Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Introducing Jimboomba Park Retro Exercise Trail from the 80’s

An exercise trail in Jimboomba Park demonstrates that public health has been in focus for quite a long time with the community capacity builders.

Previously in a few of my blog postings I have introduced the concept of Senior Park and LifeTrail for community sports and recreation enthusiasts. At the same time, I have been pondering what is it that seems to stop me from actively implementing my awareness that regular exercise is crucial to my wellbeing and actually take it up as part of my daily activities. Also, I have been investigating what kind of play/exercise areas we need to develop to enhance public health for all ages through our community care organisation.

I can say that I am seriously interested in my own and other people’s wellbeing. I can be relatively easily persuaded to group activities and anything energetic that would relate to my work as confirmed by my interest in travelling around and investigating what is available. Yet, somewhere there is a wide gap between this interest and actually doing it. I would like to help everyone, including myself to close this bridge. I feel that I now have to start from the nearest and easiest park available to me at

Jimboomba Park is situated right next to the Caddies Community Care Centre, where I work. I drive past it every day and sometimes I have taken part in some events, like The Vibe or other youth events organised by my own staff. I know there is a walking group organised by us that uses the park early mornings. Our Community Service Delivery Coordinator is doing everything she can to get people enthusiastic about healthy lifestyle, food and activities. There is a scooter and skateboard track there, which is often full of young enthusiasts. On a weekday I very seldom see any other people in the park or the playgrounds. So, I decided to go there on a Saturday instead.

The concreted retro trail is approximately 120m long. There is an exercise station at every 20 meters. I couldn’t really call them equipments in a modern sense, except maybe for the monkey bars. Rather, they are small items placed on soft surface to help those who complete the trail to do a particular exercise, like hopping over a log or walking a plank for balance. There is even a two train monorail that was a popular feature in the 90’s parks. Unlike modern outside exercise equipments these items are not designed to actively aid with the exercise itself. Rather they are there to provide a platform for a movement or action. However, similarly to modern trails, a good trainer or physiotherapist can do a lot in guiding people to do a right exercise with the help of a particular station to enhance and keep their physical abilities in good shape longer. The difference is that the new equipment and playgrounds are designed to enthusiastically help to attain results. It is a further developed concept from what is provided here that applies the modern efficiency approach to sports and recreation standards. The new playground equipment comes complete with the research results about how efficient they are in aiding the exerciser’s goals.

Yet, I had a very good half an hour walking down the trail and trying all the stations and so did the few families, I did encounter. I am quite convinced, though that with some deep analysis of what is needed and suitable for particularly set aims, we will be able to develop a suitable activity area for both young and old to have professionally guided activity groups that really enhance our physical wellbeing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Having a great day at the Caddies Community Care Centre in Jimboomba

Demonstrating success towards attaining results in community capacity building

How would a great working day be defined? Is there a standard criterion? What would it take to say that a particular day in a working life has been great, wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable? Well, we had a day last week at Caddies in Jimboomba where I work, which in my mind can qualify as a grand day. Lucky for me, on that day we had a pleasure to be visited by Councillor Hajnal Black from the Logan City Council and I was equipped with a camera. As the day went on and the pictures piled up, its particular meaning suddenly became quite clear to me.

Is there a criterion for a great day at work?

For me a criterion is set by what kind of outcomes I would like to achieve from a successful day’s work. I have been pondering what makes a great day at work for other people. In my mind I would deem it a wonderful day if I can actually see a positive influence my work experience and commitment has on people and service outcomes. It would make the work worthwhile and would colour the day great.

As the Director for the organisation, I set my goals in relation to the mission, vision and the philosophy of the organisation. In this case the Jimboomba Community Care Association Inc which exists to enhance the wellbeing and social capital of our community. The Community Care Centre from where we operate is the centre of our activities in the area. From there we demonstrate our presence, our values and our commitment to the wellbeing of the community surrounding us. According to the 2006 census some 41000 people are anchored through our service provision to the community in the Logan and Beaudesert area. It is a huge challenge.

The organisational plan is set to encompass all our services: Caddies Care Services, Caddies Food Services, Caddies Community Welfare, Caddies Family and Youth Support Services, both funded and unfunded, and all the Caddies Community Care Centre activities. On the care service front our aim is to achieve an all-inclusive best practice, high quality service delivery and on the centre activities front a genuine presence in the community as a place to participate, meet and interact. My role is to lead the organisation to greater achievements and balanced service delivery for all in our community. Positive outcomes in an organisation can only be achieved by a great team effort, a committed Management Committee, staff and volunteer participation. First of all it requires attitude! Luckily, we have the IT factor. I can only commend the staff, volunteers and all involved in their commitment to the organisational outcomes.

