Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Monday 21st of January that has just passed has been tagged for Blue Monday; the most depressing day of the year. Well, whatever. I just know it is the last full week of January. Two years ago, it was also the last full week of January when I traveled to Finland for the first time. Did I expect me to live here one day when I arrived to that snowy Finnish night two years ago? Perhaps I did not. Perhaps I did.

Nowadays, I am quite piled up with essays. Constantly writing for over a month; or at least thinking what should I write. For sure I should be reading something at this moment, too. I am continuing my Aikido practice as well - and there I try to find additional energy for studies. My perception of Japanese term mae-geri, meaning front kick in Nanbudo (and Karate) has transformed into a strike with bokken, woden sword. Learning all the time. Nevertheless I have found out which moments can make my busy days. One of them is hot sauna after Aikido practice...

If the Monday was blue, now the other days are white. We have some snow! The landscape has turned into winter's tale; no matter the temperatures that are getting somehow lower. Today, the day was so clear and sunny. Yes, despite winter is still here, now even in all it's proper glory, the sun seems to be getting back its strength. It feels brighter than a couple of months ago. There is
still some hope left. However, enjoy your days - and I will try to enjoy mine, desperately trying to complete the work.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This is my fox. It comes from Rovaniemi, but since October 2007 it has been living in my room here in Jyväskylä, among the books; I guess it likes the place a lot. As I do not know this fox for too long, it did not acquire a name yet; so far, it has just been known as Fox, Lisica or Kettu.

The main reason why I am introducing my fox to the world is actually the period of winter darkness, kaamos. Last year within this time, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat featured online short animated stories
. The series was called Kaamosajan kalanteri, The Calendar of Kaamos; now it does not exist online no more, too bad. But there was this main character: very interesting Finnish fox, living in its house, desperately trying to waste time during the period of winter darkness. The fox of the kaamos, kaamoksen kettu.

We do not have that real polar night in this part of Finland, but, believe me, there is lots of darkness anyway. I was well aware where am I going when deciding for Finland, Nordic countries have for sure good reputation of dark and depressive winters... but still.

Every now and then, I feel like the fox of kaamos. The sun rises around half past nine, but even after that the morning can be dark. Dark morning, dark day, and then the night. As today, when it was raining. For the weather can add so much to the light; it is totally different story if there appears some sun from behind the clouds. It starts getting really dark around three in the afternoon; it was even earlier in December. This darkness makes me kind of drowsy. So, I would rather sleep through the whole day, doing nothing but sleep, sleep and sleep. However, if not sleeping the whole day, I would perhaps do just some easy reading and some nice calm Aikido practice. Then, back to sleep again...

I wonder how it would feel living in a waste, lonesome snowy land. Somewhere in Lapland, for instance. Nothing but snow and kaamos. I can imagine silent glittering of the snow in the moonlight, the blasts of northern lights and all other romantic thingies; however, this is only what I imagine. I guess, in reality, life in these frozen lands is not that lovely at all; even if there is no biting frost, there is still the great darkness.

However, every winter also brings the hope of spring, warmth and endless sunlight... and then, kaamoksen kettu will feel all awake again.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Tervehdys Suomesta! So, I am back to Finland. Slovenian holidays were fine, I was happy to meet all the people and all the places. I have visited my Nanbudo dojo again and I have got a nice welcome greeting. Then, a couple of metal evenings and a gig. There was also this traditional Saturday metal evening when my dear friends made a surprise and gave me an unexpected birthday present. All in all, it was lovely.

During our New Year's Eve celebration at my Slovenian place, Salmiakki Koskenkorva vodka was poured into Finnish design Iittala glasses. Now, I sit here at my Finnish place in Jyväskylä and I drink herbal tea I have brought from Slovenia. Back home I would miss some things we have in Finland, here I would miss some things we have in Slovenia. But still, for some reasons during my Slovenian holidays, I have felt kind of connected with Finland. It feels like being between two countries and two cultures. It is perhaps even hard to describe with words. I can only try.

Why would one like to be a Finn? And on the other hand, why would one like to be a Slovenian? Answers to these questions can easily reach the realms of political; I am more in the mood for intimate discourse now. First of all, one is born into one culture and language. These roots stay with the one, wherever the one goes. Second, one can be forced to adopt new cultural identity; yet this I will skip. Also, there is this globalization going on, national cultures are melting and pouring into each other, loosing their individual features and becoming more and more similar to eachother; at least so it seems to me here in Europe. Same kind of fashion, same kind of music, same kind of yogurt, and so on.

I guess one can also feel either Finn or Slovenian without any proper document. No political discourse included. Now, why would I want to be a Finn? And on the other hand, why do I want to be a Slovenian? I am happy when I can chat in Finnish and I am still happy when I am mistaken for a Finn. But I am not denying my basic cultural identity. It will always be a part of me and I will always feel connected with potica, too. Also, changing cultural identity, trying to assimilate, cannot solve everything. My character, all of my good and bad sides, would also travel with me. One cannot escape some shadows, no matter where the one goes.

I like new things and I like to experience new cultures. I also like languages. However, I am just fascinated with the fact how close Finnish culture seems to me; this has just happened, slowly within a couple of years. And well, as I cannot provide any deeper thoughts now, I guess I should return to my studies which desperately demand some serious work.