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Müge fell in love with Finland’s bright nights
Özcanin pariskunta pihallaan.

Müge fell in love with Finland’s bright nights

  • The four-member Özcan family was captivated by Finland's nature, people, and hardworking lifestyle. Now settled in Uusikaupunki, the quartet dreams of a steady, ordinary future – and their own summer cottage.

– Can we go to the trampoline?” Özcan family’s children, Robin and Peri, whisper to their mother, Müge.

Permission granted, the children rush to the trampoline in the yard. Each shows off their tricks, taking turns obediently.

Parents Müge and Diren Özcan laugh. The kids had been fidgety with excitement all morning before the interview.

Lapset hyppivät tramboliinilla.

The Özcan family arrived in Finland just over five years ago from Turkey. Everything was supposed to be certain when they landed at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport: Diren would take over a restaurant in Northern Savonia, and the family would settle in the area.

Gradually, it became clear that despite the agreements, the plans would not materialize. Everything had to be rethought.

-We both immediately started looking for new jobs. Since we didn’t speak Finnish at the time, it was hard to find work,” Müge recalls.

A couple of months later, the Özcans moved to Turku with the help of a friend. The situation felt almost hopeless for a moment until Müge and Diren heard that Valmet Automotive was looking for workers in Uusikaupunki. Things started to fall into place, and soon both parents had jobs and the family had a new home in the small seaside town.

The change from the bustling city of Adana in Turkey to the tranquility of a small town has been significant.

We had to learn everything from scratch: the language, the culture, and the customs.

At the same time, we had to work and earn money. Sometimes it was difficult, but in a small town, everything has been easier than in a larger city, Müge says.

According to Müge and Diren, there are two striking differences between the Turkish and Finnish lifestyles: diligence and the relationship with nature.

-In Turkey, we were used to the idea that you could buy everything with money. Most people have a cleaner come to their house, and when moving, a company would pack, transport, and arrange everything in the new home,” Müge explains. “In Finland, most people do all this themselves. It took a while to get used to, but now I think it’s a much better lifestyle.

Finland’s lush and beautiful nature is something Müge can’t get enough of. Growing up surrounded by tall buildings, it feels incredible to have a forest view from the backyard and for the sun not to set at all in the summer.

Laituri järven rannalla.

-I love Finland’s nature and the white light of summer nights. I can hardly sleep at night because I don’t want to miss a moment of this splendor.

The children have also fallen in love with life in Uusikaupunki. Now 10-year-old Robin attends a music class at Uusikaupunki Unified School, and 7-year-old Peri will join the same school this fall. Friends are found in nearly every neighbor on the Santtio residential area, and during the winter season, the children’s hobbies take the family to the ice rink: Robin plays ice hockey and Peri has started figure skating.

-Yes, and I am a scout! I initially joined thinking I could teach the kids about moving in nature, but I ended up loving it myself. This summer, I plan to take the family on our first camping trip, Müge says.

Diren enjoys being in the kitchen the most but no longer dreams of his own restaurant after the past disappointment. He still works at Valmet Automotive, while Müge took voluntary layoff a year ago. The break from work allowed her to study Finnish full-time, just as she had hoped.

My dream is to learn the language well and find a daytime job.

It would be better for the children if we didn’t both work shifts.

Although the years in Finland have been eventful, the Özcan family wants to build their future in Uusikaupunki.

-It’s so safe and peaceful to live here, and people are friendly. We have no worries about tomorrow when you can trust that everything will be okay. That’s probably why we feel so at ease, Diren mentions.

Müge agrees.

-We dream of ordinary things – that we can work and the children can go to school. Or, well, maybe one day we could have a dog. And a cottage,” Müge laughs. -Life in Finland really changes a person. For the better. on Uudenkaupungin kaupungin elinkeinopalveluiden julkaisu, jossa tuodaan esiin uusikaupunkilaista asumista ja elämäntapaa.
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