Sunday, May 16, 2010


For the size of its population, it seems as if the Finnish are particularly active Postcrossing people.  Per my Postcrossing stats (one of the features of the project), I've sent 32 postcards to randomly generated participants, eight of which have been to addresses in Finland and have received two postcards from there.  The above is one of those.  The other is here.

On both cards, the stamps have been particularly interesting or beautiful, so I tried to find out a bit more about Finnish stamps.   I didn't look that hard, but I did find out that the Finnish postoffice has a program in which you can upload your own images and for an additional fee on top of the postage, create your own stamps. 

I love the stamp of the Aurora Borealis on the above postcard but perhaps that's also because seeing the Aurora Borealis is on my bucket list. [I did see it once from the window of a plane flying over the pole from San Francisco to London, but I'm not sure that totally counts.] Other beautiful Finnish stamps can be found on-line for purchase but examples are stamps of fairies, and a booklet of stamps featuring sculptures in Finland.  [In looking at these stamps, I at first thought "Suomi" was a Finnish artist who had created the sculptures.  Turns out "Suomi" is "Finland" in Finnish.]

Finland is also a bucket list place for me for a couple reasons: 

1)  My husband is 50% Finnish, which makes my kids part Finnish.  Seems like we should all visit there at some point, just to feel it. 

2)  The Finnish language is one of only a few languages in the world (Basque being one of the others) that were originally considered to be  unrelated to any other language in the world.  This is known as a "language isolate".   At least I remember hearing that about Finnish when I studied linguistics in the 1970s; in looking up the term, either the current thinking has changed or I've been mistaken all these years.  (The shock!)  Turns out Finnish is classified as "... the eponymous member of the Finno-Ugric language family and is typologically between fusional and agglutinative languages".  [How's that for a mouthful on a Sunday morning?]  In any case, I've always been curious about the language, and would like to hear it in its own location.

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