Hi again guys!
I sure am proud of my ancestry! I am half Finn, and Half Belgian. Dad's family was all Finnish, adn Mom's family was from Belgium. I am a halfbreed so to say! Haha!
I am sorry to say that neither the Finns or the Belgians did anything to promote their native language to the young people of my time. (I was born in 1956). The languages are slowly becoming extinct.
My Mother knew Belgian, as my Grandmother and Grandfather emmigrated from Belgium in 1910. But they spoke the language around me in order to keep me from knowing what they were talking about. I learned only a few words.
The Finnish side was even worse,,,,,,the old timers didn't think us kids worthy to know the language i guess. There were church services for the Finnish speaking, but kids were not encouraged to attend. I think they wanted to Americanize us.
Yes we ate the Finnish dishes,,,,Mojaka, Rieska, Ustua, Nissu, Makkara, etc, and we were taught about Finnish customs, but the Language was reserved solely for the older folks. Darn shame in my opinion.
My Dad is still around at 86,,,and I have asked him to teach me some more words and phrases, but he is reluctant for some reason. I know that kids who were raised in a Finnish speaking household in his years had a hard time learning English when they went to school, so that may be part of it.
My Grandpa told me that when he was a young kid, that his folks made them speak only in english, no finn, said that was the language of their countrty and they had better learn it well! They all learned finn as babies, but it was only after they made english their first language that they were allowed to speak it again.
They were tough, hardworking men who were leaders in their communities and would give you the shirt off their backs if they thought you needed it. Great Grandpa and Grandpa are both dead now,and Dad's getting older, sure miss seeing them altogther!
Oh, they were all honest as the day is long, and were real proud of the old country finns being the only country to pay it's war debt (after WW2)
eventhough the debt had been forgiven! says alot about their character