t travel because the first few cases had just been reported in Helsinki area. 

I was hesitant to take up their advice because I really wanted to go home. It’s been over three years but, of course, I had to keep in mind the Corona situation. So I wasn’t able to go back home. Mmm-hmm. 

My husband, he had to take a Coronavirus test. So the day when they were coming to do the test from our home, that whole morning we were on tenterhooks because he couldn’t settle down. 

He was always looking out the window to see whether the nurse was coming over. And, finally when we get the doorbell he runs to meet the nurse. And I don’t know what he was expecting. (laughs) 

‘Cause when he opened the door they exchanged greetings. And his narration was that they shoved this - I’ll call it a stick - into his nose. And for the next couple of days his fear was that they might have shoved it up ’til his brain. (laughs) 

Nothing really out of the ordinary has happened during this quarantine. 

Yes, we have been at home more but it’s really no more because I don’t have that many friends (laughs) or people that I’m going to go out and miss talking to or stuff like that. So it’s really just normal.