Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Kalevala Day

To our Finnish friends let me say, happy Kalevalan päivä, suomalaisen kulttuurin päivä.
February 28 is the day of the Finnish national epic and Finnish culture.

I just happen to own a copy of that national epic, the Kalevala. (Even though I don't know the language.)
The folk material was compiled by Dr. Elias Lönnrot and was written down, for the first time, in 1830.
The book was published for the first time on this day in 1835.
Prior to that, it was all sung and kept active in the oral tradition.
Typically, two singers would link arms, face to face across a table, and sing to each other, challenging to see who knew more verses.

As explained in an earlier post, the Jerusalem Hills has a nice moshav (village) called Yad Hashmona that was founded by Finnish Christians.
The name means a memorial for the eight, in remembrance of the eight Finnish Jews who were surrendered to the Nazis.
It is very moving to read how the Yad Hashmona website explains that.
They have built a wonderful Biblical Garden that Israelis and tourists can visit.
The sign you see is glass, with the sky and clouds NOT reflected but showing through.
The view over the Jerusalem Hills (or Hills of Judea) goes on forever.
BTW, both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien drew from the Kalevala in their own works.
And this was our tour for That's My World. Shalom!


Kay said...

That glass sign is extraordinary. I love the idea of a signing face off. Gorgeous photos, Dina.

Malyss said...

Dina, you're so kind! I saw that you visited Cat's blog; Well, it was not hebrew language finally, but only you could see it! :o)
I'm impressed about how much countries and cultures you know...
Have a nice day!

Francisca said...

I grew up in Suomi, but I don't remember this cultural day (mind you, I was 12 when we left for Canada), nor do I know anything about the epic Kalevala. The Finns, as you probably know, have a very acrimonious history with Russia, so in that context their surrender of the eight could be understood. Yet they are a decent people (I am NOT a Finn) so I am not surprised that they regretted their action when the consequences became clear or later. Interesting post for me, Dina.

anumorchy said...

Dina, so sweet of You to pay attention on this special Finnish day. I must tell You that my only Kalevala experience was at school and not very much voluntary. Silly young me. Nice surprice to find Finland in yout blog!!!!!!

Eve said...

Thanks for sharing such an interesting background on this important day! :D

Arija said...

Your post, as always is very interesting. Coming from the shores of the Baltic Sea it is particularly interesting as our early history was remembered in a like manner.

It is good to see the eight remembered in this way, like the journalists killed by the Russians just before Latvia regained its independence. Their memorial stone stands in the park in Riga where they fell.

Joyful said...

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing your world today.

VP said...

I confess my ignorange on the matter!

Kay L. Davies said...

Fascinating, Dina. I agree with your good friend Kay, the glass sign is wonderful, with the sky and clouds seen through it.
Interesting to find out about the Finnish connection in Israel.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Pietro said...

Very nice landscape, the Jerusalem Hills are always so beautiful.