DAY 30.

November 14th, 2010 by Mari Keski-Korsu

We do interview with Elsa and discuss a little on how to get trough the surface of one’s identity. It is easy to say “I like pulla” but what does immigration generation identity mean deeply in emotional level?

There is a shop called Touch of Finland in Marquette. I have never visited Finnish souvenir shop outside of Finland. It feels strange. We buy a DVD Tradition Bearers and watch it in the evening. It is an old documentary (1983) about Finnish immigrants in Michigan, but it is very entertaining. All the people in it should be characters in a theater play!

DAY 29.

November 13th, 2010 by Mari Keski-Korsu


I take a train to NYC early in the morning. I chat a bit with a granny next to me, but to be honest, I don’t feel a least bit of talkative. Every person is a new door, but sometimes I just can’t. A taxi driver in NYC happens to be a scientologist Jeffrey. He gives me a presentation about his beliefs and how scientology suits with any religion I might have. It is based on interdisciplinary facts. Jeffrey tells me he can make miracles and I’m tempted to believe that when I see him navigate so naturally in NYC traffic while concentrating fully on our discussion. I, too, think there is a sleeping devil in all of us and it’s awaken by negative energy. This is why we should always seek for the positive energy. But I also wonder, how do you know which is which? How is the devil defined? If I’ve understood correctly Buddhism teaches everything is just existing thoughts and actions that come and go – some of them are better for you than the others.

I have never been in a private jet before in my life. Elsa tells that having a private jet is not common – surprise me, I just thought this is US. No security checks on luggage, nice pilots and snacks to eat. My fear of flying didn’t bother me at all. Ford airport in Michigan is like November in Finland. The sky is gray over the forests. Finland illusion continues when we get to Elsa’s and David’s place. The whole house is full of Finnish design. The contrast is huge compared to my travel so far. But I think it is also a good for my work to see this. Finnish immigrants came to the area partly because it looks a bit like home country – but of course the biggest reason was the jobs.

DAY 28.

November 12th, 2010 by Mari Keski-Korsu


I take a metro to Pentagon to meet William (Viljami). It is amazing to visit the building and I get a special tour, because Viljami works there as a civil engineer. We also visit the place where the plane hit in 911. Pentagon is full of paintings, art works and collections related to military. It would take days and days to go trough them all. This big office building is like a city of its own with gyms, running tracks, swimming hall, shops, restaurants etc. Only thing missing is a hotel.

The idea that this is the place where it all starts – the functions of war – overwhelms me. Viljami says Iraq war has been very difficult. Everybody agrees with that, I think. We have very nice discussions while touring around the building and drinking a lot of coffee. Viljami, Eteläpohojammaan Viljami, Lurjus is an easy man to make friends with. And our heritage is so close in Finland: mine from North and his from South Ostrobothnia. He thinks there are two great powers in the world US and South Ostrobothnia.

DAY 27.

November 11th, 2010 by Mari Keski-Korsu

Life is full of wonderful surprises. I interviewed Tessa yesterday and turns out her next door neighbour Eric has also Finnish descent. Eric is a lawyer, but he is also very interested in history. This creates yet another perspective to the group of interviews I’ve done now. I’m very pleased that every day there is something new. Eric and her wife Lisa have cats and a dog that have been rescued from streets in Surinami. Adorable friends, indeed.

DAY 26.

November 10th, 2010 by Mari Keski-Korsu

Car in hotel yard

I travel to Washington D.C this morning. I feel immediately at home, because there are bicyclists! I go straight to Tessa’s house who lives in Mount Pleasant. Her grandparents were illegal immigrants in US. I got in contact with Tessa trough her mother Lisa who lives in Colorado. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a possibility to travel to Colorado so this was a very good opportunity to meet Tessa who can share the family story with me.

Tessa tells me that she wonders sometimes why everything has to be bigger and bigger in US: cars, houses etc. This is something I think about constantly, too. For example, I couldn’t manage here without a credit card. I couldn’t travel at all, because all the tickets are paid by credit. I suppose this is the same with everything else if you would live here. Credit credit credit.

Tessa’s daughter is also very interested in using my video camera and we make a princess and mom’s feet videos…