Wednesday, May 18, 2005

He is still with us

Four hands
Originally uploaded by
Yesterday evening I decided to take time for myself. My room is a mess after I unpacked my luggage from the trip to Norway. My table spills over magazines, invoices, receipts and newspapers. I decided not to care less. At least for one evening.

I opened my laptop, made a playlist consisting of Antony and the Johnsons and Nouvelle Vague, changed into home clothing and started reading comics.

Before moving to Amsterdam my two good friends Maria and Johanna gave my Matti Hagelberg´s comic book Kekkonen. It took me this long to read it. It is absolutely hilarious. For those who do not know, Urho Kaleva Kekkonen was Finland´s president from the 1950´s to 1980´s. Hagelberg makes an ironic statement of the exaggerated role Kekkonen had in Finnish society also long after his death. In the comic book Kekkonen meets Elvis, saves the world, takes care of the physical health of Finns etc. Unfortunately it is available only in Finnish. But if you´re able to understand our obscure language, rush to the bookstore.

I do not really belong to the Kekkonen-generation. My parents do. I remember him as this stumbling old guy on tv. But I also remember my aunt Arja saying once that for long she thought that Kekkonen is a synonym for president. And she surely was not the only Finn to have that feeling.

What a weird country I come from.

(The picture is the Urho Kekkonen monument in Helsinki. I think it is brilliant, his huge hands still protecting the nation.)

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