„Not long ago I read through an African cookbook, when it suddenly struck me that this was the first text that was completely neutral towards Africa.“ With this and other statements 20 year old Katri from Finland elaborates on her interest in intercultural relations, reducing conflict and prejudice in society. How do cultures work and how are prejudices produced in the mind? Why do we behave the way we do and how is cultural knowledge acquired? Social psychology, which Katri studied for a semester in the University of Helsinki, provides her with answers that she aims to deepen with observations in everyday life.
In addition, Katri is a passionate listener of the very many individual stories from all the people she has met along the way, like during this UPF Program when she interviewed Maltese citizens about immigration. Also back home in Helsinki she takes great interest in working with immigrants and refugees, while being well aware that English – despite being the lingua franca of nowadays – has certain limitations. This is one of the reasons why Katri aims to learn as many languages as possible. Ever since she did some voluntary work and travelled in India, she started learning Hindi, while Arabic and Spanish are yet on the list.
Maybe Katri’s curiosity in so many topics and fields started at a very early age when she used to ask her parents, who are both scientists, why and how exactly things happen the way they do? Or maybe her open-minded attitude that every single conversation can have a huge impact in one’s life, as long as one sees the opportunities and dares to take them, always lead her towards new roads and interests. One thing is certain, however: no matter where Katri’s path will take her, she will keep on exploring the ocean of opportunities, an open space that is longing to be further explored.