Anni Arvio (second from left in the above photo), the new intern at the Finnish American Historical Archive, is excited to spend her summer in Hancock, though she’s already making plans to help her get over the part of Finnish life she’s going to miss terribly.
“I already told Pauliina that we have to rent a cottage next to a lake somewhere, so we can still have that experience,” said the 32-year-old Rovaniemi native. Her new friend, Pauliina Lehto, is her fellow intern at the Finnish American Heritage Center this summer; Pauliina is serving as a journalism intern at the Finnish American Reporter.
Both women are eager to explore the abundant outdoor opportunities Upper Michigan has to offer, while provide FAHC and FAR patrons with another means through which they can connect to their Finnish heritage. Lehto, a 28-year-old from Tampere, and Arvio have both been to the United States before to visit family members, but neither had been to the Great Lakes State.
“My decision to apply for this internship was heavily influenced by the stories my American-born relatives have told me about the Finnish communities in the States,” Lehto said, adding that she has family members living in Maine. Arvio has similar motivations.
“My great-grandfather was an immigrant; he lived in Fitchburg, Massachusetts,” Arvio explained. “I’ve always been interested in the history of his immigration.”
Both women have recognized early in their time in Hancock that they’ve landed in the place ideal to further pursue these motivations. They’ve already noticed the high level of interest in Finnish culture in the Copper Country and are eager to share in that enthusiasm.
“After I found out about the Finnish American Heritage Center and the Finnish American Reporter, I immediately knew I wanted to come here,” Lehto said. “With this internship I have the opportunity to combine my personal interest in history and my career interests in writing and editing stories.”
It’s a double-bonus situation for Arvio, too.
“I want to learn more about working in an archive,” she said. “That’s what I’m aiming toward as a career, either in an archive or a museum, so it’s important to me to learn how the archive operates.”
To meet Pauliina and Anni, visit the Finnish American Heritage Center on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.Tags: Anni Arvio, Finnish American Historical Archive