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Archive for November, 2009

This, my friends, is the final day of my 7-day blog post challenge. I have reached the end.

Today is the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street in the US, and because it’s been adapted or rebroadcast in over 30 other countries, I decided to find out how it’s shown in Finland. The good news is that Finland does, in fact, have a history of showing Sesame Street, titled here Seesamtie. The sad news is that it was only a re-dubbing of the American version, and at that, it was only shown from 1997-2000. Actually, this information greatly distresses me. Do Finnish children not like Big Bird? Does the happiness of this show not jive with the melancholy of Finland? Perhaps it’s that the Finnish words are just too long for Sesame Street songs. I mean, really, can you imagine singing this song as, “Transylvaniassa, minä olen poika, meidän linna ole kylmä, mutta me emme ollut surullinen…yksi, kaksi kolme, levittää niemeen…”

Full admittance: I don’t know the past tense yet, so I “translated” this into the present. Also, it’s probably wrong, because Finnish is hard. Sadly, I couldn’t find a clip of Seesamtie. If only I were a child from 1997-2000…I would have learned Finnish from Evästettä Monsterin (Cookie Monster).

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First, a note: apparently my last post has caused controversy amongst readers. Reason #1: not everyone thinks you need to have a well-considered thought to post. Reason #2: some people thought I had given up on the 7-day blog post challenge. On the first matter, I’ll let you be the judge. On the second, I’ll clear up the confusion and say, not true. Giving up would be totally un-Finnish. Here is post #6, written at the request of Carolyn’s mom.

You’ll see a lot of this poppy print in Helsinki.  Marimekko Poppy PrintIt’s not totally unfamiliar in the States, either. The Finns are pretty proud of it. Marimekko, the Finnish design company, makes textiles, purses, notebooks, dinner trays, and umbrellas with this, its trademark pattern. It’s cute, bright, and cheery, and…I’m sick of it.

Marimekko seems to be a pretty big point of pride for Finns, and since Finns don’t say anything bad about Finland, I’m probably a total jerk for it. But, for me, Marimekko is Finland’s Vera Bradley, the maker of the quilted purses that somehow went from being my grandmother’s choice of handbag to every preppy teenager’s status statement. It’s cute at first, and then, you see it everywhere, and even if it’s a simple, nondescript item, you somehow know what brand made it.

That seems like such a common thing to Americans, right? Liking something until it gets too “mainstream,” too recognized. In America, it’s coolest to be ahead of the game, before your time, into something “before everyone else was into it.” Finns are very proud of Finland, though, and Finnish things that make it to the world stage are a pretty big deal for them. In Finland, you buy Marimekko goods because they’re nice, well-made, and because they’re Finnish. I’m not getting a big sense that  anyone is “so over” Marimekko. So I’m trying to gather…is this accurate, or am I missing things? How do trends “happen” in Finland? How does that influence consumption? Self-branding? Marketing?

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If you were one of those people who looked at this blog over the past three days, perhaps you noticed that I did not live up to my 7-day blog post challenge attempt. I fail.

Simple explanation is, I was busy and just didn’t get to it. However, despite my enjoyment of the craft of writing, the truth is that writing every day is kind of…annoying? Hard? Draining? I have a hard time coming up with topics that aren’t a waste of time. Meaningful writing includes reflection, and often that’s best when done in consideration of experiences spanning a more significant period of time. There are plenty of topics I could reflect upon and discuss here, but they wouldn’t all have to do with Finland and living here. So, they don’t make the cut.

I’ll work on finding new and interesting topics. After all, exercising creativity was part of why Elle magazine horoscopes thought I should accept this challenge. But for now, I’ll stick with the parting notion that less is ever so often more.

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