maanantai 21. heinäkuuta 2014

Archipelago weekend

Last weekend we made our traditional visit our good friends in Western Finland. They live in the nice archipelago village called Rymättylä.

On Friday we met our friends at the mall in the town Raisio near Rymättylä.  We had some shopping both to the wardrobe and the fridge. In the evening we barbequed some salmon with some tomatoes and zucchini. We also had a special guest T who joined us bit later that night…    

Saturday was full of nice things to do. We had a nice breakfast on the dock in warm and sunny weather. 

There were a Jaakko’s (Jack) day market in the village. There’s a saying that Jaakko will throw a cold stone to the water to cool it. Actually the saying is from the period Jaakko’s day was the 6th of August, so the water was actually just warming up.

After eating an archipelago lunch made by local lady club we went to the theater. The theater piece told about the history of Rymättylä, especially the only herring fleet in Finland. It was rather good and fun, concerning the text, the songs, the direction and the performance. The Theater group consisted of young artists from Tampere theater school.  

                                        Having a warm doughnut after the theater performance
After the theater we still had time for a trip to Seili Island. Our friend T has a rather fast motor boat and he offered that trip which we willingly accepted. So after a half an hour sea voyage we reached the Seili dock.

Seili is a wonderful island full of old trees, meadows and some old buildings. 

The history of the island is very sad as a isolated place for the leper hospital. The first hospital on Seili was established in the 1620s. Before that there were two farms on the islands belonging to the Crown and thus available when the authorities looked for a suitable island to which the leper hospital at the outskirts of Turku could be moved. The last leper patient died in 1785, and the establishment on Seili became a hospital or a place of confinement for mentally afflicted people until 1962. The hospital was self-sufficient with agriculture, and fishing. The present-day buildings on the island, with the exception of the chapel (built 1733) and the rectory (built 1791), date from the 19th and the 20th centuries, and most of them have been built for the mental hospital. Currently the island hosts the Archipelago Research Institute that is a part of the University of Turku.

                                                   The Seili hospital

                                                   The Seili Church

After the Seili trip we felt ourselves hungry and barbequed some red wine marinated entrecote beefsteaks. Our host read some chapters of the novel “In the Parlour at Alastalo”  by the Western Finnish novelist Volter Kilpi. Or actually he read only a fragment of the chapter: The whole 800 pages opus tells about six hours in the parlour and it’s a masterpiece of prolonging the story: Describing how to choose a tobacco pipe takes no less than seventy pages!!  Kilpi tells the main clue, the investment in the ship building from every person’s point of view and does it in the manner that is very hard to translate to other languages. It resembles in many way Kalevala and the first Finnish novelist Aleksis Kivi -  except they didn’t use lingering way of telling.

The reason our host did it was he wanted to persuade us to go to Volter Kilpi festival in Kustavi near Rymättylä. We have had our experiences of Kilpi text earlier and had great difficulties in reading the first 200 pages so we didn’t catch the bait.   

So after a lazy Sunday morning we had our own ways, our host went to Kustavi and started our way back home. So far it has been a wonderful weather, but when we started our journey it started rain and thunder. But when we entered our home region it seemed there had been no rain, so we had no troubles with it.

We had some extra time to make visits to places between home and Rymättylä but we were so full of nice experiences we simply couldn’t absorb any more.

Helsinki Pride 2014

It’s almost a month when the Helsinki Pride actually happened at the end of the June so I make only a brief report.

On Tuesday my main activities were hostessing our DWC coffee evening. On Wednesday I was organizing the panel discussion about opportunities of the new equality legislation, concerning the trans people. The panelists were representatives of employer and employee organizations and ministry of the social and welfare issues.   The trans issues are linked to equality legislation together with other gender equality issues so the rules and sanctions are harder compared for legislation for other minorities. However it wasn’t clear enough what is the right to express one’s gender identity at workplaces. The employers have a sight they have right to rule what is the descent way to dress for a man or a woman. To my point of view they should have the right to tell what is the descent way to dress but not who is the one who’s dressing like that.

                                        The panelists with a leader Inkeri (on left)

Wednesday evening I went to “logdans“ at the Kaisaniemi pavilion restaurant. It is a traditional happening with old Finnish dance music and crowd of Pride people. Although the weather was rather chilly the dance hall was hot and it felt you could almost cut the air with the scissors. Anyway we had a wonderful time with some friends and later in the night I even danced when the air wasn’t so hot after many people had already left the place.

                                        Two sweaty ladies at the logdans, me with Patricia

Thursday was for some rest. Friday afternoon we went to two picnics: The Finnish LGBTI-organisation Seta and the support center for the trans people. Both had an anniversary, Seta 40 years and support center 20 years. After trans picnic we still visited Patricia and Päivi and had a wonderful moment there with some other friends, too. While other still continued to ladies club we decided to go home to spare some energy for the next day…

                                      At the trans picnic with Asta and Päivi

…and it was naturally the Pride train day!! I had promised to bring our banderol for a sign mark so we had to be in time at the plaza the train was starting.

                                                   Strating the train with Tea

In Finland we have a new law for citizen initiatives for a parliament. One of the most successive initiatives have been law for equal marriages. And it was just three days earlier a parliamentary committee ahd decided not to support the initiative. The reasons for that were apparently artificial and many people got very upset of the incident. So there was a huge rise of the number of the people in the train. 

The park where the train ended was not so big so it was really crowded. Luckily the weather had turned sunny and warm again so it was a very enjoyable happening. I had made my specialty, mushroom pie for our picnic. However there were so much people we couldn’t see all our friends to share the pie. But no problem, I gave the rest to some German visitors who willingly ate it.

                                         Mushroom pie with champagne with Kiira and Elise

The last Pride activity was the Mummolaakso (the valley fo eldery ladies) punch coffee ball - though I enjoyed it without coffee.