Just got to Helsinki from my two-day visit to Stockholm. This miniature St. Petersburg is freezing: slight wind, snow and approximately 20 degrees minus. Will work a bit on some text for work and see family. Looking forward.
I stayed with my Finnish friend in Stockholm. As we met at the Central Station, she had a big smile on her face:"I am SOOO glad you are here. I have been feeling very small and going by the walls in public places."
First I thought she was exaggerating but after strolling through the beautiful old city and the trendy shops of Södermalm, I really understood what she meant. I felt ashamed for speaking Finnish, my "so last season" clothing, having a Finnish accent in my Swedish and not being able to complete a conversation without some English. I seldom feel as second rate as in Sweden. And not to mention that they are all so bloody tall, pleasant and good-looking.
The biggest literature prize of Sweden was recently awarded to an author called Susanna Alakoski. Her novel Svinalängorna tells a story of a Finnish family moving to Sweden. As my friend started reading the book, I heard her gasping and commenting the book constantly. "This is so awful. I cannot handle these feelings in the book. I want to go to Helsinki" She was also waiting for me to start reading it so we could talk about some parts of the book.
I have it in my bag as well but hesitate a bit with starting it. The reason of hesitation is not the subject - it is the language. I am not sure if I am able to complete a book about Finns as second-rate people in Sweden in Swedish. And if the answer is no, I am sure it does wonders to my self-esteem. We shall see.
Raportointi kaupunkisuunnittelusta jatkuu
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