Friday, August 30, 2013

the sharecropper's wife - visiting church in Karkkila

Last month I made one day trip to Karkkila - small city ca.70 km north from Helsinki. While waiting for the bus home I decided to check out the nicely looking church at the main square.
The church appeared to be relatively old, it was built in 1781.
I found out, that Christianity arrived in this area (western Uusimaa) already in XII century.
There is old cemetery in the yard around the church. I was surprised seeying such inscription on the gravestone: 'Here rests (name, last name) the sharecropper's wife', or information that sb was a master of the house, and information who was married to whom, altogehter with their children names. If interested, I would get quite clear picture of 'who was who' in this place in the XVIII and XIX century. 
I noticed that the most popular name there was the royal Swedish name 'Kustaa' (Gustaf).
About the church: I share some photos as I found it charming. I would like to mention note intended for parishioners on the parish board: 'During holly masses in the Karkkila church we offer the gluten-free communion wafers. Non-alcoholic wine available on request'. 
That's so mindful indeed!
Summing up I would say, Karkkila and neighborhood is peaceful, quiet and beautiful. An ideal place to visit for nature-loving people. Photo below: stained glass in Karkkila Church: 'Birth of Christ'.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

foreigner forever

I hope to see more of Finland in the future so I could share impressions also in this blog. My friend just came from the most northern parts of Finland. I must go there one day (with a good camera). Amazing sceneries. Anyhow I got some new impressions without distant travels.
I have been living in Finland for about 9years now and I realized I would always be foreigner here. Knowing the language helps a lot but I will never get rid of a strange accent and imperfect pronunciation. Grammar mistakes happen as well. (about learning Finnish I wrote in post: Finnish IS difficult.) But this is not only about language - this is about character, personality, culture, my past, my almost 30years of  living in a different reality. 
I have already accepted my position as the eternal foreigner and I am sure I am not the only one who moved to another country with such feeling. This is not complaining. That's the situation to cope with and I share my thoughts on this subject. Sometimes I face funny situations and sometimes I need to have thick skin. Pardon my foreignity:-) I respect Finnish way of life, culture etc. but I see no reason to attempt to transform into a Finn. It would be ridiculous anyway.
I was buying Finnish gifts for my family, and the nice saleswoman offered me very colourful wrapping paper and ribbon. She explained me, that presumably I would not be pleased with the typical Finnish white, blue or grey tints, cause as she said I seemed not to be Finnish. Nice, talkative young woman, and very attentive:-)
When I talk to a strange Finn, I hear the question: 'Where are you from?' almost always.
I do not feel offended nor hurt. They notice I'm not from here and they ask. It's understandable
Immigration to Finland is relatively fresh phenomenon and it rose tremendously in recent years. There were not many foreigners here 20 years ago. Look at the picture I got from Wikipedia: (Allophones, i.e. residents with another native language than Finnish, Swedish or Sami, in Finland, 1980-2011, according to Statistics Finland)