The Finland Connection is being made
available for the enjoyment of the Northland's Finnish Community.
Use the Finnish Connection for links to Finnish Newspapers. These links
will not only provide you with up-to-the minute news from
Finland, but also provide you or your children a great
opportunity to brush up on your use of the Finnish
LINKS TO FINNISH NEWSPAPERS
Helsingin Sanomat Full feature Helsinki Newspaper
available in English or Finland Savon Sanomat
Full feature Iisalmi Newspaper available in Finnish only
Lansi-Savo A Mikkeli Newspaper providing local and
national news in Finnish Aamulehti A full
feature Tampere newspaper in Finnish only Turun Sanomat
A full feature Turku newspaper available in Finnish only.
Finnish American Reporter is a monthly, English language
journal, established in 1986, featuring articles and news
reports of interest to Finns across North America, in
Finland and around the world.
December 10, 2009
On Sunday, December 6, at 2:00 p.m., the Finlandia University
Finnish American Heritage Center hosted its 92nd
annual Finnish Independence Day program. The program celebrates the anniversary of the date Finland
gained its independence in 1917.
meeting of the Ladies of Keleva, Ainon Tupa
#13 was held in Baraga on Novmber 10th.
A report from the Ladies of Kaleva's Midwest
District meeting held in Duluth on September
26 was given by Linda Graham. Next year's
meeting will be hosted by the Thunder Bay,
Ainon Tupa will be hosting the Midwest
District meeting in 2011 and
the group discussed possible location for
Kris Miilu gave an update on the possibility
of getting the Mason Building. The group has
been investigating the possibility of
purchasing the Old Mass City Mason Building.
After considering all the pros and cons it
was determined that the building is too old
and requires too much repair. The cost of
the building and the repairs would be more
than the group can afford.
ED. Note: The Ladies of Kaliva provide among
other things, college scholarships to the
area's Finnish Youth.
Delights Four Audiences
Hancock – October 26, 2009
The Finlandia University fall play was
performed this past weekend at the Finnish
American Heritage Center in Hancock.
There were evening performances Thursday,
Friday and Saturday, and there was a
sold-out matinee performance yesterday
The play, "Women of Niskavuori," was
written in 1936 by Hella Wuolijoki. It is a
well-known Finnish play and since the year
2000 has been staged over 40 times in this
country. It is believed that this was the
first production of the play performed in
English. Wuolijoki often wrote under the
pseudonym of Juhani Teruapaa.
Hella Wuolijoki, 1886-1954, was one of
the most colorful personalities in
20th-century Finland. She was a powerful and
wealthy woman who headed up successful
lumber and petroleum businesses on the one
hand, and wrote left-wing plays on the
"The Women of Niskavuori" is the first of
five plays that Wuolijoki wrote about
Niskavuori, and all deal realistically with
the problems encountered by strong women.
One of her plays, "Juurakon Hulda," was
adapted into the film, "The Farmer's
Daughter," with Loretta Young and Joseph
Cotten, which reportedly won an Oscar. She
is credited as being one of the three
most-performed playwrights in Finland, along
with Aleksis Kivi
Her most famous internationally known
play is "Herra puntila and His Man Mattii
co-authored with Bercht which was performed
at the Finnish American Heritage Center last
The play was directed by Melvin Kangas
who also produced and directed last year’s
Melvin and his wonderful cast did a
terrific job in translating this
Comedy-Drama into an English performance
that so many people could understand, feel
and enjoy. The central charachters of
the paly were
Lovissa Niskavuori, Niskavuori's elderly
mistress, played by Pam Pouttu
Aarne Niskavuori, Lovissa's son, played by
Martta Niskavuori, Aarne's wife, played by
All the actors and actresses of the cast
did a wonderful job in portraying their
characters and the ups and downs of emotions
of this play.
Ilona Ahlgren, The new school teacher,
played by Meghan Pachmayer
The play's story is one of power,
complicated love relations, and conflict
between the traditional and the modern. Set
against the background of the Niskavuori
family estate, the play is the first part of
a four-part saga in the vein of "Upstairs,
Downstairs." Her most famous intemationally
known play is "Herra puntila and His Man
Mattii co-authored with Bertolt Brech! which
was performed at the Finnish American
Heritage Center last fall. She is best known
in her native Finland for "the Niska- vuori
Saga" of which our play, "Women of
Niskavuori" is the first of the series. It
was written in 1935. She often wrote under
the pseudonym of Juhani Teruapaa.
Celebrating St. Urho in Iron County With
Dorothy and the Boys
KIMBALL - Little Finland in Kimball, was the
scene of Sunday’s celebration of St. Urho’s Day. Gogebic and Iron
County Finlanders spent the afternoon listening and dancing to the great
music of Dorothy and the Boys. The musical group plays and variety of
music for their audience which includes polkas, country and western and
vintage popular songs.
