A love affair with Finland

Bildschirmfoto 2016-02-29 um 17.45.09„Puhutaan suomea“ (finnisch gesprochen) ist ein Magazin, um Finnisch zu lernen. Leichte, mittelschwere und schwierige Texte werden dort veröffentlicht, mit denen man Finnisch lernen kann. Neben den Artikeln sind jeweils manche finnische Vokabeln erklärt oder ins Englische übersetzt. Schaut einfach mal selbst: http://www.puhutaan-suomea.net.

Herausgeber & Ideengeber für das Magazin ist Florin Dimulescu. Über ihn und sein Magazin werde ich euch demnächst noch berichten. Denn seine Geschichte, wie er nach Finnland kam und dieses Heft Wirklichkeit wurde, ist wirklich spannend.

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In der neuesten Ausgabe ist ein Artikel über meine „Love affair“, meine Liebesaffäre mit Finnland nachzulesen.

Darin geht es unter anderem darum, wie ich mich auf die Suche nach meinen finnischen Wurzeln gemacht habe.

Mit großer Freude fand ich das Magazin heute in meiner Post und möchte es euch nicht vorenthalten. 🙂

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Nachdem mich einige Anfragen erreicht haben, hier die englische Version:

A Love Affair with Finland
Rediscovering the Finnish Roots

Text: Florin Dimulescu, Aino Ojatalo

“I’m infected. Contaminated. Longingly. In other words, Finland is an affair of heart for me.” This is how Tarja Prüss, a radio and TV journalist, describes her relation to Finland. The child of a Finnish mother and German father, like many Finnish rooted living abroad, keeping contact with Finland over the course of her life has been a tough challenge. In 2009 Tarja started a journey to rediscover Finland.

Born and grown up in northern Germany together with her older siblings Jürgen and Jaana, Tarja’s favourite place during school holidays was at her grandparents home in Oulu.
­ As I moved with my mother to southern Germany, Finland fell behind, getting further away from me, both physically and emotionally.
Tarja studied politics, history and philosophy and has worked at the Austrian National Public Broadcast company ORF for 20 years now.

­ I started to rediscover my love for Finland 2009. I lost my mother and my husband in a relatively short period of time, so I was searching for my place in the world, my role, my mission. Also for my roots. In 2013 I took time off from my job (sabbatical) to try to find out why my longing for Finland is so strong. So I travelled through the whole country ­ without a concrete plan or aim. I spent then several months in Finland.

At that time Tarja started to write a blog for her friends at home, to document her traveling experience: w​ww.tarjasblog.de.​ Beside her personal experience, the blog written in German has turned into a genuine informative source about Finland. Prior to her trip Tarja had also taken a photo training, so combining her journalistic skills with it was a perfect foundation to start the blog. She updates it constantly with new stories and pictures.

­ I want to share my passion and enthusiasm for the country, its nature, its people. I wanted to tell the world about the Finnish everyday life, about traditions and inventions,
art, music and design, but I also talk also about political and economic news, and what we can learn from each other. I want to share my perspective, my perception ­seduce with words and pictures.

The blog popularity has surprised her. With ten to fifteen thousand visitors every month, her blog gets over 800 000 page views per year. But she is still humble about it.
­ The blog is just a gift to the world. I don’t earn money with it, even if it would be nice to do that someday.
With relatives in Oulu (uncles, aunts and cousins) and many other friends all around Finland, Tarja continues to come back to Finland every year.

­ I travel to Finland three or for times a year. And every time I get here it’s like coming home. It gives me a strong feeling of freedom and independence and I feel as my soul gets so much more space to expand. The landscape, the language, the music, everything is like magic for my eyes and ears. And every experience touches me deep down in my heart and make my love and longing (kaiho) for Finland grow.

Tarja is now writing a book about Finland. A publishing company from Berlin asked her to do it, after founding her blog on the internet!
­ It will be part of a book series about different countries. The book’s title will be: „111 reasons to love Finland.“ I’m really proud and thankful to be able do that! It will be published in summer or autumn 2016.

Tarja is also trying to re­learn Finnish. She spoke it with her mom until the age of three or four, but then stopped. For two years now I have been studying Finnish again. Sometimes I wonder how many words I remember from my childhood. Words, which I didn’t even know, that I knew them. On the other hand learning Finnish language is really difficult.

However, Tarja did not give up, because he has inherited from his mother Finnish SISU, which helps forward.

Discover more about ’new‘ Tarja and her Finland affair on her blog: www.tarjasblog.de.

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