Finnish Language Classes to begin Sept 10 at Saima Park

Come join the fun! 
What: Three levels of Finnish language classes When: 10 consecutive Mondays, from September 10 through November 12.             4:00-6:00pm   New Beginners, taught by Saija Laurla *
            6:15-8:15pm   Advanced Beginners, taught by Saija             6:15-8:15pm   Intermediate, taught by Liisa Liedes Where: Function Hall at the Finnish Center at Saima Park Fee: FCSP members $75, others $80
See  for photos and bios of Saija and Liisa. 
To register, please reply and send a check to FCSP, P.O. Box 30, Fitchburg, MA 01420
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Fly your Finnish Flag for Vappu

Keep that flag out after “War Veterans Day” for May 1st: Vappu

What is Vappu?

With its northern latitude leading to cold. dark winters, the arrival of spring has always been a welcome event in Finland and a tradition of a festival to mark the turning of the seasons dates back to pagan times.

A Finnish twist on the May Day celebrations developed in the nineteenth century when engineering students would celebrate and party at midnight on 30 April, while sporting their traditional white caps.

This custom has now become widespread across Finland, leading to almost a carnival-like partying in towns and cities with large student populations.

Festivities begin in Helsinki at 6pm on 30 April, when students will gather at the Market Square to wash the statue of a nude female called Havis Amanda, before putting a white cap on her head.

On 1 May, students and graduates will then lead a procession through Helsinki, ending in large open-air picnics in the parks across the city. Mead and doughnuts are traditional treats on this day.

Submitted by Joyce Hannula

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“National War Veterans Day”

Friday April 27
“National War Veterans Day”

It marks the last time Finland was at war, the end of the Lapland War in 1945.
On 27 April 1945, the very last German troops left Finland
and crossed the border to Norway - then occupied by Nazi Germany.

Submitted by Joyce Hannula

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Fly your Finnish Flag Monday, March 19 for the birthday of Minna Canth and “Day of Equality” in Finland

Fly your Finnish Flag
Monday, March 19 for the birthday of Minna Canth
“Day of Equality” in Finland

Minna, born March 19, 1844, was a writer and social activist.
She began to write as a widow while raising seven children.
She became a controversial figure.

Her most important works were plays which caused scandal:
“The Workers Wife” and “Anna Liisa”

She is the first woman to receive her own Flag Day in Finland,
starting on March 19, 2007

It is also the day of social equality in Finland.

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Finland is the happiest country in the world, says UN report

Nordic nations take top four places in happiness rankings, with annual study also charting the decline of the US

Top 10 happiest countries, 2018

(2017 ranking in brackets)

1. Finland (5)

2. Norway (1)

3. Denmark (2)

4. Iceland (3)

5. Switzerland (4)

6. Netherlands (6)

7. Canada (7)

8. New Zealand (8)

9. Sweden (10)

10. Australia (9)

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“The oldest ice skates that anyone has found so far were made in Finland 2,000 years before the birth of Christ, which is to say 800 years before the Trojan War depicted by Homer in the ‘Iliad’.” These primitive devices were made from the sharpened shinbones or jawbones of cattle.”  Noted in  NY Times 02/04/18  by Marita

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RAIVAAJA Preservation 04/18

Digital Preservation Update April 2018

Dear Friends and Supporters of RAIVAAJA:

The digital preservation project continues to move forward and now several exciting and important portions are completed and others planned:

