Wednesday, August 17, 2005

In Finland we have this thing called...


Eteläesplanadi
Originally uploaded by amsterboy.
Sometimes life is just simply beautiful. Like now when I am sitting on the balcony of my parents' apartment and having my not-so-morning-anymore morning coffee.

A friend of mine told me last week of a guy she met a while ago. The young man was from Kazakhstan and his every single comment started with either "Did you know that in Kazakhstan" or "In Kazakhstan we have this thing called".

Well, last week (World Championships in Athletics) when you took a tram in Helsinki you were able to witness similar approaches with an incredibly strong Finnish accent in English.
"That thing there is Kiasma, it is the museum of modern art."
"In Finland we have this thing called sisu which means like well ah guts."
"Yes, Finnish people drink very much."

"That place called Satumaa is a karaoke bar. Karaoke is very popular in Finland. Do you know karaoke?"

Yesterday in Kiasma Cafe I tried to concentrate on my book (Jonathan Safran Foer's brilliant Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) but I could not help listening to a discussion - well, monologue - in the next table.
"Yes, karaoke. Now we even have heavykaraoke. You know karaoke? Good. Nowadays you can sing heavykaraoke in Helsinki on three evenings per week. Very good, isn't it?"

My purpose is not to ridicule the people. To be honest, I find it so sweet and charming how proud Finns are of their country. The most amusing thing to me is when you start describing a famous Finn and you go through every single teeny detail even if the other person has never heard of Mannerheim or Kekkonen.
"Did you know that Kekkonen loved sauna and cross-country skiing?"

1 comment:

Marija said...

Aaaah "In my country syndrome" .. can't live with it .. full stop.

I think that once we had it forbidden in one of ESIB's WS, noone was allowed to say "In my country" to anything and that must have been a blast. Goddamnit, now that I think of it, sounds exatctly like my kinda workshop! Pitty that I was someplace else, sound asleep, isn't it? :)