Sharon Ojanpa Mackey
The Finnish Heritage Museum in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, holds its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 PM on the second Monday of the month. In December, we do something a little different. Instead of a program with a business meeting following, we have a Christmas potluck and get together. This December of 2015, we had a lot to celebrate!
First, December 6, 2015, marked the 98th year of Finnish independence from Russia.
Second, December 8th was the 150th anniversary of Jean Sibelius’s birth.
Third, We celebrated Pikku Joulu – “Little Christmas” – which is officially the first Sunday in Advent.
FHM President Lasse Hiltunen started off the evening by welcoming about 65 people of all ages who were in attendance at the meeting. Then he read the Finnish Independence Day letter from the President of Finland. The group next listened to a recording of Finlandia, Sibelius’s most famous composition. Afterward, FHM member Chip Knox led the group in singing Maamme, the Finnish national anthem.
Virpi Buck, who offers a Finnish language class at the Finnish Heritage Museum, announced that her students would lead the group in singing the Finnish version of Joulupuu on Rakennettu (The Christmas Tree is Decorated) and Joulu Yö (Silent Night).
Almost everyone in attendance brought a dish to share with everyone else, and we were all urged to eat up. The leftovers were carried home in take out boxes, and nothing was wasted or over looked. Special thanks go to Barb Ollila and Suzanne Jokela for all the set up and organization of food, plates, and utensils. There was hardly any space in the museum or the gift/coffee shop where someone was not eating, chatting, and enjoying the company of others.
When everyone had eaten their fill, museum members Len Thomas, Chip Knox, and Lasse Hiltunen tuned up their guitars and lead the group in singing Christmas carols.
A night full of wonder, enjoyed by all who shared in it. We wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Bob and Anne
Chip and Lasse
Lennie and Chip
HAPPY NEW YEAR!