I’m sorry to let Jack down, but he ought to know the British education system beat him to convincing folk Finland doesn’t exist probably before he was even born. “What’s Finland?” is a question experience has taught me to be prepared to receive. I’m even quite impressed by the question, “Finland…? Eeeerm… is that somewhere in Sweden?” (at least historically it would have been technically correct ).
There seems to a diverse bunch here on this site alright (brought together by the utterances of a 2,500 year old Indian sage/philosopher/teacher; life is funny alright! ). I just had assumed, given your level of English, that you were a native speaker (probably from Australia given the Australian BSWA associations of some of the site founders). But Northern Europeans do tend to have fairly flawless English alright. In some ways, sometimes actually better (probably being taught properly the grammar, as opposed to native speakers who more lazily do it by feel and can get it wrong). Never have been as far North as Scandinavia. The scenery must be beautiful: fjords, pine forests, snow and reindeer (though maybe not so many reindeer in the cities )! There’s surely even less daylight there than here this time of year, but perhaps you are far enough North to catch some glimpses of the Northern Lights at times? (a little compensation, if so ).
Yikes! I’m so terribly sorry to have misled @suaimhneas! I have duel citizenship and was born and raised in the UK (over the last couple of years I thought I’d disclosed my Britishness enough, here). I am, indeed, a Finnish national, but to all intents and purposes am a pretend Finn and my only real cultural claim to Finnishness is feeling most peaceful at heart when in the forest (although on account of not having been taught any forest knowledge, and for reasons set out in MN4, I’m sure it wouldn’t take me too long to start freaking out if left on my own).
Nevertheless, your observations still stand as correct:
I can present my (born and breed Finnish) mother as evidence. When we still had the practice of writing letters, most of hers to me would typically begin with several pages of corrections of my previous one to her.
As someone born to a generation that was never formally taught grammar (and feeling a bit cheated by that fact), may I just say the pedagogical choices of our elders are not our fault.
Yes, I miss it desperately.
Anyway, I wanted to clarify my background at such length, mostly just to take the pressure off answering this:
I’m really not a foodie at any rate, never mind getting myself all tangled in the concern of international cuisine. Saying that my two favourite food stuffs do happen to be Finnish: ruisreikäleipä and Karjalanpiirakka (although the later has been abandoned since I went vegan). I don’t think either are necessarily suitable here (especially as the pies, don’t have to be, but are most typically served with egg butter). The only thing I can think off the top of my head would be korvapuusti, but alas it has egg in it! Can’t you maybe read a Moomin book to him instead (I think they’re full of Dhamma in their own way)?
Eeerm, yeah, I guess, if that floats your boat, why not?! Apparently the cover story for the Santa lights is that it was a silent protest against Russian rule (actually, it’s meant to be two candles, but as just half my genetic information is Finnish I’m only encoded with instructions to light one ).
My guess is that’s the real reason for the humble candle celebration!
No need to apologize; just me adding 1+1 and getting 5! And no doubt you’ve done the background thing before here lots of times, but I’m not around here all that long and missed all that. Anyway, Finland is kind of a cool place (I suppose we can even forgive it for “Angry Birds” ).
Oh wow! Most utterly impressive! Bows to you! (and blushing thanks for the happiness you’ve inspired in me - don’t quite know why, but you efforts to celebrate with Bhante Mudito really do give me the warm and fuzzies).
The only thing I can think to reward you with is the information that ‘korva’ means ‘ear’ in English.
Now, just for clarity, ‘korva’ does just mean ‘ear’ it’s one of the few things I know very certainly: when I was eight and had to tell my school assembly that Father Christmas comes from ‘Ear Hill’ (only using the Finnish name, Korvatunturi - I practised for days).
I did do a little search for the full translation, but couldn’t find anything for ‘puusti’. What a wonderful place Internetland is for cross-cultural learning!