  • February ’18 Another three years of RAIVAAJA newspapers are  digitized including the 50th Anniversary editions. We will preserve the remainder of the 1950’s this month.  Your donations and total for the 2017-2018 appeal are noted on a separate page.  Each dollar given to the Foundation preserves about three newspaper pages!  Paljon kiitoksia!
  • October ’17- The Foundation digitized another three years (1957-1959) of RAIVAAJA newspapers bringing the total to over 4500 RAIVAAJA newspapers  which is an additional 3600 pages of RAIVAAJA During the 50’s, RAIVAAJA was published on 5 days each week.
  • August- The Foundation digitized another decade (1960-1970) of RAIVAAJA newspapers bringing the total to over 3600 RAIVAAJA newspapers  which is an additional 8905 pages of RAIVAAJA . We find that a few pages are missing or damaged and are searching for replacements.
  • MAY- All newspapers from Dec 1970 to the last issue in April 2009 have been preserved on microfilm, in computer search-able portable document format (pdf), and, in digital jpeg. format. There are 22080 individual pages now on multiple RAIVAAJA hard drives and we will archive all 1.4 Terabyte of the files to a cloud server in addition to maintaining copies locally .  Our intent is to make these files available to all. For the time being, many complete newspapers are available for viewing through our website:
  • All files will be available in the future for on line viewing when web hosting details are worked out. (Individual newspaper files are available though the Foundation for a small donation to cover our costs. Please note that a CD will hold up to 15 issues and a DVD around a year of complete newspapers.)
  • Finlandia Foundation National awarded Raivaaja Foundation $3000 in April to begin the digital preservation process. The award covered about 75% of digital conversion of the 1970-2009 microfilms. We added $1000 of your donor gifts to completely digitize the 1970-2009 films.
  • To keep the project going, we do need a continuing source of funds. Each donation, grant, and award gets us a fraction of the way to completing digital preservation of over 100 years of RAIVAAJA archives which will make the photos, the newspapers, and the books available to anyone with access to an Internet connection. Your support in any amount will help keep this project going and a donation form is attached for your use.  Each dollar to the Foundation preserves about three newspaper pages!

We are very pleased that over 100 donors gave $5750 to the Raivaaja Foundation in the 2016-2017 appeal for preservation of and access to this important Finnish American historical record. Your encouraging notes are gratifying. (Supporters are recognized on the donation pages at our website (blog):

Paljon kiitoksia!

For the Board

Bob Hanninen, Treasurer 01/15/18



Since 1905

Donation Form


Thank you for your gift to Raivaaja Foundation,Inc,
the nonprofit publisher of the Finnish American RAIVAAJA


NAME ____________________________


AMOUNT ________________________________________

Please tell us if your donation is in remembrance or a special occasion so that we may properly acknowledge your gift according to your wishes.



Are there any special instructions such as “given anonymously” or for a “special purpose”? Please use the space below to explain:




c/o Robert Hanninen, Treasurer

640 Townsend Road

Groton, MA 01450

Phone: 978-343-3822 e-mail:

RAIVAAJA FOUNDATION is a fully qualified 501(c)3 non profit incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. RAIVAAJA has no paid staff and depends entirely on your generosity to preserve over 110 years of Raivaaja photos, books, and newspapers. Fed. Tax ID 20-2651367


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Jet-Age Chic (Eero Saarinen)

It was the world’s most famous airport terminal 1, and the most beloved project of the mid-century architect Eero Saarinen 2. Likened to a bird taking off, the TWA Flight Center at New York’s Kennedy airport comprises four vaulted concrete shells perched lightly on the ground. There are few walls; instead, the exterior is dominated by canted banks of windows.


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When Finns Speak, Everybody Listens- it’s just that nobody else understands!

When Finns Speak, Everybody Listens- it’s just that nobody else understands!

By Bill Farmer (Knight-Ridder newspapers)

“Finnish is easy. All you do is tape-record English and then play it backwards.” (quote from somewhere in Berlitz Language School)
The language itself is like the Finns  themselves – it has nothing to do with Russia or

