The Suomi-Seura Rome



The Suomi-Seura Rome has been active despite the challenges of the past years and with 67 members we currently have the largest number of members in more than 10 years. This spring has been overshadowed by the war in Europe, and our Society donated 300 € to the Disaster Relief Fund of the Finnish Red Cross to help Ukrainian people in need.
After a break of almost two years, the Finnish School returned to on-site classes already last autumn, and every two weeks the courtyard of the Church of Santa Dorotea fills with joyful noise, as the children have come here again to play. There are three groups and nearly 30 children in total who meet each other every two weeks, supervised by six teachers. At the same time as the school, our rich library is open in the school premises.
Adult Finnish language courses continue remotely for now, with 21 students learning in with weekly courses. Every year, our community awards a scholarship worth 900 € to the adult student that has the best results in the application process and is accepted to a Finnish intensive course in Finland. Since it has not been possible to travel to Finland in the last two years, this year we will have as many as three students from Rome who participate in the summer school of Finnish language and culture in Jyväskylä thanks to a scholarship!
Juttutupa Rome is a series of discussions and meetings coordinated by the Suomi-Seura Rome, focusing on Finnish and Italian identity as well as topical themes, always taking a new perspective. We took up our meetings in autumn at Villa Lante, where Pia Rämä-Ory, member of the Language and Cognition research group at the University of Paris, led a discussion on becoming bilingual. In spring, we visited the Protestant cemetery of Rome (Cimitero Accattolico) guided by Silja Tuominen, where the Finnish sculptor Johannes Takanen is buried.
What we learned and practiced during the pandemic is cooking together remotely, with Kimmo Kettunen, cook of the Embassy of Finland in Rome. These cooking events, which are part of the Juttutupa series, have continued also this spring for several meetings, where we prepared among others kalakeitto (fish soup), perunarieska (potato flatbread) and of course, karjalanpiirakka (Karelian pies)!
The highlight in winter is the traditional pikkujoulu Christmas party, which we celebrated in a somewhat limited manner last time, together with the children only, in our school premises in Trastevere. We also went to the traditional Christmas church service in Santa Brigida’s chapel, where we return to in May for summer celebration, Suvimessu.
In addition to these very traditional meetings, our baseball club will start again in autumn, and we will celebrate the 35-year anniversary of our community.
Suomi-Seura Rome’s board consists of six strong and active women. We meet every few months, but WhatsApp is busy every week, because we never run out of things to do and new ideas!
Satu Sulkunen/Rome, May 2022