In occasione del NUOVO FORUM, in collaborazione con FinlandForum in Olanda, gli amministratori hanno voluto intervistare Tarja, "la mamma" di VivaFinlandia. Ecco l'intera intervista, in inglese: (Prossimamente pubblicheremo l'intervista su Anita, una finlandese che vive in Olanda con la sua famiglia)
L'Intervista fatta in Agosto 2004
A Finnish women in Italy?
How did this happen?
Well, once upon a time... eh just kidding :-)! Infact it's quite a long story,
but I think that's how the life works. “You never know what's behind the next
But trying to reply to your question
with some words, my reason is to be here today is LOVE to a greatest man in the
world, Danilo. We met over for 4 and a half years ago in Milan, where I went
quite often, for the work I had in Cisco Systems in Finland. During one of those
trips, our (mine and Danilo's) ways (and eyes) incrossed, and that was it!
After couple of long months and too
long distance between us, we came up to one and only right solution... that
we'll want to share our life togehter. Of course it wasn't that simple at all,
but we believe that when two right persons meet, also the impossible becomes
So, at the end of august 2000, I put
togehter my suitcases, said hello to my mother and brother (my beloved farther
passed away in 1995) and a few friends, and took an aeroplane from Helsinki to
Nizza (which is the closed one to Sanremo), where Danilo was awaiting for me...
And after one year of my arrival, we got married (pls, see the photo enclosed).
And today, we're awaiting our first baby to be born in February 2005 :-)!!! Besides
the private life, we also work togehter at Sistel Telecomunicazioni (it's
Danilo's company since 1994).
What are the biggest
differences between the warm and religious Italy and colder and down to earth
I'd say that the biggest difference is the “colour of
life”, in every senses. We're living close to the mountains and to the sea, all the
colours of the nature refletc to the minds and hearts of the people. It doesn't
mean that here the life would be easier, but at least the persons try to see the
positive site of the life. And who knows, MAYBE also some problems dissapear in
The climat during the whole year is
mild, e.g. the coldest night last winter we had +4 degrees... and just try to
compare it to an averige winter-night in Finland!!! And what concerns summer, I
could say that time to time it feels like to be in a finnish sauna, with the
clothes on... Specially in august, the weather is hot and sultry (today +32 and
so on). But I must say as well, that the nature in Finland, specially in the
summer-time, IS unique! Just ask Danilo...!
Of course the religion can be seen
and heard nearly every-day in Italy. The role of the Pope (and the Catholic
Church) is important. This at least was in the past, but I think the young
persons of today, are looking a bit wider the whole world, the wars and
conflicts in Iraq etc. But once again, latelly the Pope has brought up clearly
his message of the Peace, organizing several gatherings, specially with the
young people. Well, this is absolutelly my personal opinion and how I see the
situation, in generally.
And what is the religious situation
today in Finland, the reports between the Lutheran Church and the people, I'm
afraid I couldn't say much.
What are the similarities
between the countries?
Similarities? Well, pasta, pizza... well no, even
those are veeeery different! But talking about the mentalities, I could say that
Carelians (from where my family is originally coming from) and Italians are
thinking about life quite in a similar way, a common motto could be “Every
reason is a good reason to get together”.
www.vivafinlandia.com. Why did you
start the site and how much time do you have to spend on it?
I'm so-called “self-taught-webmaster”, I started nearly 4 years ago, as I
arrived here in Sanremo. I wanted to do “something” for my country I had just
left behind, so that's how the idea of VivaFinlandia was born. At the beginning
it was meant to be “just two-or-three-pages”, but there was (and still is) so
much to tell, that today VivaFinlandia is quite a nice information packet, at
least to start with.
Talking about the time, I SHOULD
spend more time with VivaFinlandia, but the problem is to find time. I mean, my
work here at Sistel takes quite a big part of my day... so unfortunatelly my
time with VivaFinlandia is quite limited. But at least one thing I can be proud
of... is that I'm responding personally to each request I get... well, sometimes
it takes a bit too long time, but the reply will come always. However, I'm
planning to renew the layout of VivaFinlandia, as soon as possible.
How many Finnish people are
living in Italy? And how are the contacts inside this Finnish community?
This question you should ask from other persons... I
have no idea about how many Finnish people are living here in Italy. But at
least in Sanremo, besides me and what I know, there are only 2 other Finns (of
which I know personally only one, the other one I haven't have a chance to meet
I have weekly contacts with the
“Suomi Seura” of Ancona, also because I'm their webmaster (www.mansikka.it), but
otherwise I must say that the Finns are not very sociable over here, or lets put
it in another way, maybe we are so well adopted to the italian community, that
we're not depending on or looking for the contact of other compatriots. It's a
And how is the Italian
situation in Finland?
The Italians, I think, are quite well organized in
Finland. They have clubs, schools, doctors and other services... and even an
online-magazine (www.larondine.fi) which is infact, very amusing to read, and oh
so very true. It tells about the difficulties that an italian could meet in
Finland, in everyday life. However, here we -once again- are talking about the
italian mentality: “Wherever they go, they want to get together with other
How do you like the warmer
climate of Italy?
I like it very much :-), even if we're living now the
hottest time of the year (august). And as said here earlier, winters aren't too
How fluent do you speak
Italian? Was it difficult to learn?
Well, this question you should ask Danilo... but what
I've been told, my italian is rather fluent, and little by little I'm getting
into the local dialects as well... To start to study italian, it's quite easy,
BUT if you like to speak and write it well, it'll ask time and patient. But I
think it's the same in every languages, or what do you think?
I for example, started my studies in
1981, after my first holiday-trip to Italy (Rimini), for the first 2 years I
followed an evening course, but then, for several reasons, I continued by myself.
It was a loooong and stony road (“pitka ja kivinen tie” as a Finnish motto says),
but it was worth wile!
How do you like the Italian
kitchen? Or do you stay in the Finnish cuisine?
It's the Best Invention, ever made, the Italian
Kitchen I mean! :-) I reveal you a secret, I never “really” cooked in Finland, I
just spent the shortest possible time I could, in the kitchen. Only here I've
found the joy of cooking and spending time among the pots and casseroles! It's
funny and creative, and the fantasy here is the virtu!
But of course, time to time I
prepair some Finnish dishes, to surprise Danilo and friends (like Stroganof,
Karjalanpaisti, Lettuja, Pannukakkua, Karjalanpiirakoita, Munavoita,
Hernekeittoa, suolalohta etc.)
Where do you live in Italy?
We live in Sanremo (in Ligura) with around 60 000
inhabitants. The town is known e.g. about it's annual Sanremo Music Festival,
and Rally of Sanremo etc. It's situated approx. 30 kms away from
Monaco-MonteCarlo. And if I may say... Sanremo is a very nice place to live! :-)