"Kalevala Land of
to Play in Wixom August 22nd
I just want to make sure that I have informed
everyone that our troupe of "Kalevala: Land of
Heroes" will be making a trip down to "Finn Camp"
(http://www.finncamp.org/) in Wixom, Michigan for
two shows on August 22nd.
Matinee at 11am and evening at 7pm.
Tickets purchased in advance are $12/adult and
$8/child to 17 years old. Tickets purchased at the
door are $15/adult and $10/child to 17 years old.
These performances are sponsored by: Knights and
Ladies of the Kalevala, Detroit Finnish Cooperative
Summer Camp Assocation (Finn Camp), and the Finnish
Facebook users - we have created an "event" for this
(I'm pretty sure that you have to be logged in to
Facebook to get that link to display properly) If
you're on Facebook, I'd love it if you RSVP'd...
even if you RSVP that you aren't able to attend.
PLEASE help us publicize this event by sharing it
with as you deem appropriate.
Also -- we did a big section of the show at
Scandinavian Midsummer Fest in Marquette in June and
it was very well received. A section of the video
for that is online here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWnFzygH2LE
All of us involved are really pleased at the
response to this show. I don't think that there are
any plans in the works for the show are after August
21st, but we're open to suggestions.
Thank you for all your support and thank you for
talking this show up to your friends. It has been
at Little Finland
Kimball - June 22, 2009
Johannus a high point on the Finnish calendar comes
exactly six months after Christmas, when the interminable
nights of winter have given way to the white nights of the
Finnish summer. In the north of Finland, Midsummer marks the
peak of the exotic appeal of the Arctic, as the sun remains
above the horizon all night.
Lighting a bonfire is the high point of Midsummer night.
Originally, bonfires were only part of the eastern Finnish
Midsummer In the Finnish midsummer celebration tradition,
bonfires (kokko) are burnt at lakesides. celebrations.
"Good News" for
Finnish American Reporter
(L to R) ELCA NGLS Bishop
Thomas Skrenes, FAR editor James Kurtti, and FAR Asst. Editor
David Maki at the Good News Award luncheon and awards ceremony
June 10 in Marquette, Mich.
June 15, 2009
Lots of "Good News" for Finnish American Reporter
HANCOCK, MI - The Finnish American Reporter received some good
news June 10
in Marquette, Mich. At a luncheon and awards ceremony the monthly
was awarded three 2009 Good News Awards.
The awards are sponsored by the religious leaders of the United
Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, and Presbyterian
churches in the
Upper Peninsula of Michigan region. Since 1998 the Good News
been honoring works of excellence in broadcasting and print that
dignity of people, recognize and uphold universally-recognized
and uplift and nourish the human spirit, says a recent news
release from the
Diocese of Marquette.
In the Weekly, Biweekly, Monthly Newspapers category, the Finnish
Reporter (FAR) received the following Good News Awards.
The first was a Feature Story award for the article, "Finns in
5: Cross-curricular Culture," in which FAR editor James Kurtti
teachers at Jeffers High School, Painesdale, Mich., incorporate
culture into several subjects.
The second, a Certificate of Merit in the Editorial category, also
Kurtti, was for "Simple Gifts" in which Kurtti wrote of the magic
Finally, the FAR was awarded a Certificate of Merit for "Juhannus
(Bonfire)," a photograph taken by Kurtti of the annual bonfire at
Mich., to celebrate midsummer.
The Finnish American Reporter, published by Finlandia University,
monthly English-language journal containing news and items of
Finns and Finnish-Americans. For additional information about the
please contact James Kurtti at 906-487-7302 or
For additional information about the Good News Awards, please
Diocese of Marquette at 906- 227-9129.
As the son of a Finnish
mother and an Ojibwe father,
Carl Gawboy's paintings convey a
unique vantage point. Raised on
his mother's family farm in
northern Minnesota, the youngest
of eight children, Gawboy
decided early to become an
artist. He was determined that
his art would not be falsely
romantic, but would rather draw
on his unique childhood
experiences to tell the story of
his dual heritage. Whether
harvesting rice, duck hunting,
or making hay, the subjects of
Gawboy's work carry the
authenticity of an experienced
above Carrie Flaspohler,
Director of the Finlandia
University Gallery, introducing
Carl Gawboy to the many art
enthusiasts who came to
view artist's work.