Personally for me a great day is when I come home in the evening inspired, happy, full of future plans and ready for more. I might even take up some vacuum cleaning and cooking without any bother. Achieving organisational and personal goals, just for one day, calls for a celebration. My feeling is that we have now set the standard and can aim at repeating it again and again in rabid succession.

What did this remarkable day involve?

First and foremost the day was full of activities at Caddies Community Care Centre. The place was busting with children, parents, grandparents, volunteers and other visitors. The JCCA staff was at their most efficient and the facilities were in full use. Every function room, including the courtyard was occupied. The Food Pantry was busy, too. As the day happened to be the National Meals-on-Wheels Day, MOW staff and volunteers were celebrating. Now we know what we can achieve.

We greatly appreciate Councillor Black’s visit to the Caddies Community Care Centre. Through the day we got to demonstrate that well planed and defined cooperation with local council and community results in more community participation by the members of the said community. The pictures clearly show how much fun we had on the day and how good it turned out to be.

Parent/grandparents support group and the Chatterbox.

New Mothers group and Parents and Bubs Fun.

Caddies Meals-on-Wheels volunteers in training and at lunch.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Visiting Limestone Park, Fitness Path and Nodes in Ipswich

From the concept of the Senior Park to the community recreational health through walking at a park

It is interesting what can be found if one pays attention to detail. Not that I say, I do. For example not before a PlayWorld, play equipment representative, from Western Australia, had a telephone conversation about the concept of LifeTrail with me last week, did I know that 15 minutes down the road where I live, in the Limestone Park, in Ipswich, there actually is one. This is how it works in reality.

One is alerted to something through media, like I was impressed by the worldwide media coverage of the opening of the London Senior Park at Hyde Park. I was inspired by the idea. It fits with the development of services desperately needed in my own community and within the framework of the services provided by the organisation I work for. I was able to visit the London Senior Park on my trip to Europe and I was lucky enough to speak with the park project manager (see my previous posting on my visit there in July). From there on, I have found that there are many different solutions that have been realised by many countries, councils and places in order to get the public noticing that healthy living and regular physical exercise should be at the forefront of their mind. From being inspired by an idea, there is still a long way to actual regular exercise. For example Lappset (also introduced by a previous posting) playground equipment for seniors was developed in Spain and is manufactured in Finland. PlayWorld is an American invention. LifeTrail consists of low impact exercise stations that can be organised along a pathway for people to stop to use at their own leisure while walking at a park or a provided area. The stations are especially suitable for people with moderate exercise in mind and those who are over 65. The exercise equipment nodes are mainly meant for adult use.

I knew that there is an exercise node at the Limestone Park in Ipswich. My son regularly bikes past it and has taken me there after I became interested in the Senior Park concept but I was unaware that these nodes are part of a larger LifeTrail setup. They are not detectable through Google Maps satellite pictures, not yet at least. Last Saturday my daughter and I went to investigate.

I parked near the node I know exists and went to take pictures. From there I could see another node in the distance. Afterwards I found yet another one. These nodes are connected by a concreted pathway which is suitable for a wheelchair, if needed. I also found a parking place near the presumed start to the LifeTrail with five stations. My daughter, who had left her wheelchair home, had a hard time waking, and the slight slope of the path stoped her way completely. Luckily there are some benched provided in each node, so I could walk by myself while she sat and waited.

I talked to a woman who parked next to our car asking her if she used the stations while walking. “No”, she said. But she told me that the Ipswich Hospital walking group uses them in early mornings and that she knows they are well used by others. On a Saturday afternoon, the pathway was relatively empty, just a couple of families. The sporting ground was in use, though.

Limestone Park is a nice place to visit. It is a large area, well suited for the LifeTrail setup. I was quite impressed by it. I am quite prepared to add the visiting to the park to my list of suitable picnic areas. I could walk there quite happily. Taking my daughter, who is in a wheelchair, to the park would be a bit more difficult as I would need to push her wheelchair along the pathways and up the slopes. I also noticed that the material the stations are made of is plastic. Although high standard and able to stand the weather, ecologically thinking some re-designing could be used there. All in all, I am very happy to have found such a remarkable setup near home. The arrangement is a wonderful sports and recreational initiative by the Ipswich City Council, Sports and Recreation and the Qld Government.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oman etnisen kulttuurin seuraavalle sukupolvelle siirtämisen tärkeydestä

Kommentteja suomalaisuuden merkityksestä muuttuvana identiteettinä monikulttuurisessa Australiassa.

