Oi maamme Suomi

So my dear friend ttj told me when he met me two years ago that I should be an honorary Finn – a) I’m an introvert, b) I LOVE salmiakki, and c) I’m a cold weather fiend. I’ve been waiting ever since then for the honor to be made official, making sure that my Finnish friends knew I expected a ceremony appropriate to the occasion and doing everything in my power to merit such recognition. I spent the next twenty-three months singing Finnish Christmas songs about bells and/or frolicking forest animals and/or ill-fated swine (frequently at the top of my lungs and while driving at high speeds), visiting Finland (though unfortunately only for a week instead of twenty-three months), frequenting the sauna (see last post), and learning useful Finnish phrases (“You have beautiful blue/green/brown eyes,” “Shut up and kiss me,” “Am I under arrest?” and “What’s your problem?” and “I wonder if I should run around aimlessly” [this last sentiment is expressed in just one ultra-efficient Suomi word {juoksentelisinkohan!}]). I memorized the national anthem and made Finnish täytekakku and attended HBS lectures given by former Finnish prime ministers. I even thought about buying a Nokia cell phone, but couldn’t find one I liked.

So all that hard work finally paid off. Last month akk and ttj, clad in vests and adornéd with newsboy caps, presented two of their former roommates and me with official certificates proclaiming our official status as official Honorary Finns. The certificates bear the signatures of TTJ, Grand Master of the Order of the Lion, and AKK, Grand Master of the Order of the Rose. The certificates also bear the signature of Tarja Halonen, President of the Republic of Finland, whose signature resembles ttj’s rather closely, but I’m told that’s just a coincidence. The real and honorary Finns then sang “Finlandia” in four-part harmony and embraced in a group hug (this last at the behest of the honorary Finns – supisuomalainen would never instigate such a show of emotion).

Here we are receiving our high honors:




The text of the certificate (which I’ve framed and proudly display in my room):



This certifies that


has been shown to possess a natural affinity to all things Finnish. Through prolonged association with representatives of our Nordic nation, the recipient has mastered the refined customs and nuanced social mores of our reindeer herding and bear hunting ancestors and has demonstrated the same by successful sharing of lodgings with several Finns. The recipient is thus awarded the status of an

Given this 15th day of February, 2009



Contented sigh with a warm smile.

Now, on to the next dream…

5 thoughts on “Oi maamme Suomi

  1. congratulations on your finnisheptitudeyness.

    do you even like that gross licorice candy that’s so popular there?

  2. Yup – I LOVE “that gross licorice candy that’s so popular there.” It’s called salmiakki (see reason “b” at the beginning of the post). I always ask Suomi friends to bring some back for me when they go home. There’s even salmiakki ice cream, but that, unfortunately, doesn’t travel well. 🙂

  3. You deserve to be an honorary Fin after swimming in all that cold water! LOVE those Fins, but not that licorice. 😛

  4. ohhh. i guess if i knew more about finland then i wouldn’t have asked a question that you had already answered before i even asked it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *