Finns celebrate their 100th with "togetherness"

Sep 28, 2017

A scene from Ann Tuomi's "The Reading Room"
Credit Ira Salmela

The theme of Finland's 100th birthday is yhdessä, which means "together" in English. And Finns aren't letting a little thing like the five thousand miles separating the home country from the US stand in the way of all kinds of celebrations.

  One is a performance of the Runebergskören BSB, a Swedish-speaking male choir from Porvoo, Finland. And another is the performance of The Reading Room at the Douglas County Historical Society, a play written by Ann Tuomi based on a real-life experience.

 "The hymn part of Jean Sibelius' symphonic poem "Finlandia" did not originally contain lyrics. The lyrics were added later, written by V. A. Koskenniemi and performed for the first time in 1941. In 1942 Sibelius himself accepted these lyrics as the official libretto to his Finlandia."

Finland, behold, thy daylight now is dawning,
the threat of night has now been driven away.
The skylark calls across the light of morning,
the blue of heaven lets it have its way,
and now the day the powers of night is scorning:
thy daylight dawns, O Finland of ours!

Finland, arise, and raise towards the highest
thy head now crowned with mighty memory.
Finland, arise, for to the world thou criest
that thou hast thrown off thy slavery,
beneath oppression's yoke thou never liest.
Thy morning's come, O Finland of ours!

Click to hear the Runebergskören perform Finlandia by Jean Sibelius