I am a Finnish-American.

I'm also Norwegian-American and well... the American part has a bit of English, Irish, maybe some Scottish and I do believe just a pinch of Native-American. So yeah, I'm really just American. A melting pot, if you will. But my mother (above) is half Finn, half Norwegian. She has always been very proud of her heritage and has instilled the same in her children.

I recently spent some time at my mother's home in Minnesota and thought it would be interesting to document the various Finland inspired items around her home. My step-father is also a Finnish-American and they are Finnish Folk Dancers. So basically, what I'm saying is, we're more Finnish than you!

(Finn's are known for the sauna. I'm pretty sure they invented it. Next time you're in one, check out the temperature gauge to see where it was made... most likely in Finland. P.S. I was made in Washington State, U.S.A. Not Finland.)

The only person I "know" who is more Finnish than we are is my favorite blogger, Extranjera. You may have heard of her. She simply wonders What Will I Ever Do With My Life and Blogger finally saw the light and made her a recent Blog of Note. Please read every word she writes. She is riotously funny and well... she's Finnish.

(Marimekko is only one of the coolest design houses in the world AND they are from Finland! Booyah! The text underneath my Marimekko coffee mug is Finn-glish. A decidedly perfect blend of Finnish & English. I just decided it was perfect.)

(I love how not only is there a Finnish Flag in two corners of this mirror, but also on top of the kitchen hutch across the room in the reflection. I didn't plan that, but it's perfect!)

(I believe the people in the portrait above are my step-father's Finnish grandparents.)

(When my mother inquired what in the world I was taking photos of, she directed me to this and the last photo, saying that they are quintessential Finnish crafts. She would know better than I and I do think they are pretty cool. Especially this one. I have a Christmas ornament just like it, but much smaller.)

(It was 9:06 A.M. when I went on my photo taking spree.)


Extranjera said...

Aww (why do I always open with this in your comments?!?!), you are too sweet and yes I am utterly Finnish, some might say horribly so, but that's another story altogether.

I love all of the Finnish artifacts. The wood strip one on the wall is a variation of a himmeli, which used to be used before the christmas tree came along. One would hang from the ceiling. A himmeli, not a tree or anything weird... "cos we're not weird, not at all.

I can totally see the Scand in your mom, and you as well, if one leaves out the quite strong Native American feel. Also, your teeth are much nicer than anyone's in Finland. Ever. We don't come with teeth like that. Ever.

Love this post. (and not only 'cos I'm in it)

My name is Erin. said...

Ha! Well my teeth are only this nice after many, many orthodontic procedures. And their white hue comes courtesy of photoshop. Yes. It's true. My mother's teeth (whitened also by photoshop) are however perfectly perfect. I wish I had inherited her teeth, but alas, I got my fathers. He's the American mish-mash of cultures. Apparently mixing so many cultures leads to crooked, crappy teeth.

julochka said...

that's funny. don't you think that sometimes people of a certain heritage become more adamantly of that heritage than the people who were left behind in the old country? i think it's really sweet. :-)

but extranjera isn't really all that finnish. she prefers tequila over vodka (i have witnessed this in person) and she hates the sauna. i was thinking of reporting her to the finnish authorities... :-) but you're right, she so deserved BoN. :-)

My name is Erin. said...

Julochka! Welcome to my blog! My mother and I have chatted about the fact that the Finn-pride might be a little over the top. It is pretty sweet. I'm actually very thankful, because it makes me feel closer to that side of my family. When I think of the journey my Grandmother made as a young woman to the States, it puts my life into perspective.

paula said...

I suppose that makes me Venezuelan-American-Colombian:)love the photos as always.

My name is Erin. said...

Thank you, Paula! And thanks for sharing your heritage. I'm always interested in where a persons roots lay. It adds another dimension to their personality.

Trojan Gayle said...

HI Erin,

Great topic for today's post, explorings one's past. Have you ever been to Finland or felt a calling you your parents homeland.

People who live in the UK with an ethnic or cultural connection from another country often feel that they must visit that country. I was just wondering if you ever felt that way.

My name is Erin. said...

Hi, Trojan! Thank you! Yes, I definitely plan to visit Finland one day. Like I mentioned, I'm Finn and Norwegian. My husband is Swedish. So we're hoping to go to all three countries when our kids are about 10-12, so they can come with us and appreciate the history and the experience. Any earlier and it's over their heads any later and they could be ungrateful teenagers more concerned with their ipods and boyfriend/girlfriend back home. (a la Audrey in National Lampoons European Vacation)

B said...

Wow, you really are a melting pot! It'd be so interesting when you come to Europe and go to all those places... I'm only Spanish... how boring, maybe that's why I moved to England! :)

kobico said...

Voordan hardu dai idag? Sorry, the only phrase I know in any scandinavian language is in Norwegian (other than cuss words).

"people of a certain heritage become more adamantly of that heritage than the people who were left behind in the old country?"

That made me think of the fact that I can (and do) cook all of the traditional Japanese holiday dishes, but most of my family members in Japan just buy them these days!

My name is Erin. said...

B- That's not boring! The Spanish have a very interesting history.

Kobico- Thank you for commenting! Welcome. You know one more Norwegian phrase than I do. LOL! I never have been good with foreign language, even if it is a part of my heritage. :) I wish I could eat at your house for the holidays! I LOVE Japanese food. It might even be my favorite.

magicpolaroid said...

woderful work Erin, like the history of family and ur pix too!

Linda said...

Haha! Sorry to say it but that one norwegain phrase wasnt right at all... :) Im norwegian, and you should definintly come here one day. It can be very beautiful here! :)

My name is Erin. said...

Linda- Which Norwegian phrase? I thought I only had Finnish and Finn-glish words. The text underneath the Marimekko mug is a combination of Finnish & English, spoken by Finnish settlers here in the States. But I wouldn't know the difference if it was Bulgarian. Haha! I'm an American English speaker through and through.

I'd LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to visit Norway someday and have every intention of doing so. :) Thanks for visiting my blog.

Linda said...

Hi again! I was reffering to the commenter above me. (Kobico) :)

Hehe! Found noting wrong in the post itself... :) You are very welcome to my lovley home country!! :D

My name is Erin. said...

Ahhh... yes. I know a few French phrases that are probably incorrect, too. :)