Wednesday, February 01, 2012


I very, very, very rarely partypoliticise on this blog - but now's the time. If you're a Finn…

mene ensi sunnuntaina pieneen koppiin ja kirjoita ystävällisen virkailijan sinulle antamaan korttiin numero 2 *

If you're not a Finn, I hope you enjoy this flashmob performance which was arranged to support the Green presidential candidate Pekka Haavisto, our very own wee David against a Goliath favourite-to-win. Haavisto has made his career until now in international peace negotiations in the hot spots of atrocious warfare and carnage around the world (Darfur, anyone?), is intelligent, warm, civilised through to his heart, with an uncanny knack for meeting all kinds of people at the same level: as an equal, as a fellow human.

He is also, to my knowledge, the world's first openly gay presidential candidate. On its own, this would be a curio; combined with his personality, it accentuates the way he has grown into the personification of the fight-back spirit we've seen arise over here in these Northern Lands [after last year's catastrophic parliamentary election, for those of you who may not know, after which I seriously considered whether now was the time to change my native tongue into Swedish (our traditional language minority) so as not to be a representative of the herrakansa ** which seemed to be arising; to send my children away to more civilised countries so as to ensure they wouldn't suffer when I would convert my walk-in cupboard and start hiding immigrant families there… you get the picture… future was looking about as bright as it would for someone in the early 1930s in Germany who really didn't fancy watching their country becoming a centre of bigotry, hatred and slaughter, and their fellow countrymen being made to deteriorate into mass murderers].

So yes, against all this background, I choose to believe in the miracle that we need this Sunday, and against this background, the Sibelian song sends shivers down my back. Listen to the lyrics (this is my favourite bit):

Oi Suomi nosta korkealle, pääs seppelöimä suurten muistojen
Oi nouse Suomi, näytit maailmalle, sa että karkoitit orjuuden
Ja ettet taipunut sa sorron alle
On aamus alkanut, synnyinmaa

Thank you for listening to my political rant. I'll get off me soap-box now…

* "next Sunday, go in a small cubicle and write on the card the friendly official has given you the number 2"

** Finnish for "das Herrenvolk"

*** Oh Finland, hold up high thy head wreathed in great memories,
Oh rise Finland and show the world that you banished slavery,
And that you did not bend under oppression,
Your morning has broken, land of our birth


Reading the Signs said...

Love the singing and the whole scene of them and the so-not-english-or-american onlookers. And if Mr. Haavisto succeeds then I think I should move to Finland. I have thought so for a while, actually, and this would clinch it. I take it that 'orjuuden' is saying something very good about the four-be-twos? Not sure about das Herrenvolk, but let that pass.

I go now to listen again and pretend I am Finnish and just waiting to catch my train back to the igloo, when all of a sudden ....

Anna MR said...

Well if it were last spring after the parliamentary election disaster, I'd tell you not to bother, that this country is going to The Dogs (no offence, dogs of the world, just a figure of speech), because it really for a moment felt like there was some bad history in the making.

However, the future is looking better now - whether Our Pekka succeeds or not, the movement against right-wing populism has shown itself to be bigger than just me (fancy that) and, well, that feels good.

Funny I never thought about how "orjuuden" would look when read in any other language but no, not a single whisper about the Chosen People. [She puts on her boring linguist's hat.] "Orja" is "slave", "orjuus" is "slavery", and "orjuuden" is one of the seventeen cases of nouns (no, don't ask, please) applied to "orjuus", and blah… blah… blah… [her voice is heard droning onto eternity, because like all Finns, she mistakenly believes that the unimportant grammatical intricacies of her tricky tongue are of interest to all other nations of the world].

However, since you express interest in this fair tongue of ours, I send you this vid where you can hear a bunch of clever people talk this lingo. As an extra bonus, at 1:52 you get to see my favourite professor being super intelligent and handsome (as always).

And you know, when you do move here, you'll make the country a better place by far.