Sweden, despite their proximity.
Finnish, I think, was invented by an ancient king who commanded the people in his dominion to speak
like him upon the penalty of death. The monarch’s name I shall give as Toivo I, or Toivo the Stutterer. It was Toivo’s
lingual philosophy that ‘why use one letter when two or three would do.’
Take the word for cigarette lighter. It is savukkeensytytin, which is the reason why so many Finns carry matches.
When the Finns start a word they see how many foreigners they can weed out on the first syllable.
Take the Finnish word for “93”. The first three letters are “yhd”.That eliminates a lot of competition right there.
For the full Finnish word for “93” I would advise you fasten your seat belts and put on your crash helmet.
Here it goes – “yhdeksankymmentakolme”.
According to Berlitz, that is pronounced simply: “EWHdayksaenKEWMmayntaeKOALmay”. Finns have died of old age trying to count to 100.
Part of the problem with the Finnish language is that Finns don’t mess around with little bitsy words at all. If they are going to use
the word “the” or “a” or “by” they just stick it onto a nearby word as an ending.
And don’t think you are going to get away with not pronouncing every letter, either. Nothing is
wasted in Finnish. Sometimes, when they use a couple or three vowels in a
row, they’ll put two little dots over the tops of some of them just to break the monotony. Those little dots mean something.
In the word “pencil sharpener”, which is spelled “kynanteroittin”, they put two little dots over the “a” and that means it is pronounced
like an “a” and an “e” slopped together. It also means that you are going to find a lot of dull pencils in Finland.
It is the only language I know of where phonetic spelling is more complicated than regular
spelling. for example, To say “pencil sharpener” in Finnish, you should start with a bottle of good
Finnish beer. Take a deep breath, roll back your eyes and say: “KEWnae” (run the “a” and “e” together
now, remember?) “nTAYR” (stop here and have a sip of beer) “roa” (then comes a very, very small “i” that fools a lot of people,
but, without it the word means “spinach” or something entirely different from “pencil sharpener”) “ttin”  (more beer,
please). Okay, all together now “KEWnaenTAYroaittin!”
>There here now, wasn’t that easy? Where’s the bottle opener?
During a recent visit of Finland I never saw a crossword puzzle. The papers weren’t large enough to cover both horizontal and vertical I guess.
The word for “no” is “ei” pronounced “aye”, which means yes in English, and the word  “hyva” as in “hyvaa paivaa” (means good day) means
hello and “hyvasti” (goodbye – a deravative of “Hyva”) (with two little dots side by side over both “a” ‘s or “ae-ae”)
depending on what direction you’re going.
Now the word for “yes” is simple. It is “kylla”. The trouble is, nobody uses it. They all say “joo”
or “yoa” or “yo”, which naturally, is not Finnish at all,but is Swedish. To say “yes, yes” they all say
joo – joo” = “yo-yo”.I can’t imagine what the finnish word for actual “yo-yo” is, but it must be dandy-dandy.
Finnish is related to Hungarian by a previous marriage.
That’s why the second language of Finland is, of course, Swedish.
Thank God, everyone speaks English, however, so don’t worry if you ever go there.
For an emergency, I tried to learn the Finnish expression for “Get me a doctor, quick”, which is “noutakaa nopeasti laakari”, with the dots
over the “a”s  in the word laakari (doctor) but by the time I memorized it I was well again.
And you thought English was a hard language to learn!


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Lauri Markkanen -With the Chicago Bulls 12/22/17

Lauri Markkanen’s new way of life? Attack, attack, attack, attack …
Bulls 12/22/2017, 11:13pm  by Joe Cowley

It wasn’t the type of shot chart often associated with Lauri Markkanen: a few circles scattered outside of the three-point line and a Rorschach test in the paint.

Coach Fred Hoiberg called it a “breakout game’’ for his 20-year-old rookie. But the reality is that it might be a new way of life for the 7-footer.

In losing to Eastern Conference powerhouse Cleveland on Thursday, Markkanen put up 17 shots — his most in December — but only four came from outside.

The shot selection was not necessarily by choice for Markkanen. Teams have been able to scout the seventh overall pick for a while now, and adjustments have been made. Now it’s Markkanen’s turn to adjust. The 25-point showing against the Cavaliers was a good start.

“Lauri was phenomenal,’’ Hoiberg said. “It was great to see him have a breakout game like this. We were really trying to clear out a side for him and give him the whole side to drive it to the basket, and he was really aggressive getting there. I think his footwork is getting good on the midrange, face-up spot plays, so again, he’s got to find different ways to score other than the three-point line, the way teams are hugging him out there.’’

Through his first 10 games, Markkanen averaged 15.4 points and put up an average of 7.2 three-pointers. More at

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