expanding the parameters of finnishness

our extended finnish family

Posted by Markus Raty on August 2, 2006

A little more about finnophile and Finnishness 

So we are off with a bang. Questions being answered, new threads suggested and a general conviviality that bodes for a great intersection of cultural exchange.

Last night I went out for a pop with a fellow Finn-Canuck friend of mine and we found ourselves in Little Italy discussing Finnishness from the Canadian perspective (amongst other salacious topics). The overarching theme of the conversation was a reflection on how blessed we are to have this ‘extended Finnish family’, both locally here in Toronto and indeed around the world. In part because there are so few of us, and because Finnishness runs so deep, we always seem to have an unspoken connection amongst our merry band. Because we innately understand eachother on some level at least, the usual pleasantries can be disposed of and what we’re left with is a real steep curve on the path to new friendships. I think it rocks. And it is that desire to connect people and ideas that has manifested itself here as finnophile.

Maybe a bit more about what finnophile strives to be then.  As a junkie of all things Finnish, I would like to see this become a forum for the exchange of ideas, thoughts, newsbytes, questions, leads, resources and other random ephemera as it relates to Finland, Finnishness and Finnish-Canadiana. In short, and to grudgingly use a Swedish term, a regular smorgasbord of Finnishness.

The way I see it, until recently, Finland has been given the short shrift from the North American public (and media) specifically. Finnishness has been cast a narrow net and most of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances have been horribly under-served in their Finnish education. Besides, who is to say what Finnishness really is anyway? In my books its still up for definition. So let’s define away. Without being definitive of course.

Although, this blog will sometimes posit and pontificate on matters of serious nature, mostly it will look to be fun and irreverent, as well as educational…with a caveat. I get to lead the class. You see, through this looking glass anyway, Finland and Finnishness is almost beyond definition insofar as it spans the spectrum of social mores and expectations.

You have the prototypical shy Finnish male whose idea of communicating means looking at your shoes instead of his own, and then you have the Dudesons, four Finnish alpha males who revel in the spotlight and will do anything..anything to garner a laugh..(you have to read the next post!). To me, both these groups of people are quintessentially Finnish which leads us to this wonderful dichotomy. It’s absolutely fascinating and so let’s explore just what makes these crazy Finns crazy Finns (present company included)

This could be fun.


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