"Transforming the Cutover"
is on display at the Finlandia
University Gallery through
Kaleva, Ainon Tupa #13
Meet For Pikku Joulu
The Ladies of Kaleva, Ainon Tupa #13 of Mass
City, Michigan met for their Pikku Joulu (Little
Christmas) celebration on December 9, 2008 at the
Parkview Lodge and Grill in Twin Lakes. Each lady
brought a gift to exchange and a candle for their
placemat. This was the final meeting for the group
for 2008. The next meeting will be in the spring of
2009. The only business the group conducted was to
approve a donation be sent to the Kivajat dance
group which is lead by Kay Seppala. This children's
dance group has an opportunity to go to Finland next
summer and needs around $20,000.00. Ainon Tupa #13
ladies enjoyed a delicious lunch, then exchanged
gifts, and sang some Christmas songs. Best wishes to
everyone in 2009. Onnea kaikkille!
Midwest District Meeting
(Linda Graham reporting)
On Saturday, September 27, 2008, the Midwest
District of the Ladies of Kaleva met in Esko,
Minnesota at the Thompson Township Building. The
Vainottaren Tupa hosted this event and six Tupas
were represented at the meeting. Vivian Williams
took over as Matron and presided over the meeting. A
report was presented from each Tupa to update
everyone on the past year's activities. A "Suomen
Koulu" has been started that will last for six weeks
and meets every other week in Virginia, MN. In
Cloquet, the Kaleva Ladies bring baked goods to the
nursing home and this activity is well-received by
Calling came calling at Covington this past
Sunday when Carl Pellonpaa hosted a Suomi Kutsuu
Dance sponsored by the Covington, parks
and recreation department. Finlanders and
their friends came to dance all afternoon to the
music of the Polka Drifters a really great band!
The Polka Drifters played a wide variety of
music including Country, swing waltzes and
of course Polkas! Ron Masters does a great
job as the band's singer. Often band
singers just get the job done, but Ron does a
great job as does the rest of band.
HANCOCK – The architectural and design
achievements of the Finnish Saarinen family were the
subject of a presentation this past week, at the
Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage
“The Artistry of the Saarinens,” was presented by
Mark Coir, director of archives at the Cranbrook
Educational Community, Bloomington Hills, Mich.
After Mr.Coir's presentation Susan Saarinen, the
granddaughter of architect Eliel Saarinen and the
daughter of architect Eero Saarinen, provided the
audience with personal insight into the lives of her
extremely talented and artistic family.
HANCOCK, MI – Finnish artist and photographer
Jari Arffman will visit the Copper Country and work
with Finlandia University students from September 6
to September 11, 2008. An exhibit of Arffman’s work
is featured at the Finlandia University Gallery, in
the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock,
through September 11.
A closing reception for the artist will take place
at the Finlandia University Gallery Tuesday,
September 9, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The reception is
free and open to the public. Refreshments will be
Three days ago we reported
on the 10th Annual Sibelius Music Festival in
Hancock and the three concerts that made up the
Music Festival. The Festival concluded last Saturday
with a public reception which was held at the Vertin
Gallery, Calumet, Michigan. Read Full
Tenth Annual Sibelius Music Festival
University presents the Tenth Annual Sibelius
Academy Musical Festival - 2008
Since 1999, Finlandia
University and the Sibelius Music Academy have
collaborated to bring a taste of Finland's musical
excellence to Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the
Midwest. This annual international event promotes
the enjoyment and appreciation of contemporary and
traditional Finnish classical music, and strengthens
FinnishAmerican ties with modern Finland. More than
50 Sibelius students have performed as part of this
Music and performing arts education, from pre-school
to post-graduate, is an integral part of Finland's
exceptional public education system. For the most
accomplished student-musicians in Finland (and for
musicians around the world) the Sibelius Academy is
the destination for the best. and brightest. The
prestigious Sibelius Academy, founded in 1882 and
named for Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, is one of
the largest and best regarded music academies in
Europe. The Academy has trained renowned musicians
such as Osmo Vanska, music director for the
Minnesota Orchestra; Jukka-Pekka Saraste, previous
conductor of the Toronto Symphony orchestra; and
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor of the Los Angeles
Finlandia University, founded in 1896 as Suomi
College, is the only private university in
Michigan's Upper Peninsula and one of 28 colleges
and universities affiliated with the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America. It is the only
university in North America founded by Finnish
immigrants. Located in the beautiful, rugged Upper
Peninsula town of Hancock, Michigan, Finlandia
University is a learning community dedicated to
academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service.
It offers baccalaureate and associate degrees in the
disciplines ofliberal studies, business, fine art
and design, and health sciences. Read Full
Adds Three Recruits
Three for 2008/2009
Head Softball Coach Shawn Hendrickson.
Date: August 7, 2008 HANCOCK, MI -
The Finlandia University women's softball program is
pleased to announce the addition of three outstanding
athletes to this year's program.
