So I was born in Finland, but pretty soon after ( like 6 months after my birth ) that my family and I moved abroad , only for me to return to Finland 20 years later to start my studies at TAMK. My mom is from small town Karkkila in Finland while my dad was from Sarajevo , Jugoslavia and those two things from the very begining have made my perspective and shaped my understanding of Finnish and other cultures.
While living abroad my mom refused to speak to me in other languages, even though for the most part we lived in Serbia and she learned Serbian language fairly well… So my dad spoke to me what is kind of a mixture of very similar languages: Serbian and Bosnian, while my mom spoke to me exclusively in Finnish, and expected me to reply in Finnish as well. One day she thought it would be of use and knowing a language is powerful knowledge that nobody can take away from us.
Also every chance we got, for holidays for example or even when there were none, we traveled to Finland to visit our Family here, and this Is something that has also ingrained the Finnish spirit in to my life. Since it was early on and consistent, deep in to my psyche some patterns and feelings got attached to Finnishness.
Often I have thought, even from early on what is this Finnish part of myself and my life compared to a Serbian that I developed during the 15 years I lived there.
clear, deep, wide
these are some the associations I have when I have thought about Finland.
clear like the sky, air and sea.
And this I think Is very well represented by the Finnish flag, that has the colors white and blue on it, since these are the colors I have often seen when looking at the finish landscape.
Then Deep, this probably comes From and most notably a house that my mothers grandpa built in small town Karkkila and still lives in up to this day…It is a place that grounds me, a feeling that my roots go very deep here and It has brought this feeling of lives lived before mine and significance of that History, and all the finish customs and manners that have although not shape me fully still touched a part of my personality and spirit.
Wide , This again for me comes back in a way to the landscape of Finnish nature… not surprising since the nature here is very beautiful with lots of forests and lakes, and great views of distance can be seen, giving the sense of spaciousness.
And as well Finnish landscape can come to life in wide variety of ways, given the season. and these views can be quite a contrast to one another.
Over all I feel like there is a lot here for me to Dive in to an it is a topic that will be relevant to me through my life and something I will be returning to again and again…
What does Finnishness mean to me…. well that is like a onion with many many layers one on top of another, and peeling off one layer only reveals another one.
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