During my Christmas vacation, I promised myself I would watch more movies. It seemed an appropriate initiative given the number of subzero days we endured. I watched plenty of “visually striking foreign movies” (per Netflix) when I stumbled across a movie that I pretty much became obsessed with: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. Briefly- the movie is about Finnish reindeer herders who find the secret behind Santa Claus. It has apparently become a cult classic. Whatever the case, I can’t get enough. Between this movie and Troll Hunter- which is about a group of Norwegian students who document a troll hunter, I constantly think about Finland and the Nordic countries in general. I have even been stalking the temperatures in Reykjavik and Helsinki all winter trying to make the case to my hubs that there is no reason we should live in a place as frozen as the midwest- Northern Europe is considerably warmer than this place, plus it has style. What’s better than that?!
Until my hubs can be convinced that a trans-atlantic move is a great idea, my focus is on learning what I can about Finland and I’m getting lost in the This is Finland Website. They have webcams of sites in Finland. As I’m typing this there is nothing happening on said webcams but the fact they exist astounds me. They are 8 hours ahead of me so no one has woken up just yet. There are articles about Society, Education, Art, and the latest headlines. I appreciate all of it because it gives a full picture of what Finland is really about. Did I mention the recipes?!
Another aspect that gives so much insight into culture is the language. Just looking at written Finnish is overwhelming. It strikes a fear in me that no German text ever has. I’m excited at all the resources I’ve found just poking around the This is Finland website. Hei Finland is an animated website and app that put the imposing conglomerate of letters into manageable chunks to memorize. Spoken, Finnish is melodic. Unfortunately my mouth doesn’t move that way. As a Spanish speaker, I appreciate the rolled r’s though. This site looks like it would be good for the traveler.
naive optimistic enough to think that if I study them maybe I can pick up on a word or two the 22nd time I watch Rare Exports. Or any other Finnish Movie that I seek out…I mean, that may cross my path. In fact I found a list here (“Your Top 10 Finnish Films…”) Rare Exports made the cut. It’s not just me. But now I’m excited because what if I find more of my most favorite movies. Some of them sound promising. Lapland Odyssey? That just sounds fun. Punk Syndrome? I’m all in.
Realistically speaking, I may not get to Finland (or Iceland for that matter) any time soon, but I enjoy learning about all the wonderful cultures that make this world so interesting. I haven’t even delved into all this material to the degree it deserves to be. It’s so easy for me to get distracted by any little piece. It is a merely a starting point.