It's December 9th y'all!
But a few days back it was December 6th, which happens to be the day we celebrate independence day here in Finland. This year was special, since it was exactly 100 years ago that we gained our independence from Russia in 1917.
This year I've really thought a lot about what being independent really means, and how much the generations prior to ours have had to sacrifice in order for us to live in a free country. There is a classic Finnish film based on a novel by Väinö Linna called "Uknown Soldier" that is shown on TV each independence day, which depicts the Continuation War between Finland and the Soviet Union in 1941-1944 from the perspective of Finn soldiers. This year, a remake was made of the film to celebrate Finland's centenary, and I had the opportunity to see a showing of the movie. It was definitely moving and it made me realize just how young the boys and men fighting in that war were, and how the whole society was affected by this war. Most of all, I feel an enormous amount of gratitude towards our veterans who have enabled us to live in a peaceful and free country today.
The Finlandia Hymn was written by Jean Sibelius and is one of the most beautiful songs I know.
My independence day started with listening to my mother's choir performance at the steps of the Cathedral. Afterwards we had dinner at my parent's house. Me and André were in charge of the appetizers, and we ended up making a "suomi sandwhich" which was a potato flatbread with a smetana whitefish filling. My dad made the main course which was absolutely delicious (roasted potatoes and sweetpotatoes, beetroot and a beef roast with red wine sauce), it was actually so delicious I forgot to take a picture of it, and my mom had made us yummy pannacotta as a desert.
I ended the night by watching the independence ball which is a tradition for many Finnish people.
This weekend we have an honorary guest visiting us as Andre's best friend Tony is staying over for a couple of days. I also have a housewarming party to go to, and some lessons to plan for Monday which is my last day at the school in Pargas, so the weekend will probably go by super fast!