Meeting in Kajaani, July 2012

Like most Estonians, I have been in Helsinki several times, but not elsewhere in Finland. Probably also the greater forces saw the injustice so they created a direct airline from Tallinn to Kajaani and on July 4 Elle-Mari Talivee, Kadri Tüür and I landed in Kajaani to have our third project meeting hosted by our lovely Matti, Anneli, Esko and Saara. On the first evening we already had a great welcome greeting from our Finnish friends: sauna and swimming in the lake, delicious dinner and boating. (Not to forget the darts!) And the light nights were amazing - at 1 A.M. the sun was shining and sleeping felt like a crime... The program was really intensive. The subject was "European Aspect in our Literary Heritage" and the presentations were a bit different from our usual presentations. The presence of European writer's in different countries really is different! So it was interesting to find out the crossing-points, similarities and differences. I think we all found out something really new!
After the meeting we could participate in several literary events taking place in the town - it was Kajaani Poetry Week, the air was full of literature! We really enjoyed the market in front of our hotel and evening concerts in the Town Hall Square. Into the program was also included the presentations about our institutions, to introduce our museums and organisations also to wider Finnish audience. I hope we did! The second day ended with a festive occasion, a celebration of Eino Leino's birthday (born in July 6 1878- died in 1926) with lectures and concert. The Eino Leino-evening ended with enjoyable entertainment in beautiful Paltaniemi. I think one of the most rare and valuable experience we had in Finland was the visiting Juminkeko (about Elias Lönnrot´s work) and Kalevala-village. Yes, the bus-ride there was quite long and it was a bit too hot in the bus, but it really was worth it. And we could also experience the work Matti is doing all the time: driving to a different writer-related places is an important part if his work in uniting the literary societies in Finland and representing the NIMIKOT association. Not to mention that we could see the landscapes which formulate the mind of the writers... On last day we had an interesting lecture about Eino Leino in the writer's birthplace and were introduced with the educational work Esko and Saara are doing in the museum.(Although it is not called museum and Esko said it is his worst nightmare to change the place into the museum, because then most of the events they have would not be allowed there :-).) And we had a lovely boating again. After all, Finland is the land of the lakes and we could feel that! The most important work we did in Finland was re-formulating the questionnaires about our three main subject - Communication, European aspect and Ways of reaching audiences - in more detailed way. It took lot's of time and thinking, but finally I think all the different point of views and approaches were counted in and the questionnaire became more effective. We also structured the final report and agreed in many aspects about the virtual exhibition. It was fruitful and constructive meeting, surrounded with the smooth feeling of Finnish summer, something to remember and miss now in autumn. Thank you, Matti, Anneli, Esko and Saara! Maarja

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