Brothers, my dear brothers.
During the two months I've been travelling I've gotten to know people who lie about their country of origin. This is something my ears cannot process all the way down to my brains and the thought gets lost somewhere in between. The people telling these lies cannot stand the thought of someone knowing where they come from, the stereotypes attached, the images created. Germans being afraid of being labeled for the actions of their forefathers, Canadians afraid of being just secondary woodsmen. They don't want to stand up for their home. I despise that. Detest, even.
I was never raised to worship my home country. I am not a patriot. Throughout my childhood, my youth, I have learned to respect my ancestry, my origin, through stories told by my father, my dear aunt who is on the verge of becoming old and the people of old who always have stories to tell, and books. There is so much pain in those stories. There is struggle, clenched fists, grinding teeth, words sworn for the ungodliest beings. But there is good, too. As there is in every story worthy of telling.
Today I shed a tear for my home. It was not homesickness, though. It was a tear out of sheer respect, proudness for the country I have had the right to live in. I don't know how many people in the world can shed a tear for the same reason but I doubt they form a majority.
Men with grave faces, eyes dropped down gazing the ground as if it were the horizon. Black coats and the frozen wind blowing strands of t heir grey hair into the winter air. Two of them smoke and the third one looks solemn. Not solemn for being alone, but solemn for being Finnish.
When I feel like being alone, I am. That's something I've noticed that no other nationality is able to do. I can last silence longer than all of them combined. I feel somehow rougher than them. The feeling that you've seen more winters than they have. It makes me feel proud.
No matter how far from home you take me, you're not able to take Finland out of me.