Vastaukseksi aikaisempaan kesäkuun blogipostiini isovanhemmuudesta ja vapaaehtoisuudesta sain kirjan Suomesta. Sen on kirjoittanut Helsingin yliopiston Euroopan historian professori Laura Kolbe. Kirjan nimi on IHANUUKSIEN IHMEMAA, suomalaisen itseymmärryksen jäljillä. Kirja käsittelee modernin suomalaisuuden konseptia globaalisessa yhteydessä. Siinä Laura Kolbe etsii vastauksia suomalaiseen identiteettiin puimalla Suomen historian kahta viimeistä vuosisataa ja niiden vaikutusta suomalaisen omakuvan kehittymiseen. Kirja on hyvinkin henkilökohtainen pohdinta kultuurin merkityksestä ihmiselle, jota pidetään yhtenä merkittävimmistä auktoriteeteistä suomalaisuuden ja Suomi-brändin selittäjänä maailmalla. Se herätti monta mielenkiintoista kysymystä omassa mielessäni, olenhan yksi niistä henkilöistä australialaisessa monikulttuuriyhteiskunnassa, joka ensisijaisesti tunnistaa itsensä suomalaiseksi ja sitten vasta australialaiseksi. Mikä siis on tärkeää minulle suomalaisen identiteetin siirtämisessä seuraaville sukupolville Australian monikulttuuriyhteydessä?

Minulle yksi kirjan erityisiä kohokohtia on Laura Kolben pohdinta sivistyksen merkityksestä. Hänen mukaansa sivistys on “se mikä jää jäljelle kun kaikki muu on riisuttu pois.” Hän selittää edelleen: “Sivistyneeksi kutsutaan henkilöä, joka tuntee oman kulttuurinsa, on kiinnostunut oppimisesta ja hallitsee tavat. Sivistynyt toimii tarvittaessa myös perinnettä uudistaen (Kolbe, 2010).” Australialaisen monikulttuuriyhteisön jäsenenä mietinkin usein sitä, mikä olisi parasta omassa etnisessä kulttuurissani siirrettäväksi seuraavalle sukupolvelle.

Kolbe pohtii toistakin mielenkiintoista aihetta, nimittäin ‘Suomi-brändiä’. Miten voisi kehittää maalle ‘brändin’ siis ominaisleiman? Kuinka Suomen tulisi myydä itseään globaalisesti? Kolbe on Suomen brändivaltuuskunnan jäsen. Valtuuskunta on asetettu miettimään sitä, mikä tekisi Suomesta eturivin maan maailmassa. Valtuuskunnan neuvonantajana on toiminut kuuluisa brittiläinen maabrändikonsultti Simon Anholt(Ängeslevä, 2010). Raporttia odotetaan vuoden lopussa. Australian suomalaisen yhteisön jäsenenä, australialaisessa monikulttuuriyhteiskunnassa, näen selvän eron siinä kuinka ja mitä haluan siirtää omasta identiteetistäni seuraavalle sukupolvelle osana omaa perhekulttuuriani ja Suomen imagon myynnissä, yhtenä kulttuurimaana maailmassa.

Jos itseltäni kysyttäisiin mitä valitsisin myydä Suomi-brändinä Australiassa, päätyisin varmasti samaan kuin 2009 suomalaisessa TV sarjassa ‘Suomi myytävänä’, panelin jäsenet valitsivat, eli myisin Kalevalan, saunan ja Jaulupukin australialaisille suomalaisena erikoisuutena. Niiden suomalainen identiteetti olisi sitä, mikä erottaa minun etnisen identiteettini muiden ominaisidentiteetistä. Valintaani ei vaikuttaisi se, että ovatko nämä asiat todella suomalaisia vai eivät. Kolben mukaan suomalaisuus kun on sivistynyt konstruktio tai mielenrakennelma muutenkin. Niiden suomalainen kokemustapa olisikin oma myyntivalttini. Olen laulanut Kalevala ja Kanteletar inspiroituneita lauluja tarpeeksi usein Queenslandissa Woorfordin Folk-festivaaleilla ja Canberrassa kansallisilla kansanmusiikin festivaaleilla tietääkseni, että tämä erityinen laulutapa pysäyttää yleisön kuuntelemaan. Se saattaa olla uudelleen luotu traditio, mutta Suomi-brändiä se myy. Historiallisesti sauna saattaa olla suomalaisessa ympäristössä säilynyt roomalainen ja eurooppalainen tapa (Korhonen, 1993), mutta suomalaisten keskuudessa se on elävä traditio jolla on oma etikettinsä ja kulttuurinsa. Itse en tunne yhtään suomalaista Australiassa, joka ei olisi löytänyt mahdollisuutta käydä saunassa, joko omassa kodissaan tai muuten. Ja maallinen, vähemmän kulutusidentifioitu Joulupukki on omaa sydäntäni lähellä, olenhan syntynyt Suomen Lapissa.

