Finnish Fairytales

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Afe
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Finnish Fairytales

Post by Afe » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:05 pm

Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well! :)

I was wondering if there is someone here who could help me with Finnish folklore.

I am looking into traditional fairytales, myths and stories for an art project but I seem to be coming across various versions of each story. As a result I am not very sure which one is the original version or which one is the most well known in order to decide on whether to choose a version or not. As an example, for the story of the Princess Mouse, I have found version referring to 3 brothers and others to two. Also some of the versions define the status of the family in different ways.

As a foreigner, who has only recently started looking into the Finnish culture, I am also unaware of various aspects related to inherited knowledge such as manners, traditions, superstitious or beauty standards that may be related to some of the tales and make sense to you but potentially not to me. Before I start looking more into it and analysing things from afar, which can be misleading at times, I thought it would be a good idea to ask someone who is local about their experience. :) So, if there are any tales, habits or anything related to folk culture that you are aware of as part of your heritage, I would really appreciate your help! :D

Thanks in advance!
Afe



Finnish Fairytales

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tuttu
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Re: Finnish Fairytales

Post by tuttu » Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:55 am

erm, i'm not a finn, but you should definitely look at kalevala.
then there's many animal tales, maybe look here: http://www.kirjasampo.fi/fi/kulsa/http% ... 9517178980
and then there's the tales about hölmöläiset (a village full of extremely stupid people - one famous example: they built a house without windows, and later tried to carry light inside in sacks): http://kilplased.ee/fi/holmolaissadut (strangely, an estonian webpage, but it's all in finnish).


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Pursuivant
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Re: Finnish Fairytales

Post by Pursuivant » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:45 pm

Most of the fairytales are recycled from either German or Russian. You find very few "original" ones. Those would then be stories of giants or heroes.
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


Afe
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Re: Finnish Fairytales

Post by Afe » Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:54 pm

Thank you very much tuttu and Pursuivant! :)


Jukka Aho
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Re: Finnish Fairytales

Post by Jukka Aho » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:09 pm

Afe wrote:Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well! :)

I was wondering if there is someone here who could help me with Finnish folklore.

I am looking into traditional fairytales, myths and stories for an art project but I seem to be coming across various versions of each story. As a result I am not very sure which one is the original version or which one is the most well known in order to decide on whether to choose a version or not. As an example, for the story of the Princess Mouse, I have found version referring to 3 brothers and others to two. Also some of the versions define the status of the family in different ways.
You should probably contact the Finnish Literature Society (Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden seura, or SKS for short). They have published many collections of Finnish folklore and fairy tales.

If you're located in Finland, you could also ask for advice in the nearest public library. Or maybe search their catalog for the oldest fairy tale books.

Some of the fairly tale books I recall from my childhood:

Suomen kansan suuri satukirja (WSOY, 1972) (cover)

Lukemisia lapsille (1865-1896, 1874), a multi-volume story book for children by Zachris Topelius (aka Sakari Topelius). Note the Project Gutenberg links to some of the volumes on the Wikipedia page.
znark


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Pursuivant
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Re: Finnish Fairytales

Post by Pursuivant » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:20 pm

That "suuri satukirja" I had as a kid too. Remember some weird stories of a witches hut on chicken legs (baba yaga) and princesses going to castles with barrels of blood and body parts :shock:
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


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Kössi K
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Re: Finnish Fairytales

Post by Kössi K » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:26 pm

Lots of the fairytales here have been transferred from other Nordic countries, e.g. Kolme pukkia nimeltään Mikko (Three goats named Mikko, orig. a Norwegian story), or Astrid Lindgren's stories like Peppi Pitkätossu (Pippi Longstocking), or Grimm brothers and especially H.C. Andersen (Danish). The two last ones have been said to be 'too scary and even traumatizing to children nowadays', according to some news a few years back, irrc. *major eyeroll and muttering about soft-arse parents and kids*

Some older examples, that I didn't read/get read to, as a kid though, are Sakari (Zachris) Topelius and Anni Swan. I do remember reading some of Swan's books as a pre-teen.
Fairytales by Finns that I do remember well from my childhood (I was born in the 70s):
Yrjö Kokko: Pessi ja Illusia (1944)
Oiva Paloheimo: Tirlittan (1953)
Kirsti Kunnas: Tiitiäisen satupuu (collection of her stories, 1956)
and oh, the stories that Lasse Pöysti used to read on tv's children's show Pikku Kakkonen. Some of those were by Finnish author's, as well.

