Your Benefits as a Member Include:
Programs from September to May on the third Friday of each month, 7:30 p.m.,at the International Institute, 1694 Como Ave., St. Paul, MinnesotaA monthly newsletter (8 issues September to May; December and November are combined) Pikkujoulu Christmas celebration in December (takes the place of regular December meeting) Interest groups in genealogy and conversational Finnish Summer Events calendar in June Laskiainen celebration in February An active exposure to the Finnish language and culture Access to a collection of books about Finland, Finnish immigrants, architecture, art, and history Support scholarships for Salolampi Opportunities to support Finnish-American projects and events New friends of various Finnish backgrounds and interests Finnish films, travel opportunities and cultural exchanges
The celebration includes a"Tori" (Finnish market) with a variety of imported Finnish products as well as homemade crafts for timely Christmas gifts.A Finnish pre-Christmas celebration held early in December.
PikkujouluThe event also includes a "Seisovapöytä" (Finnish Smorgasbord) which, in recent years, has been catered by Soile Anderson from the Taste of Scandinavia.A Christmas program follows the smorgasbord. The 2002 program featured FinnHall who sang and played a medley of traditional Christmas music in Finnish and English.The "Sauna Bucket" award is given to an individual/individuals who has/have made a significant contribution to Finnish events, Finnish culture, or civic activities and must be a FACA member.Beginnng in 1950, the Finnish community in Minnesota was represented by the Minnesota Finnish/American Historical Society (MFAHS). FACA's involvement includes: The Finnish Cafe -- In recent years this has been managed by Pam and Urho Rahkola with a host of assistants, providing food and beverages which represent a sample of Finnish cuisine. Their "pihvipaisti" (beef and potato ragu), "mansikkakakkua" (strawberry shortcake), "sitruunakeksit" (lemon cookies) and "munakahvi" (the egg formula is used to clarify the coffee) are among the "hot sellers."
This is followed by a visit from "Joulupukki" (Santa Claus). The children are given the opportunity to sit on his lap and tell him their Christmas wishes, then each child receives a small bag of treats. A round of caroling in Finnish and English completes the festive evening.
Festival of NationsThe Bazaar -- The Finnish "Tori" both offers products imported from Finland as well as local hand-crafted items of Finnish design. Floyd Niskanen has headed up the operation with assistance from Ernest Banttari and Martha Lindgren.
Special Events -- Kathy Jackson and Marge Stewart, along with volunteers have provided interesting displays and demonstrations of traditional Finnish "hand work" with particular attention on fibers such as linen and wool. Their demonstration of preparation of linen skeins from flax and weaving it into linen was award winning.In 2002, their presentation of the role of the sauna in Finnish homes and society fit the theme "Global Homes and Gathering Places" and won an award. Kirvesmiehet (Martti Mattson, Yrjö George Ahlgren, and Pentti Korpi) have demonstrated the building of a log structure using traditional Finnish hand tools. Later they were invited to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., to demonstrate their skills. A working sauna, including a kiuas (sauna stove) with real-life"sauna-goers," steam and "viihtas" (switches) have demonstrated this aspect of Finnish culture during two successive Festival of Nations. Kisarit -- A Finnish folk dance group and accompanying musicians have skillfully displayed their intricate and interesting movements. If you would like more information contact Colleen Herberg at (651) 407-0588.The Finnish Sliding Festival is held in Palo, Minnesota and at times when there has been adequate snow in a suburb of Minneapolis & St. Paul. This event typically is a day of sliding, sledding, and cross country skiing, followed by a Finnish peas soup dinner with other Finnish delicacies. The event in Palo is one of the longest, continuously held Finnish-American festivals in the United States. FACA has celebrated Laskiainen in the Twin Cities with sliding, skiing, and other outdoor recreation. This was not possible in 2002 because of the lack of snow. An indoor Laskiainen program and lunch, complete with traditional pea soup, was held at the International Institute.