My clever and persistent mother is working on the Laitala part of the family. It sounds like she is finding some cool stuff that we will be able to share soon.
And I have just read Finns in Minnesota by Arnold R. Alanen. It is a quick read at 112 pages & it has lots of fun pictures. I especially liked all the Finnish terms & phrases included, of course Sisu, we have all heard that one before. How about “Oma tupa, oma lupa,” which he translated as “one’s home, one’s way.” (Which differs slightly from Edgar’s translation of “One’s own cabin, one’s own freedom” in Finnish Proverbs in Minnesota.)
Alanen also highlights The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas – I had to check that one out! She remembered yummy food from her Finnish grandparents & lived in Finland for a year. Her cookbook came out in 1964 & it is more than just recipes. She has an introduction including personality, language & a bit of history. The recipes are put into historical & cultural context & adapted to the American kitchen. Both Finnish & English names appear. There is lots of emphasis on items for the coffee table! Hmmm, I have got to get my hands on some sour rye bread!
In addition, Alanen mentions Bobby Aro & he sounded familiar, so I had to go see what I could find . . .
Bobby Aro Song:
Bobby Aro Documentary:
And here is something fun, a little more recent & actually in Finnish!
Also, my head is full of images of historic Chisholm. We do not usually think of northern Minnesota as the Old West, but Chisholm was that same sort of rough & tumble boomtown with lots of young single Finnish men, working in the mines and lumber camps, living in boarding houses. And then there was lots of drinking & carousing. What an interesting time & place!
There are some great old images in Hans R. Wasastjerna’s History of the Finns in Minnesota – don’t you love these?!