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Finland’s Independence . . . and ours
Dec 6th, 2017 by Dr Karma

It’s Finnish Independence Day! In fact, it’s the 100th anniversary.

Happy Anniversary, Finland!

On this day in 1917, Finland broke free from Russia. Historically, Finland had to break free a lot–its neighbors didn’t respect it, but the Finn’s sisu (a uniquely Finnish characteristic involving perseverance and stubbornness and quiet resolve) has freed it time and again and kept its culture and language unique.

(Independence did not, by the way, stop Russia from re-invading during WWII. And for some reason, the Finns had to pay a war debt for defending their own country. Apparently, since the allies won, and since Russia was an ally, the Finns were supposed to just say, “sure, c’mon in, the sauna is all warmed up for you.”)

When I was in Finland several years ago, I spotted this painting in the national museum:

I was drawn to it immediately.

“Yeah, girl! Protect that book!”

Of course, I discovered it wasn’t just celebrating bibliophilia.

The woman is the maiden of Finland, defending the rule of law against the Russian eagle.

As we celebrate Finnish independence today, let’s all take a moment to consider the sad fact that we need a picture just like this, with the Statue of Liberty instead. Or Mueller. Or a donkey.

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Happy St. Urho’s Day
Mar 16th, 2009 by Dr Karma

urhologo

That’s right–it’s Saint Urho’s Day!  Now, some of you may notice that Finland is a traditionally Lutheran country and that there is no Saint Urho in the Church, anyway.  Saint Urho’s day is indeed made up–Finnish immigrants wanted their own day to get drunk at the start of Spring (this was back when only Irish people celebrated St. Patrick).

So they made up their own holiday.  And why not?  All holidays are basically made up and/or have changed incredibly over the centuries.  Why not celebrate that which is fake?

Reasons why St. Urho’s Day is superior to Saint Patrick’s day:  it’s the day before.  St. Patrick was a dick.  It wasn’t “snakes” he drove out of Ireland–it was Norwegians.  St. Patrick is famous for being anti-immigrant.

If Patrick drove out the snakes, the Finns decided that Urho drove out the grasshoppers and saved the wine crop.  So put on some green and purple and drink some wine.  And when people try to hand you a green beer tomorrow, tell them you’ve already celebrated (unless you’d still like to drink–in which case, you should have some decent beer or another bottle of wine).

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