Being in Finland in the year of 2017 is something very special. Everywhere in Helsinki and in Tampere I can see Finnish flags and blue and white balloons and bannerets with Suomi 100 written on it. Everyone is talking about December 6th. Some Finns can laugh about jokes about Russia. And you can really feel the pride of the citizens to be a Finn. To be independent, and especially: to be independent for onehundret years now.
This special “circumstance” made me read about the history of Finnland. About all these endless wars, fights and how the country shaped. Today I set together with Pauliina and Riku and we had a look at finnish borders and how they moved during the years. I did not know that Finnland mostly looked like a maiden (ha, I also needed some creativity here). And after the Continuation war 1944, when they lost Karelia, Petsamo and Salla, Finnland now looks like this:
This Continuation war is the war, that the movie Tuntematon sotilas, the unknown soldier, is about. If you hate war movies, you could also call the movie a three-hours-bombing-blood-and-endless-war-movie. It kind of was. And I thought I did not like war movies. But this one actually was very interesting to watch, the three hours did not feel like three hours and the movie was very well directed.
I could really indentify myself with the Finns and most importantly – After the movie I had the feeling that I can really understand some reactions, some behaviors and some thoughts of finnish people when it comes to either Russia, war, independence, the 6th of December, or Finnland in general. I really can.
As a side effect, it was very nice to watch a finnish movie with english subtitles. I never watched a finnish movie before. And I could even understand some words and sentences, unbelievable. Reading the subtitles and listening to finnish language (Okay, I must admit that there were a lot (a lot!) of swear words) was a new and impressive way to get access to the language. I should watch more finnish movies ….
Even though I thought we would just go to the cinema and watch a movie, this evening taught me a lot about the culture and the history of Finnland. I am very moved!