As the Spring season intensified, the girls and I found it increasingly difficult to find time for meetings, but nonetheless we met up at Hannele’s place for a quick Finnish history & culture discussion. Being millenials, this of course meant staring at YouTube videos from a small screen.
We started out from the basics, all the way from the origins of the Uralic peoples. I explained how Finnish is from an entirely different language family than most of the languages in the entire Western world and that we have very little to do with Scandinavians other than the fact that we’ve lived by them for some time now (and naturally, have thus taken in a lot of cultural influences). I also went through some material about other Uralic languages still spoken today and even showed this Y-DNA haplogroup migration map to explain how a Uralic-speaking group of people eventually got here. So, in other words, I did my best to bore the girls to death with my insights into different groups of Uralic people and their shared history.
Then, of course, Hannele and I told Aoi about all the usual Finland history stuff (most of which, we noticed, even we had forgotten; YouTube was helpful with all the pre-1900s stuff). This video luckily did most of the job for us. After that, we went one layer deeper and talked about how Tampere originally started to flourish as an industrial town where factories brought in lots of workers from all around. We were in Tampella, after all, a part of the city named after a combination of the city name and the Finnish word for flax (Tampere + pellava = Tampella).
It was a rather chaotic, unplanned setting where we just went from YouTube video to another, desperate in trying to keep some sort of structure in our ramblings. But that’s what made it fun and interesting! Fun and interesting enough to justify doing this another time with Japanese history and culture, which we did! More about that on the next post.