Later there's been Tove Jansson's Muumit (Moomins), of course, but I was never a fan of those. And I guess they got more popular in the 90s with the animations.
Joha mie sanoi, vaikken mittää virkkant.


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tuttu
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Re: Finnish Fairytales

Post by tuttu » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:50 pm

Kössi, you are confusing fairy tales with children's books, imho.
not every children's book is a fairy tale, or a traditional fairy tale, as op asked.
the term is very loose, but i think of it as kansansatu.
Kössi K wrote:Grimm brothers and especially H.C. Andersen (Danish). The two last ones have been said to be 'too scary and even traumatizing to children nowadays', according to some news a few years back, irrc. *major eyeroll and muttering about soft-arse parents and kids*
...yes, and hardly anybody complains if they watch star wars & play equally scary video games!
in my experience, children want scariness & tension & excitement - but they also need a reassuring solution (good example: mörkö in muumi-tales).
grimm's tales are great, because they deal with fundamental questions of life in a way children can relate to, and thre's always a positive solution.
but one thing i agree with: punishment is often too harsh and cruel from a current point of view.

PS:
one should also be aware that there's a fundamental difference between grimm's and andersen's tales:
the brothers (and one sister) grimm have been collecting traditional, sometimes age-old, folkloristic tales by actually talking to people, whereas h.c. andersen has written fairytales inspired partly by folkloristic tradition, but mostly his own psyche.


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Kössi K
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Re: Finnish Fairytales

Post by Kössi K » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:50 am

Indeed, I see your point, tuttu.
Well, I've always thought of fairytales as just 'satu' in general, not kansansatu. The OP was extending their scope to stories and myths, etc., so I was giving examples of what I was read to (and later read myself) when I was a kid here, and thought I'll mention a few Finnish authors. And yeah, Tirlittan may be a bit later on than small children, but mom did read Pessi ja Illusia to me when I was still in kindergarten. Also depends on where to draw the line between traditional fairytales and newer fairytales - many of those were written in the 50s, and Andersen's/Grimm's are of course much older.

Tuttu mentioned the hölmöläiset stories, which was a great addition to this subject, IMO. I've heard soooo many of those growing up, of course, but didn't even remember those when replying.
I now actually had to look up on Hölmölä stories, and apparently they were published in Finnish for the first time as early as in 1860, wow.
https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%B6lm%C3%B6l%C3%A4
Joha mie sanoi, vaikken mittää virkkant.


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sinikala
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Re: Finnish Fairytales

Post by sinikala » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:04 am

Afe wrote:I was wondering if there is someone here who could help me with Finnish folklore.

I am looking into traditional fairytales, myths and stories...

So, if there are any tales, habits or anything related to folk culture that you are aware of as part of your heritage, I would really appreciate your help!
I quite like the tale of Bishop Henri and his encounter with Lalli

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lalli
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_( ... nd)#Legend

It's an allegory for / early example of Finnish attitude to foreigners :D
Image


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Kössi K
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Re: Finnish Fairytales

Post by Kössi K » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:58 pm

..and the attitude towards religion pushing elitists :twisted:

Which always reminds me a movie quote I like: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0350261/quotes - An Unfinished Life by Lasse Hallström.
"Einar Gilkyson: I expect you to be nice to who ever comes to my door.
Griff Gilkyson: Yes sir.
Einar Gilkyson: Unless it's some guy looking to sell his angle on God. There's no excuse for that bu**sh*t."

Many don't see it as just a legend/tale, it's the honest truth in the Köyliö region. (Officially, there's been debate and research for decades about the actual events, when and if they took place, etc.) Yeah, some of my family is from that area, and damn proud of that event, too, heheh. General views of what happened are still represented in many local places, like Lallintalo (House of Lalli), a concert and venue hall, and there's a statue for Lalli, since 1969. Other places named after him: local school, Lallin koulu; Köyliön Lallit, the local sports club. Can't recall any similar things named after the bishop over there...
Joha mie sanoi, vaikken mittää virkkant.


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