Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Trip Tale: the birch bark slippers

These are a reminder of how valiently the Finns fought the Russians for Karelia in the 1940s. They hang in the guest room/den of our hosts' summer log home in the forest of Southern Karelia of Finland.

I could hardly believe the beautiful workmanship and skill. Martti's father made them for his mother as he waited in the trenches and needed to keep busy. The dark is the inside of the birch bark and the light is the outside. They are over 60 years old now. The children of the veterans of this war have not forgotten, but the younger generation has never known a larger Finland, and the teens and twenty-somethings don't remember the USSR. Many Finns from Russia have been repatriated, but their children speak Russian. And we think we have border problems?

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