Free fun with Finns

Thumbnail image for finland.jpg

This photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society has former governor Orville Freeman standing next to Finland’s prime minister Reino Kuuskoski at a 1958 event in Minnneapolis.

The prime minister is presenting Freeman with a handwoven Finnish rug typical of the art and craft of the country.

Finnish textiles will be among the items on display at an event that is a true antidote for the midwinter blahs.

The Good Design Is Forever event takes place in south Minneapolis, Saturday, Jan. 28.

First of all, the gathering is inside a work of art – Christ Church Lutheran – a national historic landmark designed by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen with an addition by Eero, Saarinen’s son.

Besides textiles, there’ll be exhibits of Finnish glass along with music, films and food.

There’ll be art projects for the kids.

You can tour the church.

Did I say free?

Finns are fun. Besides great design, they have a fascinating, if challenging, language.

Put “terve” (hello, or good health to you) in your collection of greetings – (TARE veh and roll the “r” with gusto) – when you visit the Saturday event and hold on. Native speakers will turn to look at you, correct your pronunciation, and help you learn some other amazing words.

Finns are a smaller but influential ethnic group in Minnesota. Lots of them came to work in the mines on the Iron Range.

More recently, a fellow named Osmo has helped take the Minnesota Orchestra to new levels of artistry.

Years ago, my colleague Mary Losure and I did a piece on the Finns in Minnesota.

Have a listen.

I wonder whatever became of the rug?

Comments are closed.