100 Finns in 100 Years
December 5, 2017 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Happy Birthday Finland! Here are pictures of one Finn for every year of Finnish independence photographed by Hannu Pakarinen.
posted by vespabelle (20 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nothing more Finnish than a baby sleeping outside in the freezing cold.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:31 AM on December 5 [3 favorites]


Unless it's a baby sleeping in a box!
posted by elsietheeel at 9:40 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]


(Also I love that this is done by age/birth year.)
posted by elsietheeel at 9:41 AM on December 5 [2 favorites]


I love projects like this. The people of Finland appear to be badasses.

If I knew I was going to live to be, say, 200, I'd commit to learning Finnish.
posted by gwint at 9:44 AM on December 5


Terrific conception, excellent photographs with a great variety of settings (in a nation a little smaller than Montana), and all done in the same year, too. You can have a bad idea that's done well, or a great idea that's executed poorly, but this is just about perfect. (In this age of the 'selfie,' the photgrapher also showed restraint in not making himself the photo for 1962.)
posted by LeLiLo at 9:56 AM on December 5


Clearly you people have never met a Finn. These are all photos of the same person in different stages of their hungoverness.
posted by Dumsnill at 10:03 AM on December 5 [5 favorites]


There's some naked man ass at around 1933, and a naked centenarian at the bottom. Nothing prurient or gross, but could raise an eyebrow at work.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:13 AM on December 5


The Metafilter colon temptation is very strong, but resisting it makes me a widely admired member.
posted by Dumsnill at 10:49 AM on December 5 [2 favorites]


I wish they included more people of colour.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:10 AM on December 5


These are great, but I'm going to need a little backstory for a few of these. What's up with the guy hanging out next to the creepy BangBus? Or the guy sitting by a lake with a lap-full of ash?
posted by flod at 11:16 AM on December 5 [2 favorites]


Some great people pictures here. Statistically speaking at least 50% of those photographed must be motorsport champions, right? That horse is clearly misdirection.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 11:24 AM on December 5


There's some naked man ass at around 1933, and a naked centenarian at the bottom. Nothing prurient or gross, but could raise an eyebrow at work.

You too have never met a Finn. I got over my American-bred puritanism in Finland. Not France.
read that in a lighthearted tone, it's meant as kind needling

I wish they included more people of colour.

There are actually about as many non-Finnish and non-Swedish names in the photos as there are Swedish. Which is pretty telling given Finland's history (I mean the one with Sweden – there's a significant Finnish-Swedish minority). But yes, the vast majority are white Finnish-Finnish.

Oh hell I hope they included at least one Sami, though it certainly doesn't look like they did -.-; damn you Finnish racism...
posted by fraula at 11:24 AM on December 5 [3 favorites]


Sisu all the way down. These are great - thanks for posting this.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:42 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


Hyvää syntymäpäivää, Suomi!
posted by Zalzidrax at 2:01 PM on December 5


There were few people that I guess to be Roma, not sure of any Sami people but the names are not always indicative. I don't know what criteria they used – i.e. born in Finland with Finnish citizenship or something else, but certainly for the younger kids they could have found greater variety of ethnicities. For older folks there isn't that much variety, Finland used to compete with only Albania in its homogeneousness. Modern day Finnish people are not quite so unicolor in their pastiness, but pictures certainly felt real.
posted by zeikka at 2:23 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


You too have never met a Finn. I got over my American-bred puritanism in Finland. Not France.

Growing up in Canada with Finnish immigrant grandparents who built an electric sauna in their house and a wood-burning one at their camp with their own hands, nudity was just standard operating procedure.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:22 PM on December 5


It's too bad Norway decided it was too complex to gift Finland a mountain so that it could have the peak of a mountain as its highest point rather than a slope into another country, as it currently stands. As a half-Finn I had vowed to buy every Norwegian I met a beer during the 100th anniversary year, I liked the idea so much.
posted by drnick at 12:53 AM on December 6


Oh hell I hope they included at least one Sami, though it certainly doesn't look like they did -.-; damn you Finnish racism...

Many of the photographs in the complete gallery actually depict people living in the northernmost Lapland. You often can't tell by the way someone looks or how their name sounds if they're ethnically Sámi, who generally don't wear the traditional dress in their everyday life (although this guy did at least for the picture).

I wish they included more people of colour.

I'd like to join zeikka in gently pointing out that Finland has only in the recent decades been growing ethnically more visibly diverse, and there are vast parts of the land that to this day really are just that white, especially if we're talking about the older generations. This gallery is actually proportionally way more diverse than the Eastern Finnish communities I grew up in. I agree that modern diversity could have been made more visible among the younger generation, but I actually like it that they've included older people with an immigrant background for some of the portraits (you may not be able to pick them out easily if you're not familiar with Finnish names). As a Finn, it kind of feels like a statement.

What's up with the guy hanging out next to the creepy BangBus?

I googled and he seems to own a camping site in Kalajoki. The bus may be a speciality cabin or something.

Or the guy sitting by a lake with a lap-full of ash?

Uhm, that one's harder. In the photographer's gallery, there's a second picture of him, naked, although with critical parts covered by birch tree branches, which leads me to suspect that he was photographed in the process of emptying the ashes from the kiuas of his sauna and then later getting ready to bathe. Why he made such a mess of it with the ashes escapes me, you could just put them in a bucket or wrap them in an old newspaper. Finns are weird.

Personally, I really like the ice-cream booth of 1959. It's very Kaurismäki.

Myself, I've never celebrated the Finnish independence day, but as it happens, it's also today my dad's and my eldest daughter's birthday. So we'll make a pullapitko anyway, and light a candle for my grandmother who passed away two months ago at the age of 96. She was a veteran of the Winter War, serving near the front when she was just 18. I don't know how to feel about her not living to see the 100th anniversary of the country she defended; the traditional Finnish independence day solemnity with the endless talk about WW2 often seemed to depress her and trigger her trauma.

Anyway, sorry about the downer ending. At least it's a traditionally Finnish finish. Heh.
posted by sively at 2:25 AM on December 6 [5 favorites]


Well that sure was something.

Here's to another 100 years. We kinda-sorta managed to build a decent welfare state, partly by sheer luck, partly by Sweden showing us how. Now let's try not fucking it up.
posted by Soi-hah at 2:53 AM on December 6


Lots of interesting revolutionary history in Finland!

"In 1906, Finland became the world’s first nation to grant full female suffrage."

"The forgotten Finnish Revolution has perhaps more lessons for us today than events in 1917 Russia." (reply; reply to the reply)

1918: The Proletariat's Democratic Revolution in Finland (excerpt from Victor Serge's Year One of the Russian Revolution)
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:34 AM on December 6


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