Porntipa, the foreign in law

Foreigners in Finland
Photo by Juha Roisko

Porntipa is an author from Thailand who wrote the book called The Foreign-In-Law. It describes her journey as a Thai woman who married a Finnish man. Her book gives us a personal touch about moving to a faraway land and adapting to the new country and culture—a glance at Finns and Thais' similarities and differences.

Tell us about your journey of becoming a writer?

When I studied at school, I always liked to read books and to tell fantasy/romance stories to my friends. They would keep asking me to continue telling them the stories. I loved telling stories, and my dream was to write about my life. But I didn't have time to write a book, I worked so hard, so I started to write when I moved to Finland.

What inspired you to write about a very personal story of being a daughter in law?

When I moved to Finland, I saw a very different culture here compared to my country. I wanted to let people know about my culture. I moved here, and I saw the freedom to write, and I wanted to tell people how I adapt to my life in Finland. I also wanted to bring up the importance of Thai people abroad to utilize their right to vote and be heard when it comes to matters regarding our home country.

How do you get along with your Finnish mother-in-law? What have you learned from her, and what has she learned from you?

She is terrific, very kind, and she loved me. I brought my son here; she welcomed my son and me. She tried to learn my culture, she was very respectful, this is very important. She saw that I had many talents, and she was delighted and proud of me. I also learned many things from her; for example, she sings very beautifully.

Very different, because Thai men want the wife to follow them and they don't give freedom. My husband gave me the freedom to fulfill my dreams and follow my heart. I also find that Finnish men have more respect for women.