Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Delicious Parcel from Moscow

Lovely decoration: a little cosmonaut with his rocket.
I like to think he is Yuri Gagarin, my hero.

One week ago, I received a big parcel from my dear Russian friend Nika. The parcel included almost three kilograms of chocolate! Yes, so many chocolate bars, confections and caramels... Besides, there were three lovely pastries (a huge "gingerbreads" with images) and lovely decoration: a little cosmonaut with his rocket! I like to think he is Yuri Gagarin, my hero. Russian chocolate is very tasty, high quality and delicious. Yummy! See, Nika knows that I'm crazy about chocolate... I must be careful, because I don't want to be fat. Hehe.

Many thanks for your lovely gifts, dear Nikushka. I really liked them. Once again, you made my day. Большое спасибо, ангел мой! ^^


Three lovely pastries, a huge "gingerbreads" with images.

Tons of chocolate! Haha. :D

For the first time, the customs were opened and checked the parcel,
because there was a sticker inside: "Tullin avaama. Opened by Customs."

Monday, February 5, 2018

Runeberg – The National Poet of Finland

Today in Finland, we celebrate Runeberg Day.

Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804–1877) was a Finnish poet and lyric. He is the national poet of Finland.

Runeberg’s magnum opus or masterpiece is The Tales of Ensign Stål (Finnish: Vänrikki Stoolin tarinat). The first part of Ensign Stål was first published in 1848, the second in 1860.

Runeberg Day (Finnish: Runebergin päivä) is celebrated annually on February 5, the day of Runeberg's birth.

Happy Runeberg's Day!


P.S. Runeberg is also the author of the lyrics to Our Land (Finnish: Maamme) that became the Finnish National Anthem. Here is a little sample in the English language – actually the first and the last stanza of our National Anthem:

Our Land

O our land Finland, our land of birth,
sound, the golden word!
There's no valley, no hill
no water, shore more precious
than this northern homeland
the dear land of our fathers!

Your prosperity from its hide
shall break out once
yet our love it shall rise
your hope, joy in its brilliance,
and once, your song, the land of birth
shall get the highest echo.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

In the Mouth of the Lightless Night

I love the night,
I'm a candle
always burning
and never ending.

The night is my day
my love is a dream,
this fire can not
last for long time.

Longing for peace,
dreaming about
strange things
like love, like her.

She didn't allow
me to follow her,
she wasn't there
when I lost myself.

Time is a wasteland
(I know) and when
she is ready
I will be gone.


(On the day of Winter Solstice, 21 December 2017)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Lovely Gifts from Nika

The porcelain icon of the Romanov Family. The family was canonized in 2000 by the Russian
Orthodox Church. So they are royal saints and martyrs of the Church.

This year has been difficult for me. I have faced many troubles and hardships in my life. Briefly, I've been like in the Wilderness tempted by the Devil... But I still believe in God, and I think that one day I will understand the meaning of this all. And thank God, I have one good intercessor who is always praying for me: my good Russian angel Nika!

About two weeks ago, she delighted me by sending parcel full of lovely little gifts (see the pictures). Especially I love the porcelain icon of the Romanov Family and Yuri Gagarin postcards. Wow! Thank you very much, Nikushka. Once again, you really made my day. You are Heaven's gift to me – an angel sent by God. You are always in my heart and in my prayers. Большое спасибо, мой ангел! ^^

It's like the Bible says: "Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him" (Luke 22:43), and: "It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters" (Matthew 10:25). It means, the same is happening to us...


Yuri Gagarin postcards – collectors treasure!

Lovely souvenirs from Moscow.

Russian Slavianka chocolate. Slavianka means "Slavic woman". Very tasty! ^^

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Parcel from my Russian Angel

A Gzhel porcelain icon called «Неупиваемая Чаша» (in English: "The Inexhaustible Cup").
This is Nika's gift to our little chapel. This icon type is rare in Finland and hard to find here.

Hello, my friends! Sorry for the long silence again. For the past couple of months, I've been busy, or just too tired or lazy when it comes to writing my blog... I've been very active in our local Orthodox Christian community. It takes most of my free time. I'm a chairman of The Support Association of the Seinäjoki Orthodox Chapel. Besides, I'm the editor of our Facebook site (please click here to see it), which means that all those updates are written by me. The site is available only in Finnish, but you can use the Google translator. :) Our little chapel is one year old now.