Toisaalta oma suomalainen identiteettini monikulttuurisessa Australiassa ja maailmassa määrittää sen, mitä itse katson tarpeeksi tärkeäksi yritettäväksi siirtää seuraavalle sukupolvelle. Haluan myös jakaa omat kokemukseni kaikkien uusien sukulaisteni kanssa osana molemminpuolista kulttuurien siirtoa. Yleisesti tarkoituksena on rakentaa sellainen omalle perheellemme sopiva kulttuurimalli, joka helpottaa elämistä Australiassa suomalaisena ja australialaisena. Tärkeintä on arvostaa perimämme monipuolisuutta luonnollisena osana päivittäistä elämää. Minulle voittajina siis selviytyvät:
• suomenkieli tärkeänä kommunikaatiovälineenä
• ruotsinkielen merkitys osana kaksikielistä suomalaista kulttuuriperintöä
• Suomi-koulun merkitys identiteetin rakentajan monikultuurisessä yhteiskunnassa
• kulttuurietnisyyden kokonaisvaltainen kokeminen ja hyväksyminen osana elämää,
• suomalaiset ruuat osana ruokaperinnettä
• jouluaaton viettäminen joulun tärkeimpänä päivän ja fyysisen Joulupukin vierailu
• sauna kokemuksena
• suomalainen musiikki
• kaksoiskansalaisuus, jonka mukana tulee mahdollisuus Suomessa ja Euroopassa vierailuun ja työskentelyyn

Se mitä todella haluaisin siirtää seuraaville sukupolville on avoimuuden kokemus, maailmakansalaisuuden tunne ja vapaus. Henkilökohtaisesti minulle tärkeimpiä asioita oman suomalaisuuteni ilmaisemisessa monikulttuurisessa Australiassa on jäsenyyteni Queenslannin etnisten kulttuurien järjestössä, ECCQ:ssa (Ethnic Communities Council of QLD) ja Queenslannin terveyslaitoksen monikulttuuritoimikunnanssa (QLD Health Multicultural Advisory Group). Siellä voin jakaa kokemukseni muiden kanssa ja toimia sen puolesta, että kaikki sellaiset ihmiset, jotka tunnistavat alkuperänsä ensisijaisesti joksikin muuksi kuin australialaiseksi huomioidaan luonnollisena osana australialaista yhteisöä. Omassa yhteisökehitystyössäni haluan myös varmistaa, että ainakin se järjestö jossa itse työskentelen antaa kaikille yhteisön jäsenille yhtäläisen mahdollisuuden yhteiskunnan jäsenenä.

Kirjassaan Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf [Suomi, kulttuurin yksinäinen susi], Richard D. Lewis määrittää kulttuurin “kollektiiviseksi mielen ohjelmoinniksi (Lewis, 2005).” Edelleen hän selittää, että monikulttuurikokemus tulee yksilön tietoisesta omien kokemuksien rajojen ylittämisestä, oman horisontin laajentamisesta. Se sisältää kiinnostuksen jakaa muiden kokemukset. Monikulttuuri-ihminen haluaa laajentaa omaa kokemuspiiriään. Suomalaisille on ominaista yhteinen erilaisuuden tunne. Tämän tunteen vaaliminen on ollut suuresta merkityksestä historiallisen suomalaisuuden konseptin kehittämisessä taiteissa ja kulttuurissa. Suomalaisethan etsivät poliittista ja kansallista itsenäisyyttä pitkään ja perusteellisesti (Lewis, 2005; Kolbe,2010). Kuitenkin kuten vastikään opin intialaiselta fysiikan professorilta Tri P. Krishnalta: “Kaikki on yhteydessä toisiinsa. Se on tieteellinen totuus.” (Katso edellinen blogipostitukseni korkeista ideaaleista ja yhteisökapasiteetin kehittämisestä). Erilaisuus on siis enemmänkin illuusio kuin totuus.

