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The children of the Groke January 24, 2010

Posted by Rosa Piirinen in Finns.

 Many might think Finns are just mute icicles surrounded by penguins and polar bears, like we would live in the very middle of Ice Age.

…And that we should work on our manners. Well the latest said, is actually good advice. Even us Finns know that it would be more pleasant to hear “Excuse me” or “Sorry” than only a small grunt or snort from each other. I actually tried that for awhile.

Cold enough for you?

Being in London for few days really taught me the matters of manners. England is highly known from their politeness and it actually is kind of catchy. In fact, I didn’t even notice how bad the apology-habit had gotten into me until I came back in Finland. When coming out of a bus or even walking in school circled by other pupils, I’d quickly apologize if I even made a slight touch on anyone (If you’ve ever been in London, I think you know what I mean. They really do that). I guess there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s just that younger people or the ones in my own age really gives you a weird look.  But it’s glad to know that after that wonky glance they do give you a smile and say sorry too. So maybe there is a little sparkle of hope for us cold-ones too.

My mom always said not to talk with strangers

It seems terribly odd if we are mistaken being quiet because of the lack of conversation with strangers (like not talking in buses, when doing shopping..etc) I mean, why would you start a small-talk with someone
A) You don’t even feel interested on
B) You have nothing in common (except you are sitting in the same bus)
C) Whom you can easily expect total silence with
I mean should I interested “where that random sir might possibly be going ” or “what does that person may think about the weather.” Should I really even know those things? Is it really that cold to just sit alone and keep my mouth kindly shut and just mind my own business?

Stereos ON/OFF

I have to say that I have absolutely no clue where the stereotypes of us even came from. Maybe they are just old views of Finns and how they used to be. Because for example what our English book says that Finns don’t feel awkward when a silent moment approaches is definitely not true. Of course we feel awkward when the talk freezes! Highly, when you don’t even know the person you are talking to that well. Ok we may not be the most competent when it comes to chit-chats. But who could really blame us? We aren’t just that used to talking crap and kissing others butts like what a small-talk with a stranger usually needs, I guess. For example the Americans are best when it comes to a really shallow talk. They always ask each other how they are doing and what are they been up to etc, but they don’t really care. That’s almost like a convention there. Maybe that’s just another stereotype but anyhow, it’s simply not what the Finns are made of.

Once we were warriors

The original “once were” Finn is very “northern” and he values honesty, being straight and of course his own roots. An old veteran would see a this-day Finn lazy and coward and would be devastated of how Finland has become slightly material and how the nature slowly begins to lose its significance in the eyes of this generation.  It is quite absurd how people don’t value their own Finnishcism anymore and how they see mixing with other cultures and going global is a perfect new way of life.

Where the snow falls and the Groke sings

Myself I like to think we are little Grokes: Everyone thinks we are cold and we seem to freeze everything. We dont talk much, just growl and that’s why we may seem even scary. It is just that every Groke searches a source of warmth yet they are circled by melancholia and loneliness. We are just misunderstood.



1. frank rumbauskas jr - May 20, 2013

I all the time used to read paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of web thus
from now I am using net for content, thanks to web.

2. http://www.pcipedia.es/index.php/Usuario:BlairNutt - May 17, 2013

There’s definately a lot to find out about this subject. I like all of the points you made.

3. http://www.cs.utah.edu - February 18, 2013

Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.

When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine
but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
fantastic blog!

4. hemuli - December 18, 2011

good job

5. Ms Leino - February 15, 2010

Contents: Excellent
What makes your story special is that you actually have a story to tell. It flows out of you like a river. Your thoughts have depth and meaning that is rarely expressed by young people your age these days. The story has what I guess you could call “a soul.” I was especially impressed by the poetic ending!

Your storytelling talents are supported by an advanced English vocabulary, but be careful with phrasal structures. You sometimes get carried away with some more artistic expressions and you tend to forget grammar in the process. Keep the artsy stuff :), but pay attention to grammar, as well.

You are a writer, Rosa, never forget it.

Media / appearance: Good
I know its hard to find an original picture of a Groke – it’s not like you can just walk out there into the woods and take a shot at one with your camera… However, I would have tried to look for something that is not protected by copyrights. Perhaps you could have drawn one on Paint yourself 🙂 Or a YouTube video is always “legal”!

The appearance is stylish, especially the headings! They captured my attention immediately and enticed me to read on…

Grammar: Very good (the list is long only because your story was long too ;))
– A few days
– came back TO Finland
– I slightly touched anyone
– people my own age (= peers)
– mistaken AS
– talk TO strangers
– ON buses
– to be interested IN something
– what small talk with strangers usually requires
– what HAVE they been up to
– IT’S like a convention
– straight = hetero, straightforward/direct = suorasukainen
– see us AS something
– Finnishness = suomalaisuus
– think OF us AS
– search FOR
– material = materiaali, materialistic = materialistinen

6. Valeria - January 25, 2010

I think your description is just perfect! I´m so positively suprised about how strong own opinions you have and how good expressions you have! You wrote your story very in detail and it was just very easy to read even if you used a lot of awkward words. I definitely should admit that your level in English language is REALLY REALLY good (compared with mine).
Structure of the text is also spotless. Every paragraph is there, were it should be and for every article is a nice headline.
You used also very well the senses. When I read the story, I could feel that you were really interested in this topic. It helps reader a lot to read a text which was written with some thought and preoccupation.
According to my opinion your story really tells about you something. I can see that you are not afraid to say what do you think about something and you are really open-minded and honest. I think one of the awful things someone can do is to say sth to somebody what is not even true or it´s not something he/she really agree with. For example I could say: ” Oh, Hanna, I really like your story (even if it´s not like that)” etc. If you really have opinion, I think it´s very important to tell about it than pretend something you are not. I don´t feel like sitting and reading stories which are just written beause you musted to. Anyway my point is that in this case you made very well….again :).
As I already said, I really like your story and your style to write, so keep on writing the same way so one day you will become a good and fabulous writer…Who knows;).
Definitely this story is the best one and I don´t see any need to develope here anything! You chose you subject perfectly (honestly I would never even get this kind of idea in my head!) and your arguments are in right plase and in right time! 🙂
The picture and the caption are very funny, specially: “Myself I like to think we are little Grokes”-Rosa Piirinen. I will never forget this expression! The picture is connected good to a story so it highlights the story even more.
In whole Rosa I need to admit that you made an exellent job and I wish you keep on doing the same way!

-Valeria Bogdanova

Rosa Piirinen - January 25, 2010

At last I got a comment I wanted: Long, descriptive and of course a personal opinion.
I was so afraid that my opponent is going to be someone who only says something like “Yeah good job, your text is really good……..” And does not even make an effort.

So THAAAANKKK YOUUUUU! I really really _really_ appreciate your comment and everything you said. 🙂

7. Kaisu - January 25, 2010

This is a wonderful text and i also think the titles are just awesome. You said that the apology-habit has gotten into you, it was same to me when I came back from Japan. I said thank you to everyone and nodded my head. I almost couldn’t get rid of the habit.. 😀

Rosa Piirinen - January 25, 2010

Thank youuuuu!

Yeah it’s so weird how it stucks on your tongue so quickly.. o.o

8. Mikko Karjula - January 24, 2010

This is great!
I Love your titles (and you).

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