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Monthly Archive for September, 2009

Latvia seemed destined to remain behind the Iron Curtain forever in 1984 when I began planning my trip to discover my roots and visit relatives. Just one year earlier, President Ronald Reagan had described the Soviet Union as an “Evil Empire” just a few months after the former head of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, assumed [...]

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Many Finns came to American because they could not afford to own land back in Finland. Ownership of land had become to them a symbol of prosperity and independence. There is an old Finnish proverb “oma tupa, oma lupa,” which means “when one has his own place, he is his own boss.”

In addition to [...]

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The origins of the Finnish people have long been a subject for discussion. They are distinctly different from their Scandinavian neighbors in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The first people to inhabit Finland were the Lapps, a race of northern hunters. They were gradually pushed north by new groups of people who arrived from the [...]

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Drinking in excess is commonly a problem in communities that are remote, cold, and lonely through the long winter months. It has been a problem in countries like Iceland, Finland, and Russia for centuries. Northern Michigan is very similar to these countries in its isolation, frigid temperatures, and long winters. The mining companies in the [...]

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