lördag 26 juli 2014


The talk of the town today - especially in my old home town - is certainly the Pride march that happened earlier today. In small-town Jakobstad, a town of just about 20 000 citizens; in Ostrobotnia, western Finland, which is considered quite a conservative area - or the "bible belt", 2500 happy people marched together through town together, watched and applauded by a similar number of spectators. Amazing! I wish I could have been there to witness it all and participate myself! Instead, I sat at work following the facebook and twitter feeds from the event, looking at all the pictures and comments and, for once, feeling a growing pride in my home town!

I don't think anyone could have anticipated just how many happy people would take part in the event, either to express themselves or to show their support for others, nor quite how positive the general feedback was, once it happened. The organizers started planning this event about a year ago, and since then the debate has been on, reminding us all of how much prejudice there is, to the point where you simply have to stay away from the comments section at all if you wanted to stay sane... This has, of course, also been an important and symbolic year in Finland, considering LGBITQ rights. There has been much (needed!) debate following the Tahdon-initiative (have mentioned that earlier - found here.) and this initiative surely helped keep that discussion alive.

Today, though, the trolls must have gone into hiding - I have read comments (Yes. My own fault.) about "feeling forced to leave town over the weekend" or choosing to boycott the entire local festival (An annual happening, culminating this weekend. Does not relate to the pride march) - so the whole thing seems to have gone down peacefully. Ans some believe that all the negativity and prejudice displayed in the debates might have been the spark needed for many to make the choice to take part and show their support. And so many did! I am both happy and proud!

Of course I realize this is no proof of an entire town suddenly having grown more liberal or tolerant, but it is a great leap of a first step, and I doubt that anyone will forget this party in the first place!

måndag 21 juli 2014

July. On work and such...

Been a while again.

July has, so far, been a bit more hectic than June. Which is good, in a way - more visitors at the museum is always technically good after all - but also means I am tired most of the time. Today, Monday, I have my weekly day off. Until now, it's been spent at uni, working on things I don't have the time or energy to do on most nights. I used to have this idea that I'd do something fun every Monday but now I never really seem to find the time for that, after all. Or the energy. Time and time again I ask myself whether it really was that smart to use all of my vacation days (six days ) on a one-week trip in August. It does heighten my expectations on that week, to say the least - this year it will have to be good to be worth it... But I bet it will.

Had a short visit by friends from back home this weekend, which was great fun! But lots of catching up and too little time, as so often happens. Will be strange not to go up north for a visit this year, and this is the week I'd normally do that.

I'm quite satisfied with the writing I've done today, but wish I had one more day off (a "Sunday" following this "Saturday") to use for other things, like cleaning my flat...

söndag 6 juli 2014

Quote of the day

"Your memory is a monster; you forget - it doesn't. It simply files everything away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you - and summons them to your recall with will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you."

John Irwing, A Prayer for Owen Meany

torsdag 3 juli 2014

Work, work.

I have now spent just over two mostly grey, rainy weeks guiding at the industrial museum. The first week was quite quiet, but since midsummer the stream of visitors has been growing steadily and these last couple of days have even been a bit hectic! I'm enjoying it so far, but my weak Finnish is still a complex - no matter how well I try to learn the material, it can still be frustratingly difficult to answer spontaneous questions from visitors. Sometimes because I don't know the answer (this happens particularly often with local visitors, who tend to be familiar with the history represented and whom I sometimes suspect of asking merely to test my knowledge) but just as often because I am not able to answer in Finnish. Very annoying, and also embarrassing. Still, I like my job and now mostly worry about the fall. (as I still don't know what I'll be doing after August, job-wise.)

At first, I found it hard to work six days a week, but I think I'm getting used to it now. It's interesting to have Mondays off - my "weekend" starts right where everyone else's ends. I try to think of something fun or inspiring to do every Monday,  not to miss weekends too much. I'll get back to you on the Monday projects later.

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