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Vieraskieliset / In-english

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Vieraskieliset / In-english
12.11.2021 11.50

Juttua muokattu:

12.11. 12:53

Text: Pau­li Määt­tä

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

Last sum­mer I was ab­le to at­tend the con­fir­ma­ti­on ser­vi­ces of three grandc­hild­ren. They were fes­ti­ve oc­ca­si­ons. The yo­ung con­fir­mand may even be a bit em­bar­ras­sed as the cen­ter of at­ten­ti­on, sur­roun­ded by his or her grand­pa­rents, god­pa­rents, ot­her re­la­ti­ves and friends who have come to ce­leb­ra­te.

The pre­vi­ous time they were the cen­ter of at­ten­ti­on was at their bap­tism a long time ago. There have been birth­da­ys of cour­se, but now they have just at­ten­ded a me­mo­rab­le con­fir­ma­ti­on camp, which ex­pe­rien­ce may car­ry and sup­port them throug­hout life. They have pro­bab­ly al­so found new friends and es­corts.

Du­ring the pan­de­mic, grand­pa­rents were not al­lo­wed to at­tend the con­fir­ma­ti­on ser­vi­ce. But thanks to mo­dern tech­no­lo­gy, we were ab­le to at­tend vir­tu­al­ly. That al­lo­wed us to share each grandc­hild’s fes­ti­ve ex­pe­rien­ce.

I re­mem­ber my own con­fir­ma­ti­on camp at Reis­jär­vi Opis­to 50 ye­ars ago. I have no writ­ten re­cords left, so I have to rely on my me­mo­ry.

My camp ex­pe­rien­ce be­gan when, in Kuu­sa­mo, I got on the bus going to the Sum­mer Ser­vi­ces. I do not re­mem­ber where I sta­yed the nights at those ser­vi­ces, but af­ter them, my unc­le gave me a ride to sout­hern Fin­land. A cou­sin of mine was co­ming to the same camp, and to­get­her with her I got a ride to Reis­jär­vi. I lo­ved the safe and good at­mosp­he­re of the camp. Some of the clas­ses were held out­doors. I would still re­cog­ni­ze some of the camp par­ti­ci­pants if I came ac­ross them.

Af­ter the con­fir­ma­ti­on ser­vi­ce, I no­ti­ced that pe­op­le were gi­ving flo­wers to the con­fir­mands. I did not get any. The same thing had been no­ti­ced by my unc­le, who brought me a flo­wer that see­med to have been ta­ken from my cou­sin’s bunch. It was such a small ges­tu­re, but it still brings te­ars in­to my ey­es 50 ye­ars la­ter.

Af­ter the camp I sta­yed for a few days with anot­her unc­le’s fa­mi­ly, who li­ved in Reis­jär­vi. Then I got on a bus to go home – af­ter a trip that had ta­ken se­ve­ral weeks.

They were ea­ger­ly wai­ting for me at home. They had star­ted to clear a ne­ar­by marsh­land for fields. Ditc­hes were nee­ded, and one spade was free for me to use. I re­mem­ber how re­luc­tant I was to dig. There were tree roots all over the place and clouds of mos­qui­to­es pes­te­ring me. Af­ter all, I had just got ac­cus­to­med to tra­ve­ling in style.

The dig­ging was fol­lo­wed by ha­y­ma­king. We had pro­bab­ly had good we­at­her, be­cau­se we en­ded up ha­ving one day free. The cus­tom at that time was to have a stu­dio port­rait ta­ken of the con­fir­mand, if the fa­mi­ly did now own a ca­me­ra. My fat­her and I pre­pa­red to go. A wel­ded iron box was moun­ted at the back of the trac­tor. It had been used to trans­port ma­nu­re to the fields, but it had been cle­a­ned and some hay had been spread on the bot­tom. I dres­sed in my best clot­hes and clim­bed in­to the box. And off we went.

The 25 ki­lo­me­ters to the mu­ni­ci­pal cen­ter were gra­vel road. The trac­tor rai­sed a cloud of dust. When we ar­ri­ved at the pho­tog­rap­her’s stu­dio, I was comp­le­te­ly co­ve­red by dust. We won­de­red what to do and came to the conc­lu­si­on that I could not go in­to the stu­dio in that sor­ry con­di­ti­on. But we had the mo­ney! We ag­reed to go to the vil­la­ge store and use our mo­ney to buy a hand plane. My mot­her was a bit surp­ri­sed when we came home with a plane but wit­hout a port­rait.

That is why I ne­ver had a con­fir­ma­ti­on pic­tu­re ta­ken. I have told this story du­ring the pa­rents’ nights of most of my child­ren’s con­fir­ma­ti­on camps – to the great dis­may of my child­ren.


Hyvä ja oikeamielinen on Herra, hän neuvoo syntisille tien. Ps. 25:8

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