It’s a happy nation

Finland played in the ice-hockey world championships. And we won. In fact, everybody in Finland won, ask anyone. The victory seems particularly sweet as we left Sweden to collect the silver medals.

But never mind the bickering between Sweden and Finland when it comes to ice-hockey.

For once, people are talking to one another at the bus stop.

Ice-hockey makes a fantastic social object, one that seems to make us forget that Finnish people are reserved, shy, wary and mostly mind their own business where ever they go.

But I am trying to see the massive national celebration through someone else’s eyes. Tens of thousands of people gathered downtown Helsinki to celebrate and get a glimpse of the heroes. A stage was built, entertainment lined up for the people. And what kind of entertainment? Weird heavy music, bouncy rappers and an old geezer who sang touchingly about the earth’s bosom. When the heroes finally climbed onto the stage, they sang the beautiful Finlandia-hymn and everyone sang with them.

It may not look like a happy celebration, but it is. We are just melancholic people with a strange sense of humour and very questionable taste in music. I may not like the music most people like, may not like the over-the-top drinking nor the way many people think in politics nowadays, but I do feel part of this nation.

You see, I also talked to someone at the bus stop this morning.

♣ In the meantime: frozen strawberries make do, but soon it’s time to have fresh strawberries for lunch

♦ Song of the day: Band of Horses, The Funeral

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