Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: Happy 89th, Finland

Happy 89th, Finland


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Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää to Finland and my Finnish readers!

On December 6, 1917, shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, Finland declared its independence. On this date, 89 years later, Finns are celebrating their country's Independence Day. If you are interested in learning a bit more about my birth country, please read my post of last year, plus this nicely updated history in Wikipedia.

On an unrelated note except for locale, have you listened to the Helsinki Complaints Choir? It makes me smile. I first saw this a few months ago and have noticed it's been making the rounds of the blogosphere lately.

PS. The Choir is also viewable on YouTube, should you not have QuickTime on your machine. There's a bit of background info, too.

Marja-Leena | 05/12/2006 | 17 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, History


17 comments

Now I can say it in the right place - Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää!

I guess I get to be the first to wish you a Very Happy Finland! But the Choir link doesn't work for me, I'm afraid.

Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää Sinullekin, Marja-Leena. Kohta syttyvät kynttilät tuhansien suomalaiskotien ikkunoissa.

The Choir makes me smile, too!

Hi Dem and Mr. Zip! How cool that a couple of Brit chaps are the first to greet me this morning with this - thanks!

Mr. Zip, I think you need Quicktime to see the link. It's a free download, I think for PCs (comes with Macs).

Viides rooli, kiitos! Minusta kynttilät joka ikkunassa on ihana tapa!

MB, glad you liked it! How often do we smile when we hear or make complaints?!

Hei, Dem! You beat me with the wishes! I hadn't yet finished my post on Finland's Independence Day when you wrote in, but it's up now. Thanks for the wishes, the same to your partner! I haven't any salmiakki, and what is kossu? You know I had a laugh over your sauna experience and photos :-)

Perhaps my spelling is wrong - kossu is a strong, clear finnish spirit a bit like vodka. Before special occasions, most of the Finns I know will dissolve either salmiakki or turkish pepper into the kossu to make a sweet, strong drink not wholly unlike cough medicine but nicer than that sounds. We haven't got any this year because we don't have any kossu or salmiakki knocking around - when we were in Finland last month we overlooked the kossu and salmiakki and filled our homebound bags with rye-bread, different types of fish, fazer and chocolate and pickled gherkins instead.

Hi again, Dem! Sorry I forgot to approve the comment I wrote in reply last night at the other blog post; I saw it waiting there this morning. I haven't come across kossu in my infrequent visits to Finland, perhaps it's a slang word. Sounds gross to me! I'd be filling my bags with those same things plus lakka jam and liqueur. Have you tried Karelian piirakkas, especially hot out of the oven with egg butter?

Yes! I love them - we have to make our own egg butter with eggs and cottage cheese. I love rossoli as well - we'll get to eat all this soon at the Scandinavian Seaman's Church Christmas Dinner (well, not the Karelian piirakkas. Sadly, I overdid the lakka jam when I first discovered it (I love the english version of the name - cloudberries!) and just the thought of them makes me feel sick now - I can stomach the liqueur though. Apparently kossu is the informal/slang name for koskenkorva - I've only ever know it as kossu though. And of course in my previous comment I meant Fazer chocolate, not Fazer & chocolate. We did bring back some Karelian rice-pies but they got smashed up in transit.

Dem, as I noted in the previous blog post, I decided to move our conversation over here, though the times are messed up now. Hope you don't mind, I just thought it belonged here. Marg may use the link about her show to send to people who won't be interested in our discussion about Finnish foods!

Anyway, back to kossu - ah, so it's koskenkorva vodka, which I know! And I know Fazer equals chocolate - the best!! The Scandinavian Centre here recently had a Christmas Craft Fair and we bought lots of pulla and piirakkas from the Finnish ladies there. I don't bake very often anymore, so my non-Finnish husband, who also loves them, is happy! I hope you enjoy your Christmas dinner with rosolli. I make it sometimes.

A happy Independence Day from the dude next door Marja-Leena! With all the chatter about food and spirits, you're making me hungry and thirsty. I think I'm slowly getting the hang about Finland, Lap Land, and all the other wonderful people and traditions of Scandinavia. I just wish Mr. Kanerva were here to share the tales of his homeland and childhood in Ruovesi. He sure had a secret ingredient which you and hubby helped me solve. Hmmm - wonder if he used it in baking? Dinny snitched on him eh!

Hi Rog, thanks! I guess some things about Finland and Scandinavia are going to rub off on you with the company you are keeping, eh!

Hi Marja-Leena!

Have kept your blog in my favourites for ages now, since I began to work on prehistoric art (I'm living
near Lascaux area). Went to Finland 20 years ago, my souvenirs are still very bright and on this special occasion, let me wish you a very happy independence day.

Hi Elaine! I'm happy to meet you, especially someone who shares my love for prehistoric art. And you live near Lascaux - how very exciting! I like your portraits on the Saatchi pages. Thank you for writing in and for the good wishes - it's a bit odd to be receiving them when I haven't lived in Finland since I left as a child.

Fantastic, Marja-Leena! Joyce and I just had a good howl (the #4 tramline smells like pee, too...) and are going to send the link to her relatives.

Happy Independence Day, and thanks for posting that choir link - wonderful! It just reminded me of the final taxi story from Jim Jarmusch's movie, Night on Earth. Five taxi stories - LA, NY, Paris, Rome, then Helsinki. After the insane hilarity of Roberto Begnini's taxi driver in Rome, the final story set in Helsinki in the middle of the night in the middle of winter with drunken passengers starts out so bleak but ends up being the most delightful and heartwarming of all.

Peter, I'm so pleased you both enjoyed the choir - it is funny!

Leslee - Oh, another movie to put on my list of must-sees! Thank you!