Tuesday, March 29, 2011

49 years of Finnish Talk TV - in the USA? And what about St. Urho and Jimmy Stewart?

While playing around on the interweb, I came across a television show from the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan: Suomi Kutsuu or Suomi Calling. It is billed as the longest running talk show in the US and is certainly the longest running foreign television show in the US.

You can watch it on streaming video here.

Why Michigan? Finns immigrated to Michigan in the 19th Century to work in the copper mines and Finnish identity remains strong. To celebrate the Michigan Finns, I plan to make these pasties soon. The comments to the recipe are fun--apparently these pasties are not like the " the crap they call pasties here in Detroit.." We shall see!

And while I am on the subject of Finns in the States, I let St. Urho's Day pass without a proper celebration.

People in Finland may know nothing of St. Urho, the patron saint of Finnish grapes and the giant grasshoppers. Maybe Turku could be the first Finnish city to celebrate St. Urho with the eating of Michigan pasties.

Happy belated St. Urho's Day! "Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen!" And below is what I love best about the U.P.--Jimmy Stewart:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finland! - Be Still My Soul!

I have not been blogging lately - not enough alone time! Or rather, I have been devoting my alone time to finishing a grant application that I prepared on behalf of my local library. But that does not mean Finland isn't on my mind.

Today we sang a hymn to the tune of Finlandia in church. But I should be more specific for there are many hymns to the tune of Finlandia in many languages! We were celebrating with "Be Still My Soul". It is a beautiful hymn and the choir belted it out!

When I did a little googling I learned that this tune by Sibelius is important not only to Finns, but to other nations as well. Sibelius composed Filandia in 1899-90 as part of the independence movement that swept through Finland supported by the arts: painting, music, literature.

According to Wikipedia, the Finnish verse translates to:

O, Finland, behold, your day is dawning,
The threat of night has been banished away,
And the lark of morning in the brightness sings,
As though the very firmament would sing.
The powers of the night are vanquished by the morning light,
Your day is dawning, O land of birth.
O, rise, Finland, raise up high
Your head, wreathed with great memories.
O, rise, Finland, you showed to the world
That you drove away the slavery,
And that you did not bend under oppression,
Your day has come, O land of birth.

These lyrics certainly tell of Finland's struggle for independence and maybe, for that reason, other independence movements have adopted the tune from Finlandia. If you find Finnish too difficult to sing, you could sing along in Welsh:
Dros Gymru'n gwlad, O Dad, dyrchafwn gri,
y winllan wen a roed i'n gofal ni;
d'amddiffyn cryf a'i cadwo'n ffyddlon byth,
a boed i'r gwir a'r glân gael ynddi nyth;
er mwyn dy Fab a'i prynodd iddo'i hun,
O crea hi yn Gymru ar dy lun.
O deued dydd pan fo awelon Duw
yn chwythu eto dros ein herwau gwyw,
a'r crindir cras dan ras cawodydd nef
yn erddi Crist, yn ffrwythlon iddo ef,
a'n heniaith fwyn â gorfoleddus hoen
yn seinio fry haeddiannau'r addfwyn Oen.
That hymn was written by the Welsh nationalist, Lewis Valentine. It is the unofficial hymn of Wales.

Another nationalist movement that hoped to win independence through the power of Sibelius was the Biafran independence movement from Nigeria in 1967. You can listen to it here. When you consider the horror of the genocide and campaign of famine perpetrated against the Biafran people, it is very moving to hear this anthem.

But now I must run and prepare for another week, but I will listen to Finlandia while I tidy away the detritus of the weekend. Enjoy this video along with me:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

More Finnish skiing news!

Finland now has 4 medals in Oslo. The women's relay team took home the bronze. Thanks to Barbara for keeping me up to speed. The women's relay team members are Pirjo Muranen, Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Riitta-Liisa Roponen and Krista Lähteenmäki. You can read the results here on Hesari. Make sure you have your Google translate fired up!

Finnish skier finishes first in Oslo

This post is really an opportunity to share some vacation photos with a friend, but I do have some Finnish news at the end of the post.

We recently spent 2 nights in beautiful Jackson, N.H. We have had many wonderful family outings in the Mount Washington valley. This was our first visit to Jackson and I am sure we will be back. We skied one day at the Jackson XC center and on our way home we skied a half day at Black Mountain. Skiing at Black Mountain was the most fun that I have ever had on down hill skis. If you want more information about restaurants and the like, please send me a comment.

And now for the Finnish news: Matti Heikkinen won the gold medal in Oslo! You can read about Heikkinen here on YLE in English. I found this interesting tidbit on the web site for the World Championships. It highlights the importance of wax and mentions the Finnish doping scandal of 2001. Apparently the Norwegian wax guru Magnar Dalen is helping the Finns fly across the snow. The New Hampshire connection is that Kris Freeman finished in the top 30, 2 minutes and 10 seconds behind Heikkinen.

The Lost Thing is the Big Thing in Finland

A friend gently chided me (ridiculed me) for my previous post about Finnish at the Oscars, but it was BIG news in Finland. Mari sent me the link to coverage on Ilta-Sanomat. The gist of it is "Hän kiitti suomeksi" He thanked in Finnish.

Oscar-voittaja kiitti suomeksi!

Shaun Tan kiitti Oscar-gaalassa mukana ollutta vaimoaan Inari Kiurua suomeksi.
Shaun Tan kiitti Oscar-gaalassa mukana ollutta vaimoaan Inari Kiurua suomeksi.
Julkaistu: 28.02.2011 04:21

Oscar-gaalan lavalla puhuttiin ensimmäistä kertaa suomea!

Oscarin parhaasta animoidusta lyhytelokuvasta The Lost Thing voittanut australialainen ohjaaja Shaun Tan lausui kiitospuheessaan suomea.

Hän kiitti graafisena suunnittelijana työskentelevää vaimoaan Inari Kiuruaja sanoi suomeksi ”minä rakastan sinua”. Oscarin kävi hänen kanssaan noutamassa lyhytelokuvan toinen ohjaaja Andrew Ruhemann.

Tiettävästi Oscar-gaalassa ei ole aiemmin kuultu suomea. Suomalaisista Oscar-palkinnon on käynyt noutamassa ainoastaan Jörn Donner, joka tuotti parhaana ulkomaisena elokuvana palkitun Ingmar Bergmanin ohjaaman elokuvan Fanny ja Alexander (1982).

Aki Kaurismäen Mies vailla menneisyyttä (2002) oli myös ehdolla parhaasta ulkomaisesta elokuvasta, mutta ei saanut Oscar-palkintoa.