Jan 23, 2017

FAHC to launch Finnish American folk school

HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) – “Although our region maintains a strong ethnic pride in its Finnish roots, the loss of language and traditional arts and crafts has left many among our residents very little onto which they can attach their ethnic identity,” Finnish American Heritage Center Director Jim Kurtti said.

WLUC-TV Online
January 8, 2017
Alissa Pietila

HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) – “Although our region maintains a strong ethnic pride in its Finnish roots, the loss of language and traditional arts and crafts has left many among our residents very little onto which they can attach their ethnic identity,” Finnish American Heritage Center Director Jim Kurtti said.

Kurtti’s doing something about it. He and his staff at Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center are spearheading an effort to establish a Finnish American Folk School in the Copper Country.

Operating under the title “The Milking Stool: Cultural Sustainability, a Three-Legged Approach,” the program, which gets under way in 2017, is designed to counteract the decline in authentic ethnic activity in the region, particularly in the area of folk arts and culture.

Centered on the region’s three existing Finnish-American celebrations’€“ January’s Heikinpäivä festival, the Juhannus (Midsummer) events in June, and the recently developed Festival Ruska each fall — the folk school will connect experts in Finnish traditional folk arts, both from Finland and from the Upper Midwest, with people interested in learning and sustaining traditions, eventually becoming the next generation of tradition bearers in the region.

Read the full article at WLUC-TV Online.