I have lived now in Finland for nearly 7-and-a-half years! That's a long time. Longer than I expected when I arrived here from New York City. It's probably time to admit to myself that I'm not going anywhere.
This understanding mandates a shift in mindset in my relationship to this land and its culture.
I know enough to get by. I have suku, or ancestry, here. I have close friends. I have perhe, family. I have a career that supports me. I've never experienced culture shock. I know the rough outline of Finnish history.
My Finnish language skill is adequate for getting through basic situations. I have met Anglophone immigrants living here longer than I, some of them for over 3 decades, some Americans, who aggressively speak no Finnish at all. Now that takes a level of dedication that is impressive in its own way.
Still, my adequate knowledge has been a barrier to deeper understanding. I cannot yet hold an extended conversation in Finnish. I couldn't tell you anything about contemporary Finnish literature. I tend to avoid reading notices written in Finnish. I'm expressing all of this in relation to the Finnish language but this of course extends to culture and society. There are depths that I'm not accessing.
My blog itself has languished. A public presence is unsettling to me. I'm not a performer. I do not aspire to be perceived as a thought-leader. I have a sense of humor which gets me in trouble. When programming, I tend to solve the problem at hand, write a few notes and then move on. I like things to be neatly complete. My writing is stilted, using too many big words.
However, I think I can use this blog, this resource, to bolster my learning, about Finnish language and culture, or anything, really. If I can write about something, explain it, then I can absorb it.
To that end, I present a new tag, finland, that will be thoughts and writing about this land in which I find myself, of pine-forests, lakes, and quiet, earnest people. I will definitely continue to write about any tech topics that strike my fancy, but not only.