If any one person suddenly became genuinely aware of every hardship and tragedy faced by humans daily all over the world, I wonder what'd happen. If even a glimpse of realisation can feel like strangulation.
So what's left for us to do? Life can't just stop. People will still eat and sleep and go to work and blog. They'll be born and die. They'll shit and they'll fuck. They'll become marketeers.
Or get editing jobs at the BBC and select the one illustrative comment on the hurricane tragedy from a survivor to be by one of such stupefying idiocy that it truly mocks those who have suffered in the USA storm: "It [the storm] may have won a battle, but we've won the war."
You sure did show that storm.
Banality of life is overwhelming.
I had a friend called Katrina once. She was from New Zealand. We worked together for 2 years and got on really well. We were just starting to get quite close when she had to go back home. She left me a little bit of her accent. I still miss her and wonder what became of her. It's sad how, despite exchanged addresses and good intentions, some friendships just need that daily interaction to survive.
Tuulia applied to work as a Finnish language teacher for a Finnish prison. I haven't asked why she applied, or why the inmates of a Finnish prison would need to learn Finnish, but perhaps this will all become clear. She said: "I don't even know if I want all kinds of gangsters to learn my language in the first place." This implies that the Finnish prisons are full of foreign gangsters. The Russian Mafia?
Timo finally started his Finnish course today. I bought him a course book for Christmas. It comes with some sort of CD-rom too. He wants to learn the language before we have any children (if/when such a thing happens). I think that's a good idea, or we'll plot all kinds of things right under his nose.
On a day like this, I feel the Karma of life is pointing towards a Very Important Finnish Lesson. It's called Vittu Saatana Perkele.
Swearing is good for you, I swear. (Oiih, that was bad, but I couldn't resist).
According to the CITY magazine's research, Finns swear much, much more than their Northern or Central European counterparts. I'm not sure whether that's true, but I do know that Finnish is the best language to swear in. All those hard consonants and rolled Rs.
Apparently the late arrival of Christianity had something to do with Finnish love of profanity. We've only recently been filthy pagans. I'm proud of that.
In fact, someone (I forget who) was quoted saying that if life gets too hard, don't whine, remember that you're a FINN, VITTU PERKELE SAATANA.
That's showing some Sisu; a Finnish attitude of perseverance in face of hardship.
Sisu is a Finnish term that could be roughly translated to English as strenght of will, determination, perseverance in the face of adversity. The word derives from sisä, which means something inner or interior. To anthropologists, it is an appropriate invention for a cold northern land, fractured by thousands of lakes, and long under threat of being overwhelmed, militarily, linguistically and otherwise, by more powerful neighbours. Similar concepts exist among other cold-weather peoples, such as the Inuit and Chukchi.
Due to its cultural significance, Sisu is a common element of brand names in Finland. For example, there are Sisu trucks, a brand of strong-tasting candy manufactured by Leaf and metapolitical organization Suomen Sisu. There is also a Canadian company by the name that makes vitamin and mineral supplement products .
The term is commonly used in everyday speech to describe stoic toughness. It is widely understood in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is home to a large concentration of Finnish-Americans. For instance: Even after cutting his hand open and getting 12 stitches, he didn't shed a tear. Wow! He's got sisu! By analogy, the term has picked up new meanings. Depending on context, "sisu" can refer to spunk, attitude, self-confidence, and so on.
In Finland, there's a well-known saying that the Finnish culture can be condensed in three s's: "sisu, sauna and Sibelius". (The Finnish name of Finland, Suomi, also startes with an s.)
Vittu is a Finnish swear word. It literally means vagina and is used to refer to the vagina in sexual context. The word is often used as an intensifier somewhat in the same fashion as the word fuck is used in English.
"Vittu" is one of the strongest (if not the strongest) swear word in contemporary Finnish, and is considered extremely improper in formal use. It is particularly favoured among teenagers and young adults, who use it more than any other swear word. This is done regardless of the context, without considering (or even understanding) its sexual origin.
Variations: vitutus (noun), vituttaa (verb), vittumainen (adj.), vittuuntunut (adj.), vittuilla (verb), vitun (modifier). There are surely even more.
The structure of the Finnish language allows that vittu can be the only word in a sentence like: "Vitun vittu, vituttaa vittumaisen vitusti", translation goes something like: "Fucking damn, I'm so pissed off and frustrated."
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
First of all, worth noting: The weight is always on the first syllable. Now repeat after me: VITTU. The first V is almost like the V sound in the word "have", except a little harder. V... the I is close to how the letter E sounds in english. Narrower, but close. Say "Attack" and try to harden the Ts and add extra weight to them. You've got the double-T in VITTU. The U is a little like the sound that finishes the word "You", exept wider.
Saatana is like Satan with a couple of extra As. It even means the same thing. Fancy that! (Well, you never know with languages - the word for bridegroom in Estonian is the exact same one that means sourmilk in Finnish. Either that, or I've been fooled). The Finnish A sound is wide and low, like the sound in "calm". Both As are pronounced. SAATANA.
It's something that would sound delicious if uttered by Kelsey Grammer.
Just imagine it: "SAAAAATANA."
PERKELE is by far the best swearword ever invented. If you know how to roll a hard R and really put the weight on that, PERKELE sounds like the great uncle of swearwords it really is.
Perkele originally meant the Finnish thunder god Ukko. With Christianity the Finns also co-opted him for one of the titles of Satan. Perkele is also one of the most common swearwords in the Finnish language; and with vittu (in a sense of humor) may be among the first words learned by foreigners.
The term also has the role of realizing and strengthening the Finnish national identity. It is a typical Finnish masculine curse word. It used to appeal to Finns as a rural attitude in which trouble is faced and conquered with determination and direct action. Sisu is a Finnish term defining this attitude.
Gods related to Perkele are also known in Latvia (Pērkons), Lithuania (Perkunas), Prussia (Percunis), Poland (Perkun or Perun).
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Finally, I have a live specimen; a recording rumoured to be from an actual answerphone message of some security company. There's a healthy smattering of all three words in there.
So, next time you drop your toast upside down on the floor?
Next time your colleague gets promoted instead of you.
When the heavens open and wipe out your entire life?
VITTU PERKELE SAATANA!
Sending some Finnish Sisu to victims of Katrina, this is Pia, signing off.