The country known as Finland was not always in control of the Finnish people themselves. It has been under control of several powers like the Swedish people or the Russians. They only gained independence 100 years ago in 1917. First, I didn’t really know what this day means but then I got to realize, when I saw all the flags, decoration and people talking about it, that it’s really an important date for the people of Finland. The celebrations reminded me of the words of a friend of mine, who told me that Germans have a similar festivity, celebrating the unification of West and East Germany. This shows again how much I learned about European history and culture.
When I got up in the morning I was greeted by the beautiful sun that didn’t show its light for the last few days. This made me happy and set the tone for the entire day. Shortly after that my friends came home from the independence concert, so they made me listen to the symphonic poem Finlandia from Sibelius. It’s a beautiful piece of music that reflects many aspects of Finland with music. We then took the public transportation system to the center of Turku. From there we continued along the river to the castle which was lit in the colors of Finland being blue and white. The citizens of Turku prepared a beautiful fire show that took my breath. On the way home, we could slide on a layer of ice that was formed because of the snow that fell in the previous days. One of the most astonishing encounters of the day was a group of young Finnish people also sliding on the ice. I really felt connected to them as they had the same idea. I got really emotional because it reminded me of the beautiful winter days that I spent with my family and friends on the ice in my hometown in Japan. Later in the evening we could witness the marvel of a real Finnish firework that unfolded in front of our eyes. This was only icing on the cake of a truly exceptional day full of new experiences.
Not the only Finland celebrates its independence today but also me. I experienced to live as a free citizen of the world without being dependent on people looking over me. With this day, I noticed that I’m independent myself, managing to live far away from my family and friends in Japan. Kiitos Suomi.
Written By Kikuchi Syo