Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Humor of Hesari or "serious leglessness" a phrase to remember!

I love the sly humor of the English edition of Hesari. Just read the entire story and enjoy!

Hockey team's drunken antics lead to official talking-to

Video of Nurminen's hard landing at airport goes viral

Hockey team's drunken antics lead to official talking-to
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The Finnish Lions ice hockey team, welcomed home on Monday by 100,000 adoring fans as they brought with them Finland's second IIHF World Championship trophy, have come in for criticism in some quarters over the state of serious leglessness displayed by some players and staff on their arrival back on home soil.
Anyone who watched the scenes either at the airport or in the city centre will have found it hard not to notice that a good many players were suffering from the morning (or afternoon) after the night before, and some seemed to have avoided the throbbing pain of a hangover by earnestly continuing their drinking.

Whilst Mikael Granlund's wonder goal against Russia in the semi-finals has racked up a huge number of hits on YouTube and other sites, he is fast being joined by the embarrassing prat-fall of the team's goalkeeper coach Pasi Nurminen at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
Nurminen emerged from the aircraft looking much the worse for wear and stumbled on the bottom step of the airstairs, crashing into the World Championship trophy as he spread his not inconsiderable frame on the red carpet.
The trophy had a very visible dent in it by the time it appeared before the public in the Market Square, though whether this was the imprint of Nurminen's forehead or something else is unclear.

Another member of the squad, team manager Timo Jutila (who also captained the 1995 World Championship winners) was seen to be rather dazed and confused, and he elected not to go up onto the podium with the others when the team arrived at the square in an open-topped bus to be fêted by fans.
Initially it was thought he had been taken ill, but Jutila himself declared he had an ankle inflammation.
This expression seems set to become a new Finnish euphemism for being totally wasted.

In many ways, the criticism of the players and others for their condition is a bit steep, given the general Finnish relationship with alcohol, but on the other hand, the team are looked up to as role-models by many young people, and this aspect was brought out by Minister of Culture Stefan Wallin (Swedish People's Party), whose portfolio also includes sports.
Wallin reportedly spoke to the Finnish Ice Hockey Association's chairman Kalervo Kummola on the matter, noting that whilst every Finn understood the elation that the players felt after their victory in Bratislava "it should nevertheless be remembered that sports personalities are setting an example for children and young adults".
The team's head coach Jukka Jalonen admitted that the celebrations of some individuals had got rather out of hand, and expressed the hope that they had not caused offence.

Many commented on the online forums that the new generation of players are nothing like the "old school" types (who would include both the members of the coaching staff mentioned above), and it was also noted that this sort of behaviour was these days uncommon as a public spectacle - not least because there were precious few opportunites to celebrate a great victory in this way.
In truth, there were occasions in the past when players' self-discipline failed them, but these generally only made it over the news threshold when someone was "sent home to sober up" in the middle of a tournament.

The general sentiment now seems to be that nobody in their right mind would begrudge the team members the chance to let their hair down, but that maybe their timing - in the full glare of the media and the public - was a shot rather wide of the goal.
Next time - and hopefully there will be future occasions like this to rejoice in trophies won - they would do better to keep things in check until they have gone through the necessary formalities.
The summer recess will offer plenty of opportunities for more private off-camera celebration.

Pointy Shoes and the Influence of Finnish Fashion

It is very possible that this could be an elaborate internet hoax, but I have chosen to fall for it. Long, pointy, totally impractical cowboy boots are a fashion sensation in northeastern Mexico. You can read about them here. And you should enjoy this video as well. It is long, but I recommend watching the entire clip:

The pointy boots immediately brought to mind the Leningrad Cowboys. Is it possible that there is a Finnish-Mexican connection? I was introduced to the Leningrad Cowboys through the movie by Aki Kaurismäki. And that brings this blog back to Finland by way of Cannes. Aki Kaurismäki is in Cannes with his new film Le Havre. I can't wait.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wannabe Finns

I will have a hard time getting Chris to remove this jacket any time soon. Happily for him it is cool enough to wear the jacket this week. We are carrying on a 2 person hockey celebration here in NH. As one friend pointed out, "You never watch hockey". Au contraire. I have watched Finland demolish Sweden twice. Last night in English. In Estonian on Sunday on the internet.

Neither one of us is Finnish. Nor do we share a drop of Finnish blood. But that doesn't stop us from being wannabe Finns. Watch this video on the Helsingin Sanomat web site here. You will want to be Finnish too.

Monday, May 16, 2011


This is the front page of a Swedish paper Expressen and you can see the site here. The amazing thing about this paper is the headline is the ur-Finnish word PERKELE!

Perkele is the ultimate Finnish swear word. The word has roots in Finnish mythology hearkening back to the pre-Christian Finland.

To say the word properly, you have to be able to roll your Rs. Here are some examples: first from the Duudsonit...

And from Vares...

Remember, practice makes perfect.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Really Big News!

What is the leading story today? The arrest of DSK? No way! It is this picture - Finland is number 1 in hockey. Or as Helsingin Sanomat wrote: SUOMI ON MAAILMAN PARAS! The picture above is from

The fun started on Friday with this amazing goal by Mikael Granlund:

I love the Finnish commentator. A friend told me the commentator is Antero Mertaranta and that he has quite a following. You can read about him in the NYT here and you can watch him here:

I bet the streets of Finland are full of happy, happy Finns! Ihanaa Leijonat!