Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh boy!

And that's what a Finnish Jew looked like... 10 years before our story started.

Well, not precisely like this... I could not gather much and the Encyclopaedia Judaica had not much information on Finland (in fact I am assuming that in certain towns the Jews were forced to wear the yellow ring on their clothes but was not mandatory, it depended on how strict the functionaries were). For sure he is not orthodox, for that came later, so he was allowed to wear normal clothing.

Okay, but first let's set one thing straight: Finland is NOT Scandinavia... today! (that is... after their independence and several studies have finally figured out that their language, hear ye, hear ye, is not coming from the North Germanic family - to which belong the Scandinavian languages - but it is, in facts... Finno-lappic).

That said... Finland did belong to Sweden (and Russia, if I remember correctly) for centuries and during the time our story is set only the poor and the native would speak Finnish, some clergyman and local nobility... but the Official language throughout the Country, the one used by the nobility that was ruling over them, was Swedish.

Today there's still much confusion about this. So here is how it goes: Scandinavia is a Region that includes Sweden, Norway and Denmark... Countries whose languages have the same root and transition one into the other through dialects. In modern usage a lot of people extend the name to Greenland, Iceland, Finland and Faroe Islands. Common usage, though, does not mean they are right. (just like neon lights are, most of the time, just fluorescent lights... not neon!)

Our story, though, is set in XVII century and Finland was part of Sweden therefore categorized as Scandinavia! But our boy, who is a Jew first of all but a Finnish too... might take a little pride in the difference. We'll see about that. Right now, for sure, we know that he picked a name that reminded him of where he is from... Fynn.

He might have lost his family and his faith in God... his upbringing he cannot deny... his nationality he takes pride into. So whatever happened did not make him mad at his homeland... but at the people who ruled it. He was very unlucky too.

I picked Finland because, duh, I love Jean Sibelius and, duh, I liked the fact that the boy grew up in a land that was dominated by another Country. Kane did too... Sicily belonged to Spain.
They share something and that is why they can relate and become friends.

So if you find more information about Jewish communities in Finland... let me know... I am basing some things on the news I gathered about Germany and Poland but I will not go historically super precise... I am getting inspirations from certain accidents and event, so that we can discuss certain topics without actually talking about specific accidents.


Unknown said...

Interesting... I'm not so good at english - I didn't understand exactly everything in your post.
As for the history of Polish I can probably help, because I'm from Poland :) It's my country so I know a lot about Poland and her[sorry Polska[Poland] is feminine in my language so I'm a little confused about 'her', 'his', 'its'] history [I'm on polish language - history - knowledge about society profile in my school]. I can try to check the information that you already have. Germany a little to. [We learn quite a lot about the history of this country, as well as for example Russia, Britain, France in all ages]

dedasaur said...

Thank you Justyna.
I am actually looking for information about Finland...

and because I cannot find a lot... I use what I know about Poland and Germany because some set of laws for the Jews were all the same for Northern Europe.

winzrella said...

I love Wes now even more knowing that we are both Finns (I'm a born Finnish)!

I quickly checked out pages online about Jews in Finland. What they said about it was that every Jew in old Sweden needed a residence of permit to live in Sweden (this including todays Finland). However, the only areas where they were permitted to live were few and all of them places that are in todays Sweden (example Stockholm). Jews living in Finland during that time had converted to Christianity.
This was at least the legal way for jews to live in old Sweden. There was a law about it which existed even after year 1808 when Finland went under Russian rule.
While under Russian tule some "higher" people had the right to give limited permits of residence for Jews on the area they controlled.

I hope this helped and did not distroy your plans.
And if you need to know anything that has to do with Finland, feel free to ask me. I can look trough Finnish and Swedish texts to find answers. My email is winzrella@hotmail.com

dedasaur said...

Oh this actually helps a lot. Thank you very very much.

If Wes' family refused to convert to Christianity in full and put up a facade I might have my insightful accident right there. ( I know for a fact that most Jews... converting... would fake it).

But this tells me at least two things: I can remove the ring from his jacket. He might feel persecuted for belonging to a different faith.

winzrella said...

I checked out a bit more and found this from a Finnish site in ENGLISH! See if it helps :)

-end- said...

Im Finnish and im happy that ppl are somewhat interested in our country (: