Royal portraits, samovars, high school, Sandman and a Mole. Everything brought to the Eastern winds, borrowed from Russian or Soviet culture. The Sandman came from East Germany, and the Mole from Czechoslovakia.
In the city Museum hämeenlinna was opened the exhibition “the Wind of East”, dedicated to the celebration of the anniversary of Finland’s independence. Imaginary journey will take you into the Grand Duchy of Finland, the defenders from the Eastern military threat to Finland and to Finland are sobering — a neighbor of the Soviet Union during the signing of the Treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance in everyday life which reflected the influence of the Eastern neighbour.
Junior officer at city of hämeenlinna Museum Inka-Maria Laitila (Inka-Maria Laitila) tells about the difficult relations between our countries:
“Finland and Russia have been long enough connected with each other. From time to time there were disagreements, there were a lot of such influence, which is not noticed and just didn’t know”.
From the baptismal shirt to samovar
The route of the railway to St. Petersburg, caused a great desire to trade with Petersburg and Russia. In the Museum there are items that were brought for the residents of hämeenlinna from St. Petersburg, for example, baptismal shirt, women’s coat and top hat for the teacher.
“In a completely ordinary families was porcelain, and on this show are the dishes used in Hameenlinna”.
Tea culture came to Finland from the East.
“The samovar has been in restaurants and private homes. If you would like to hide their Russian roots, not talking about the samovar and the teapot on the burner”.
“Many will be surprised that the Finland flag was once red. Finnish lion appears on our flag, at a time when Finland was part of Sweden. From there he moved to the flag of the Great Duchy of Finland”.
“Red was the official heraldic colors of the time, it has nothing to do with the revolution,” recalls Laitila.
About the neighbor keep quiet
The war left its mark on the attitude of Finns to the Russian. In preparation for the exhibition Laitila faced with a difficult for many Finns to the Eastern neighbor, still preserved.
“Most surprising was how much he tried to forget about the past. People do not want to speak on this subject, has not kept things. For example, in Hameenlinna, even the traditional shawls with colors not found”, − says Laitila.
The exhibition provides visitors the opportunity to ponder any trace left of the Eastern culture and politics in the lives of ordinary people of Finland, in the material culture and urban space.
“In the culture of Finland’s many borrowings, both from the East and from the West. We want to see when visiting this exhibition, people were thinking about how we relate to Russia, and why it remains such a sore point for us today.”