Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#83575 - 10/14/02 11:05 PM Finnish ballet slippers  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,636
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel
consuelo  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,636
Caribbean
Has anyone ever heard this before? Somehow I have the feeling they have nothing to do with tutus. The person that told me this phrase refuses to describe them but I get the distinct impression that they are not very attractive footware for very cold weather. [brrr-e]


#83576 - 10/14/02 11:57 PM Re: Finnish ballet slippers  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Buffalo Shrdlu  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Vermont
Finnish? I haven't even started mine...



formerly known as etaoin...
#83577 - 10/15/02 12:18 AM Re: Finnish ballet slippers  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 10
redpepper Offline
stranger
redpepper  Offline
stranger

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 10
Has anyone ever heard this before?
Those Finnish ballet slippers are a revered symbol of the indomitable will of the Finnish people who survived Stalin's "reign of terror" in the 30s. Survivors like Laila Korpi. Laila eventually made it back to the land of her birth (America) and died in a Nursing Home with her forbidden ballet slippers hanging by their ties on the wall by her bed. Here is Laila's story:

Laila Korpi, originally from Ishpeming, went to Karelia with her mother in 1934, a few years after her father had gone. Her dad was assigned to a lumber camp; her mother became a mail carrier; and Laila was permitted to enroll in a Finnish drama school where she also studied dance, her first love. The Finnish people in Karelia at that time had an active social life.
In a few years, the school closed, the speaking of the Finnish language was forbidden and Finnish books and magazines were burned. The time of terror was upon them.
Laila had married Olavi Siiki, a second generation Finnish American from Detroit whose search for an ideal society had led him too to Karelia. He was very active in drama circles, even skiing to distant fishing villages and lumber camps to provide folks there with some entertainment.
They had been losing friends, friends who simply disappeared and were not heard from again. One night in 1937 the dreaded knock was heard at their door and Olavi was led away. Her father, too, was arrested and taken perhaps to prison, perhaps to a labor camp or perhaps to be shot.
After her husband was arrested, Laila was told to get out of their apartment and she lost her job. After all, the wife of "an enemy of the people" didn't deserve any sympathy. Olavi's parents volunteered to care for the baby Oliver while Laila and her mother went to Kostramo to live. Life was harsh. Their fist winter in Kostramo was very cold. They didn't have a bed in which to sleep so they laid boards from trunks to chairs; put on all their warm clothes including mittens, shoes and tams; and piled under and over them whatever warm things they could find.
During WWII, Laila was shipped to Siberia to work on a collective farm where all the other workers spoke only Russian; she perforce learned to speak Russian.
She was moved to various factories and eventually found herself again in Petroskoi, where she taught English at the elementary level for nine years and later worked in a drafting department until her retirement at age fifty-five.
Through the efforts and the generosity of her cousin Emmy Kulkki of Gwinn, she was able to return to the area of her birth, living in Snowberry Heights until her health deteriorated, at which time she was transferred to the Palmer Nursing Home. Her old ballet slippers, which she had carried with her through the many years, hung by their ties on the wall by her bed.
Her son Oliver moved from Russia to Alaska and called her regularly. She never saw her grandson nor her three great grandchildren again, which was a sorrow to her.
Although she had been an atheist, while in Snowberry Heights she attended church regularly, anxious to learn what religion was all about. When she died, a service was held for her at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Marquette, where I was privileged to deliver the eulogy.






#83578 - 10/15/02 07:24 PM Re: Finnish ballet slippers  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel
TEd Remington  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
Marion NC
I was starting to write a spoof about this, loaded with puns, but then something made me google this woman's name. What are the odds that we would have someone here who was actually involved in this woman's life? Weird.



TEd
#83579 - 10/15/02 07:49 PM Re: Finnish ballet slippers  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
>What are the odds that we would have someone here who..

well, there's always the possibility that redpepper is the source of connie's phrase.


#83580 - 10/15/02 09:44 PM Re: Finnish ballet slippers  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,636
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel
consuelo  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,636
Caribbean
Nope. Came from a Yooper. I suspect it might mean snowshoes.



#83581 - 10/16/02 09:28 AM Re: Finnish ballet slippers  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,636
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel
consuelo  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,636
Caribbean
Shoot. I've been told it's not snowshoes.


#83582 - 10/16/02 12:53 PM Re: Finnish ballet slippers  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Buffalo Shrdlu  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Vermont
if you happen to be in NYC:
http://www.nypress.com/14/40/news&columns/eats.cfm
part way down, AQ Cafe, 58 Park Ave. small gift shop next door that sells Finnish slippers...



formerly known as etaoin...
#83583 - 10/17/02 01:04 PM Re: Finnish ballet slippers  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel
AnnaStrophic  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
lower upstate New York
what are the odds that we would have someone here who was actually involved in this woman's life?

Spooky, indeed, TEd.

#83584 - 10/17/02 02:07 PM Re: Finnish ballet slippers  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,346
FishonaBike Offline
veteran
FishonaBike  Offline
veteran

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,346
Sussex, England
>what are the odds that we would have someone here who was actually involved in this woman's life?
Spooky, indeed, TEd.


RP's comment is mostly a quote from here, folks:

http://www.mmnow.com/mm_archive_folder/00/0010/feature.html

Not his/her (o's ) own experience.

It'd be appreciated if you could credit such references, RP (and maybe mark out the quoted bit in a different colour or something) - saves confusion* and enables further investigation from those interested. Ta.


* I'd thought you were a deliverer of eulogies also


Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,878
Posts223,699
Members9,008
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
VegasCaptain, Mallo, drad_dog, Kimi, apma1
9008 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 registered members (A C Bowden), 50 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
apma1 1
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 8,917
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.015s Queries: 14 (0.003s) Memory: 2.7274 MB (Peak: 2.8614 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2017-06-28 12:30:26 UTC