Katsoisinkin että Australian monikulttuuriyhteisö on meille suuri lahja. Meillä on mahdollisuus oman horisonttimme laajentamiseen joka päivä. Se toivottavasti antaa omille lapsenlapsillemme turvallisemman pohjan oman identiteetin luomiseen tulevaisuudessa.

Tatun ja Patun Suomi-kirja on hyvä aloitus suomalaisuuden kokemuksen siirrosta lastenlapsille.
Odotan innolla, että saan jakaa lisää hienoja kulttuurihetkiä perheeni, sukulaisteni ja ystävieni, sekä luonnon kanssa.


HAVUKAINEN, A. & TOIVONEN, S. 2007. Tatun ja Patun Suomi (This is Finland), Keuruu, Otava.
KOLBE, L. 2010. IHANUUKSIEN IHMEMAA Suomalaisen itseymmärryksen jäljillä, Helsinki, Kirjapaja.
KORHONEN, T. (ed.) 1993. Mitä on suomalaisuus, Helsinki: Suomen Antropologinen Seura.
LEWIS, R. D. 2005. Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf, London, Intercultural Press, A Nicholas Brealey Publishing Company.
ÄNGESLEVÄ, P. 2010. Mies Suomi-brändin takana. Suomen Kuvalehti 23/07.

On the importance of transferring cultural ethnicity to the next generation

Comments on ‘Finnishness’ as a cultural identity in transformation in multicultural society such as Australia

As a discussion on how we can best transfer our culture to our grandchildren in multicultural Australia (see my June blog posting on volunteering as grand parenting), I received a book from Finland. It is written by Laura Kolbe, a professor of European history at the University of Helsinki. The book is called IHANUUKSIEN IHMEMAA [roughly translated: The wondrous wonderland]. The book discusses the concept of the modern Finnishness in the global context by seeking insights through contemplating on the history of the construction of ‘Finnishness’ during the last two centuries. It is a good and easy read, well recommended for those who want to gain more understanding of the issues concerning transferring ethnicity and culture. It is a very personal contemplation on culture in relation to the author’s experiences as a much sought authority on Finland and Finnishness. As I am someone who has identified my ethnicity as Finnish in the Australian context, reading the book raised several interesting issues on how and what it is that is important to consider as transferable to the next generation.

To me one of the highlights of the book was the author’s discussion on culture as being “that what is left when everything else is taken away (Kolbe, 2010, my translation).” According to Laura Kolbe, a person who is ’cultured’ is someone who”knows his/her own culture, is interested in learning more and knows the proper etiquette. When necessary a cultured person also acts as a re-creator of traditions (Ibid, my translation).” In the context of the multicultural Australia, I would then ask what one would best choose as representing one’s ethnic culture to be transferrable to the next generation.

Another interesting issue Kolbe raises concerns branding of a country. How would one identify a country’s brand? How would a country sell itself in a global market? Laura Kolbe belongs to the Committee of Finland Brand development [Suomen brändivaltuuskunta], set to work by 2008 Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb. As members the Committee has a number of Finnish intellectuals and the deep discussion has been aided by Simon Anholt, who is considered a world’s leading political advisor on the Country branding concept(Ängeslevä, 2010). They have considered what would make a leading country in the world imagery. Their report is expected at the end of this year. As a Finn in multicultural Australia, holding a double citizenship, I see different motives in transferring one’s ethnicity to the next generation as part of creating culture of family life in Australia and finding a representing image of one’s ethnic country to ‘sell’ in a global context.

If I were to ‘sell’ Finland as a brand in Australia, I would probably agree with the panel of the 2009 Finnish TV series ‘Suomi myytävänä’ [Finland for sale] that the winners would be Kalevala, sauna and Joulupukki [Santa Claus]. Promoting them as uniquely Finnish would be something which defines my ethnic brand from others. This does not mean in any way that they would have been originally Finnish. Finnishness as Kolbe concludes is a ‘liberal-educated’ construction anyway. Their unique Finnish expression would be the selling point. I have sang Kalevala lyrics and Kanteletar inspired folk songs enough in the Folklore tent at the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland and at the Canberra National Folk Festival to know that it is this unique way of singing that people stop to listen. It might be a re-creation but it sells the brand. Sauna might be historically only a survivor of the old Roman and European tradition in the Finnish environment (Korhonen, 1993), but it is a living tradition supported by etiquette and modern custom. I do not know a Finn in Australia, who would not have access to a sauna either at home or some other way. And the secular, but not utterly consumerism absorbed ‘Joulupukki’ [Santa] as a Finnish brand is very near to my heart as a person born in the Finnish Lapland.

