Sunday, April 25, 2010
And while I am on the subject of matrimony...
Chris can thank his lucky stars that he didn't get married in Finland. The Finnish tradition is for the bride or groom to go out and be humiliated in costume by their closest friends. Here is the smiling groom and his buddies waiting to board the ferry to Stockholm. The groom told me that his wedding was in two weeks. For his bachelor's celebration he was wearing this prisoner costume for the entire weekend and doing whatever his rather naughty looking friends told him to do. I saw him on the ferry later carrying a ball and chain!
You can read about this tradition in Finnish here!
A loose translation of that article is that the tradition is known as Polttariperinteet. The tradition came to Finland from Germany through Sweden and St. Petersburg in the 19th century. Men would go to restaurants and cut the fool. Women implemented their own tradition of dressing like men in private houses and trading sadistic banter (note the many riding crops!).
From what I have seen here in Turku, polttariperinteet today involves taking the boozy ferry across the Gulf of Bothnia to Stockholm for the tomfoolery. Look again at the convict's innocent, smiling face. I told him that marriage wasn't that bad!
Another interesting thing about bachelors is that the Finnish word for bachelor is poikamies. For someone with only 3 months of Finnish under their belt the literal translation is boy (poika) mies (man). This explains the TV show I saw in the listings! The Bachelor! The Boy Man! Somehow I like the Boy Man title better!