23rd of June was happy day, and nervous day. Thanks to the media the whole world (should) know that the day was when Britain voted whether to stay in EU or leave. Next day we knew…Brexit!
“Should I laugh or cry?”, some may ask. I think, all Europeans living in Britain feel at least a little bit anxious. Even though it takes time for Britain for officially leave EU and figure out the new rules, I can’t help myself of being nervous about this unawareness. There was a time when it hit me…what would happen if Britain really leaves? Am I able to continue my studies? I wrote about this in Left or right? Where will my FUTURE be?.
But…because we can’t know what is going to happen in the future, we need to focus on this day. Today is juhannus (midsummer). In Finland we celebrate midsummer by having bonfires (kokko). Usually people go to countryside, but there’s bonfires even in the city shown to the public. I went to my family’s summer cottage where we prepared ourselves a huge pile for bonfire.
I love midsummer! It’s a great way to celebrate summer. We usually have birches in front our cottage, and we make vihta (bath whisk) from the branches of the birch. What we do with the bath whisk? We use them in the sauna and lash each other. No, it’s not torture. We’re not trying to hurt each other so you hit them ‘gently’. Trust me, it feels good (when you get used to it). Also you can put one bath whisk on top of the sauna’s heater so you can smell the birch. I can smell it right now…
From here we enter to our sauna, the pile of wood is to light up the heater
We also have midsummer magics which are very popular with girls. What I know myself, if you collect seven different flowers during midsummer and put them under your pillow, you will see on your dreams your future husband. I tried this ones when I was 10 or 11 years old. I can’t even remember what dream I saw when I woke up…but to be fare I didn’t find seven different flowers, just a few and collected couple of same to get seven. It was fun to try but it’s just silly nonsense, no need to take it seriously. Where’s the mystery in life if you’d already know the one? But the magic is not real anyway. 😉
Here’s a Finnish tongue twister that we used to say in midsummer:
Kokko, kokoo koko kokko kokoon!
* * *
Kokko (name), gather a whole bonfire up!
A whole bonfire?
A whole bonfire.