Paper Title

Heikinpäivä in Hancock

Location

Fisher 126

Event Website

http://www.finnforumx.com/

Start Date

12-4-2014 9:30 AM

End Date

12-4-2014 10:00 AM

Description

Each January in Hancock, Michigan, the Heikinpäivä Midwinter Festival offers local residents three weeks of activities highlighting the continuing role Finnish culture has in the area. Utilizing a set of fading Finnish midwinter traditions surrounding the day of Heikki, or Henrik, this festival has grown from a brief day-long gathering to a long period of activity incorporating films, craft and cooking classes, religious services, and more traditional festival events such as a parade, games, feasting, music, and dancing. This festival has complex origins in more commonplace agricultural traditions brought from Finland by immigrants, which are often no longer commonly remembered in Finland to this day. In this paper, I will examine the complex history of this festival both through its Finnish origins and through its current incarnation in Michigan. Through this festival, we can see the role Finnish heritage has as a simultaneous marker of cultural pride and deprecation. The place Finnish heritage has as a tool in community and economic development in the City of Hancock and the wider region will also be explored. Finally, the function of the festival as a means of maintaining traditions seemingly doomed to fade with time will also be explored.

Presenter Bio

Virtanen, Assistant Professor in Finnish Studies at Finlandia University, holds a bachelor of arts in English and cultural anthropology from Michigan State University, a master's of arts in folklore from Indiana University, and a master's of art in Scandinavian studies from the University of Wisconsin. In May, she will defend her dissertation, Heikinpäivä in Hancock, for a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and folklore at the University of Wisconsin.

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Apr 12th, 9:30 AM Apr 12th, 10:00 AM

Heikinpäivä in Hancock

Fisher 126

Each January in Hancock, Michigan, the Heikinpäivä Midwinter Festival offers local residents three weeks of activities highlighting the continuing role Finnish culture has in the area. Utilizing a set of fading Finnish midwinter traditions surrounding the day of Heikki, or Henrik, this festival has grown from a brief day-long gathering to a long period of activity incorporating films, craft and cooking classes, religious services, and more traditional festival events such as a parade, games, feasting, music, and dancing. This festival has complex origins in more commonplace agricultural traditions brought from Finland by immigrants, which are often no longer commonly remembered in Finland to this day. In this paper, I will examine the complex history of this festival both through its Finnish origins and through its current incarnation in Michigan. Through this festival, we can see the role Finnish heritage has as a simultaneous marker of cultural pride and deprecation. The place Finnish heritage has as a tool in community and economic development in the City of Hancock and the wider region will also be explored. Finally, the function of the festival as a means of maintaining traditions seemingly doomed to fade with time will also be explored.

http://digitalcommons.mtu.edu/copperstrikesymposium/Schedule/Saturday/43