On the other hand what I choose to work on transferring to my grandchildren as traits of uniquely Finnish ethnicity in multicultural Australia is defined by my personal experience as a Finn in the global context. This kind of experience I also try to share with for example my daughter’s and son’s in-laws as part of our mutual culture exchange. The general goal is to re-create our family culture to fit our life in Australia as an ethnic Finnish person and as an Australian. The most important aim is to celebrate the many shades of our heritage as natural parts of our everyday living experience. The winners there, as I see them, are:
• the Finnish language as an important communication tool,
• the sense of Swedish language as part of my bilingual Finnish experience
• the importance of ‘Suomi-koulu’ [the Finnish School] as a builder of one’s identity in multicultural society,
• the general experience of ethnicity as an accepted part of everyday life,
• traditional Finnish foods as part of general food culture,
• celebrating Christmas Eve and a real Joulupukki’s visit as the main event in the Christmas tradition
• Sauna as an experience
• Finnish music experience
• A double citizenship which assures access to Finland and Europe as a travel and work experience destinations

What I want to transfer to the next generation is the experience of openness, the sense of freedom as a global citizen. Personally most important to me as part of my Finnishness in multicultural Australia is my membership in the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ) and in the QLD Health Multicultural Advisory Group, the sharing of my ethnicity with other people and my efforts in making sure that all those who define their ethnicity first as other than Australian are included as natural part of the Australian experience. In my work as a community development enthusiast I want to ensure that the Community Care Organisation I work for provides a platform and an equal opportunity for community participation for every member of the community.

In his book Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf, Richard D. Lewis descries culture as “the collective programming of the mind (Lewis, 2005).” He talks about the multicultural experience as a conscious effort of ‘broadening our horizons’. It includes taking in the other’s views, making them part of our own experience. According to him a multicultural person “seeks to strive towards “totality of experience”.” For a Finn, a sense of separateness is a cultural collective experience. Discussions on cultural relativism in arts and literature were an important part of the historical process of finding political independence for Finland as a nation (Ibid & Kolbe, 2010). Still, as I recently learned at a conference (see my previous posting on high ideals and community building basics), the sense of separateness is an illusion. “All is connected. It is a scientific fact”, said Dr P Krishna, an Indian Professor of Physics, in a recent talk.

I see it as an asset that in a multicultural society like Australia, we are able to ‘broaden our horizons’ by including great variety of cultural experiences in our daily life. It will hopefully give our grandchildren a more secure foundation to build their own identity.

Some of the things I have already done to ensure transferring and sharing this unique cultural heritage of Finnishness in the Australian context has been:

The familiarity of the landscape
I have consciously chosen to build a house (a Queenslander) next to a just completed lake.


I have shared my Christmas traditions with my daughter’s in-laws


I have moved some gnomes from Finland to my sauna and my granddaughter had her first sauna experience at the age of two months with me and her mother.


I have introduced my English daughter-in-law to baking ‘pulla &korvapuusti’ [Scandinavian sweetbread] in London on my recent visit there.

The Finnish social contacts

My granddaughter has been introduced to the Finnish community in Brisbane during 2010 European Summer solstice picnic [Juhannus-piknikki]

As a hint of where to start with the small children also read
Tatun ja Patun Suomi [This is Finland] (Havukainen and Toivonen, 2007)

I look forward to sharing and discovering many more cultural exchange moments with my family, friends and the environment


HAVUKAINEN, A. & TOIVONEN, S. 2007. Tatun ja Patun Suomi (This is Finland), Keuruu, Otava.
KOLBE, L. 2010. IHANUUKSIEN IHMEMAA Suomalaisen itseymmärryksen jäljillä, Helsinki, Kirjapaja.
KORHONEN, T. (ed.) 1993. Mitä on suomalaisuus, Helsinki: Suomen Antropologinen Seura.
LEWIS, R. D. 2005. Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf, London, Intercultural Press, A Nicholas Brealey Publishing Company.
ÄNGESLEVÄ, P. 2010. Mies Suomi-brändin takana. Suomen Kuvalehti,23/07