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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Family story in pictures

Vieraskieliset / In-english
1.8.2022 6.00

Juttua muokattu:

27.6. 08:59

Text: Mar­ja-Tert­tu Ko­mu­lai­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

When I think about the role of pho­tog­raphs in my fa­mi­ly home, it seems they were part of our eve­ry­day life. Com­pa­red to the pre­sent time, fa­mi­lies were less mo­bi­le and of­ten li­ved in the same lo­ca­li­ty for a long time. When re­la­ti­ves from furt­her away came to vi­sit, old pho­tos were an im­por­tant to­pic of dis­cus­si­on.

We have been told that when the pe­op­le li­ving close to the state bor­der were told to pack up and le­a­ve their ho­mes in the war time, many on­ly had time to grab a few im­por­tant ob­jects, such as the fa­mi­ly photo al­bum. So­me­ti­mes hou­se fi­res oc­cur­red even at ot­her ti­mes, and the loss of pho­tog­raphs was felt to be an es­pe­ci­al­ly great loss.

When I was doing prac­ti­cal trai­ning as a stu­dent in the 1970s, I re­mem­be­red that some of my pa­ter­nal re­la­ti­ves li­ved ne­ar­by. I knew they li­ved on a farm, but I had on­ly ever seen one them, my grand­mot­her’s sis­ter. With the straight­for­ward­ness of yo­uth, I found their phone num­ber in the di­rec­to­ry and cal­led them.

My call was ans­we­red by the lady of the hou­se, who as­su­med me to be so­me­o­ne el­se and did not sound very friend­ly. But when it tur­ned out I was a yo­ung re­la­ti­ve and not the girlf­riend of one of their work­men, I re­cei­ved a warm wel­co­me, and we to­get­her laug­hed about the mi­sun­ders­tan­ding.

When I went to vi­sit them, there were many mem­bers of the fa­mi­ly pre­sent. We loo­ked at the old pho­tog­raphs to­get­her, and they gave me a pic­tu­re of my fat­her as a yo­ung man dres­sed in a mi­li­ta­ry uni­form.

When my fat­her la­ter pas­sed away, some of these re­la­ti­ves at­ten­ded his fu­ne­ral. Af­ter­wards, my fat­her’s cou­sins spent some time loo­king at the old al­bums. With their he­ads close to­get­her, in­vol­ved in li­ve­ly dis­cus­si­on, they exc­han­ged thoughts and used a pen with green ink to mark the per­sons whom they knew by name. They re­cog­ni­zed the pe­op­le in a pic­tu­re ta­ken in the 1920s and knew where the old-fas­hi­o­ned mo­tor car was going.

The ol­dest mem­bers of the fa­mi­ly as well as our own pa­rents and grand­pa­rents have al­re­a­dy pas­sed away. We think about them with gra­ti­tu­de and bles­sing. But there is still so­met­hing that we, the cur­rent el­ders of our fa­mi­lies, can do. We can col­lect and re­cord im­por­tant fa­mi­ly in­for­ma­ti­on.

When our yo­un­gest child star­ted pre-school, I did not re­main res­ting on my lau­rels. I took out the photo al­bums I had al­re­a­dy bought – one for each of our child­ren. I then took our pho­tog­raphs and di­vi­ded them in­to pi­les by the ye­ar when they were ta­ken. I tried to choo­se the best shots of each child. My hus­band had done some pre­pa­ra­to­ry work by wri­ting down on the back­si­de of each pic­tu­re who the pe­op­le in the pic­tu­re were and where and when the pic­tu­re had been ta­ken. In this way I can give each of our child­ren le­a­ving home a col­lec­ti­on of pic­tu­res where they are the prin­ci­pal cha­rac­ter.


Käänny puoleeni; Herra, ja ole minulle armollinen, sillä minä olen yksin ja avuton. Ps. 25:16

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