Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Being Finnish

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My parents come for a visit tomorrow. They come to Amsterdam for the first time during the time that I have lived here. I must say, I am am quite excited. My sister, her husband and my uncle have already visited me. I find it superimportant that my parents see the town that I am living in. Amsterdam is starting to be a quite big chunk of me.

That brings me to the subject of identity. And to be more precise, being Finnish. I finished during the weekend a PhD of a friend of mine, Vesa Mauriala. He wrote about the poet movement called The Fire Bearers (Tulenkantajat) and the emergence of modernity in Finland in the 1920s and 1930s. It was incredibly interesting and easy to relate to.

The poets made trips to Paris and Nice and saw the wonders of the big world. Some of them truly fell in love with industrialisation and the feeling that everything is possible. And at the same time there was the spiritual connection to the Finnish nature (see pic).

There is a quote from one of them, Olavi Paavolainen, in the book. He was with Katri Vala in the opera of Monte Carlo. Paavolainen was overwhelmed by the feeling of sitting among the high society of Europe and being allowed to be there. I still get that feeling at times. To me being Finnish is like living on the border of wilderness and village.

1 comment:

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am going to Finland in two weeks. I am really looking forward to it. I am learning the language, but it is difficult.