Love Your Neighbour | ARTE

A Finn by Dimitar the Bulgarian

And you, how do you picture a Finn?

Salvatore & Giuseppe the Italians

- In the Italian perception, Finland is one of those countries which were seen as mentally very liberated in the 1980s. Finnish women were seen as an easy catch – not stupid or sluttish, but very clever girls who enjoyed a free sex life because it’s a beautiful thing!
- Their blondness was new to us.
- Yes, the Swedish girl is very different from a Sicilian!
- Sweden, Finland, or Denmark – to us they are the same because they are faraway countries. Maybe over there, they don’t make the difference either between France, Italy and Spain.

Collected in Palermo

Erika the Estonian

A typical Finnish woman is very robust. Her hair is cut very short at the back and is curly on top. She likes to drink beer and to eat large portions. She’ll always bargain for her hamburger steak. She wears oversize clothes and trainers to feel comfortable. Since I am a hairdresser, I also see some real ladies, who have coloured hair and carefully selected clothes. But generally speaking, Finnish women don’t care about how they look because they are aware of their worth. They are highly educated and qualified.

Collected in Tallinn

Intars the Latvian

I imagine a Finnish man here in Riga. He’s got blond hair, a white shirt, and a « Dinamo » hockey club cap. With him, you mostly speak English, and sometimes Finnish, although rarely. He likes us well, and likes to spend time over here because vodka is cheap and there’s a good atmosphere. He treats us to some drinks, and we reciprocate. We’re not drunkards though – it’s just our way to socialize and communicate most naturally.

Collected in Riga

Sheba the Swede

I can see a young woman around 20, rather plump, with a strange mouth and blue eyes. She works at a boring place where everybody is withdrawn and fat. Every night, she walks her dog around the forest. People she comes across don’t look at her, don’t smile at her. Each one remains in his own box. Even the trees look sad and lifeless. It’s dismal. I think that everything in Finland is spiritless whereas in Sweden, people are joyful. We speak with people we don’t know, we make each other happy. It’s very different.

Collected in Stockholm


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fresco - Love your neighbor

How do you picture your European neighbours?

This is what we asked to nationals from the 28 EU countries. Drag the missing pieces into the fresco to discover the films. Stereotypes? Truths? Fantasies? It's for you to see.

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