One week ago, I received a big parcel from my dear Russian angel Nika. The parcel was full of many lovely gifts, souvenirs and decorative items: a Gzhel porcelain icon called «Неупиваемая Чаша» (in English: "The Inexhaustible Cup"), a lot of Yuri Gagarin collectors stuff (Nika knows I'm a fan of Gagarin!), four bars of chocolate, a lollipops, a refrigerator magnets, Snegurochka (in English: The Snow Maiden) and some other Christmas stuff. Wow! Thank you very much, my angel! Once again, you made my day! I thank God for you. Большое спасибо, мой ангел! Я люблю тебя! (^—^)

Happy Spring to everyone! God bless you all, my friends!


 A lot of Yuri Gagarin stuff: notebooks, pin, badge, coin, stamps, refrigerator magnets,
and Gagarin figure. Cool!

 Moscow mug and angels from my Muscovite angel! ^^

 So many lovely souvenirs from Russia!

 Chocolate, lollipop and cake. Yummy!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Kun ohi on elonaika

I wrote a little poem, this time in the Finnish language (sorry, it's much easier for me, more natural). English title of the poem is When the Harvest is Over. This poem is a bit melancholic and it's inspired by these Bible verses: "You who are my comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me. – The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:18, 20; in Finnish: "Missä on virvoitus minun murheeseeni? Minun sydämeni on sairas. – Ohi on elonaika, lopussa kesä, mutta ei ole meille apua tullut").

Tämä runo kertoo kaipuusta, kesän loppumisesta ja siitä, ettei voi olla sen luona, jota sydän halajaa. Japanilainen kirjailija Yasushi Inoue on sanonut, että "kärsimys on poissaoloa kaiken sen luota, josta pitää" (in English: "Suffering is the absence from all that you like").

Silti tässä runossa on myös onnellisuutta. Se odottaa kenties jossakin tulevaisuudessa ja syksyn raikkaudessa, kun surullinen ja kirottu kesä on (Jumalan kiitos) vihdoin ohi. Olen aina inhonnut kesää. Miksi siis edes suren sen loppua ja laitan siihen mitään odotuksia. Kesä ei ole minun aikaani. Minun aikani ei ole vielä edes tullut. Mutta tervetuloa ihana, raikas syksy! Toivottavasti se tuo jotain onnellista mukanaan, eikä sateenkaari pakene minua loputtomiin, loputtomiin...

And here is the poem:

Kun ohi on elonaika
syksyn tummenneen taivaan alla
vihdoin onnellisina
kohtaamme toisemme siellä,
kulkien rahisevalla kylätiellä
ilman kiirettä ja huolta.

The English translation:

When the harvest is over
under the darkening autumn sky
finally we will happily
face each other there,
walking on the country road
without hurry and worry.
Teisuka (August 13, 2016)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Traveling with the Angel

Icon of the Archangel Raphael.

I just read The Book of Tobit, written in the 2nd century BC and containing 14 short chapters. Very impressive and delightful little book. It's a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon (The Bible). Instead, it usually doesn't belong to The Bible of the Protestants – they regard Tobit as apocryphal book.

The book tells of a man called Tobit who is righteous and had been blinded by a freak accident involving birds, and his son, Tobias who journeys out to collect a debt owed to his father but Tobias gets married on the way while being accompanied and guided by Raphael the Archangel who calls himself Azarias which means God helps, who also helps Tobias' wife and Tobit.

The Book of Tobit is also a love story in two ways: it tells us of God's love for man, and human love for human. A young woman named Sarah prays for death in despair. She has lost seven husbands (!) to the demon of lust (Asmodeus) who abducts and kills every man she marries on their wedding night before the marriage can be consummated. God sends the Archangel Raphael free Sarah from the demon.

Raphael tells Tobias of the beautiful Sarah, whom Tobias has the right to marry, because she is related to his tribe. He instructs the young man to burn the fish's liver and heart to drive away the demon when he attacks on the wedding night. The two marry, and the fumes of the burning organs drive the demon to Upper Egypt, where Raphael follows and binds him. Wow! Such a weird story.

There are really some mystical and strange aspect in this book, and momentarily it's even humorous. Well, Martin Luther called it comedy, but I think he was only partly right. For the most part, there is a very serious message in this book, comparing The Book of Job.

Are you interested to read this strange little travelling story? If so, please click here to find it. The book is available in English, in Russian and also in some other languages. Finnish version is available here.

May angel guide you, like he guided young Tobias on his journey. We are never alone in this world. We are surrounded by countless spirits – angels and demons. The spirit world is very real. Thank God, good is always stronger than evil.


Attachment: The Orthodox Christian prayer to your Guardian Angel

O Angel of Christ, holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me of everything I have done to offend you every day, and protect me from all influence and temptation of the evil one. May I never offend God by my sin. Pray for me to the Lord, that He may make me worthy of the grace of the All-holy Trinity, and of the Most Blessed Theotokos [the Mother of God], and of all the Saints. Amen.