Finlandia Fridays was visited this week by the Finnish American Heritage Center’s intern Mika Tompuri. Tompuri hails from Finland, and just recently graduated with his master’s degree in English, German and teacher’s education. “After graduating I was thinking about what to do, and I noticed the National Board of Education in Finland was advertising for these internships, so I figured I might as well apply,” said Tompuri when asked how he wound up at Finlandia.
At the Heritage Center, Tompuri has been assisting in cataloguing the various donations, translating Finnish to English and vice versa, writing articles for the Finnish American Reporter and helping people discover their Finnish roots. For Tompuri, the experience has been new and exciting, especially since the internship is not in his field of study.
With Finnish independence being celebrated this past year, Tompuri was crucial in bringing a customary Finnish tradition to Hancock with the viewing of the shaking of the Finnish President’s hand. Tompuri stated that in Finland, people gather with their friends and families, grab their snacks and watch the hand shaking. “Some people even play bingo too,” stated Tompuri, looking for people to step on someone’s dress or forget to shake the hand of the President’s wife.
With his internship coming to a close, Tompuri stated that he is going to miss all the people who helped make his experience enjoyable. He also mentioned that he is going to miss the opportunity to participate in the outdoor sports, mentioning he did the Copper Country Color Tour and biked to the top of Mount Arvon, the highest elevation point in Michigan. “It’s the perfect area for those kinds of things,” said Tompuri.
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