The new players who have committed to play for the Lions
in the 2008-09 academic year are Nikole Metter (Rapid
River, Mich.), Andrea Graves (Munising, Mich.), and Tena
Vajcner (Ida, Mich.).
Commits to Finlandia Lions
above: Lion's Head Soccer Coach Matt
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: August 6, 2008
Finlandia Men's Soccer Adds a Goaltender
HANCOCK, MI - The Finlandia University men's soccer team
has received a commitment from Eric Johnson of Meade
County, Kentucky, to attend and play for the Lions
starting this fall, Head Men's Soccer Coach Matt
Griffith announced today.
Johnson, 6'2", graduated from Meade County High School
in 2008 where for four years he was a goaltender for the
soccer team. Johnson was named All-County Defensive
Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008, and All-County
Goalkeeper of the Year in 2008.
"Eric will be a great addition to Finlandia's soccer
program," said Coach Griffith. "He's a solid keeper with
a knack for charging out of the net to deal with
one-on-one situations. I expect Eric to make an
For additional information about the Finlandia
University men's soccer program, please contact Coach
Griffith at 906-487-7326 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Halonen attends
FinnFest 2008 event in Duluth
and photos by Linda Graham
photo above Preident Halonen of Finland
addresses audience when she was
awarded an honorary Doctor
of Laws degree for public service at the
University of Minnesota Duluth. "Her outstanding
leadership on behalf of the rights of women, and
workers, and the poor have made her an
international role model", Chancellor Kathryn A.
IronwoodInfo reporter Linda Graham attended
the 25th annual Finnfest Festival that was held
in Duluth. Her in-depth knowledge of Finnish
Culture continues to grow with each additional
visit that she makes to Finnish cultural events.
Linda is the editor of our "Finland Connect"
page featured in the Community Section. Linda
also produces her own Finnish Radio Show "Laulun
Linda, now a resident of Ontonagon, is
an Ironwood native who grew up in Ironwood
Township. Her maiden name was Linda Toolanen and
she is the sister of IronwoodInfo
reporter/photographer Arvo Toolanen.
On Saturday, June 21 (the
official first day of summer),
Little Finland celebrated
Juhannus with music, food, and a
kokkotuli (bonfire). The
festivities began at 7:00pm at
the log building at Little
Finland, located on US 2 just
west of Ironwood, Michigan.
Music in the building was
provided by the Northwind Boys
and everyone enjoyed listening
and dancing. The outside
pavillion was the spot for food
and refreshments along with
musicians taking turns on
accordian and fiddle.
The Harma House, the Sauna,
and the Haaro Building were open
for visitors to stroll through.
The kokkotuli was lit at dusk.
For only a $3.00 admission
charge, the evening was well
worth it. The
weather was great, food was
good, and the entertainment was
The next event at Little Finland
will be a dance on July 13 from
2:00pm to 5:00pm (central time)
with music by Finnpower.
Photo above - the Haaro
House, circa 1905 one of several
historical buildings on the
Ainon Tupa #13 May Meeting
The Kalevan Naiset Ainon Tupa #13 of Mass
City held their month of May meeting
the Parkview Lodge in Twin Lakes. Each month from
August of 2007 to August of 2008, the ladies of
Ainon Tupa 13 are having a special Finnish Topic
during their regular meetings as a way to
celebrate their centennial (1907 to 2007). The
special topic for this month was knitted items. The
ladies in the group displayed many beautiful items
that they had created themselves, items created by
other family members, or knitted items
Rag Rugs Were the
Special Topic at the
Kalevan Naiset Meeting in Tapiola
The Ainon Tupa #13 Kalevan Naiset group met for
their first meeting for 2008 at the Feed Mill in Tapiola.
Since the group is celebrating their first 100 years of
existence, a special topic is covered each month.
READ FULL STORY by Linda Graham
46th Anniversary Cake for
Finland Calling Program
Carl with Granddaughter Kristen Pellonpaa serving cake.
On Sunday, March 30, 2008, Carl Pellonpaa hosted a dance at
the Elks Lodge in Ishpming to celebrate 46 years of the
"Finland Calling" television program.
Read Full Story
FinnFest 25 Takes
Place In Duluth
July 23rd through July
Co-Chairs of the FinnFest 2008, Diane Skomars and Jeanne
Doty and the President of FinnFest USA
Marianne Wargelin (in the middle).
FinnFest USA celebrates its
25th such festival this year as FinnFest 2008 takes place
in Duluth, MN, July 23-27, 2008. Under the theme “Sharing
the Spirit of Finland”, the event will honor Finnish
culture and heritage and is expected to attract
7,000-10,000 people to its variety of dance performances,
concerts, lectures, art exhibitions and tours. Click
To Read Full Story