Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Finnish connections in Dallas

Its no surprise that the Dallas area has an abundance of Finnish families. The Irving/Las Colinas area is home to the US headquarters of Nokia which also lured several of its suppliers to set up shop here. There was a large influx of Finnish expatriates about 10 years ago, but the steady stream of new ones is more than a trickle.

While the families have settled in many communities, the city of Coppell has been particularly attractive for the Finns. There are a number of reasons:
> Its right down MacArthur Blvd making the commute to the Nokia offices 15 - 20 minutes on average
> The Coppell school district is recognized as one of the top in the North Texas area meaning you don't have to send your children to the expensive private schools
> Coppell is a very nice area
> And it comes highly recommended by the many other Finnish families living there - you may even find yourself neighbors!

Maintaining ties to Finland remains important even for the families who have decided to make the US their permanent home by becoming green card holders or even citizens. Language is a key element of the identity and to help pass it along to children, the North Texas Finnish Language School is here to help. They meet in one of the Nokia office buildings and the font on the homepage is suspiciously similar to the Nokia font!

They even have a class for 0 - 12 mos olds which Peanut & I may attend once we have some free weekends.

For the ladies, there is the Suomalaisten Naisten Yhdistys or Finnish Women's Club. I've joined the mailing list, but haven't yet made it to any of the meetings.

A subgroup which Peanut & I have been active in already is the Mammakerho which is informerly run by a volunteer mom who organizes activities such as playdates in the Puupuisto of Coppell, a Halloween afternoon, etc. Its been a great resources for doctor's references and many other questions.

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