I am Finnish and I will never be ashamed of being Finnish, I will never apologize for being Finnish, I will never try to hide the fact and I am dang proud of Finland and being Finnish.
Wouldn't want it any other way.
I don't think Finland is flawless. It's not.
No country is.
I don't always agree with the decisions of the Finnish government, and there are things about Finland, the politics, the situation, the legislation etc. that I am ashamed of, that I would want to change.
To me, this is as it should be.
Because Finland is not perfect. It's a good country, but it can be better, in many ways.
I think there are things Finland should apologize for, and when it does, I'm proud of it.
I'm not chauvinist.
I don't think being Finnish is the best thing in the world. It's one of the best things - FOR ME.
I fully expect you to love your country just as much as I love mine, and think your flag is the most beautiful flag in the world, and all that. After all, I love my flag and I think it is the most beautiful flag in the world, absolutely perfect. Everything about it is perfect, and I pity the other nations for not having as perfect flag as we do :-D
But I don't expect you to agree with me in that.
Now - there are USonians who do...
They really, truly, sincerely get OFFENDED AND UPSET if someone doesn't have the same relationship to THEIR flag as they do!
They really, truly, sincerely don't understand that their flag doesn't mean the same thing to the rest of the world it does for them!
To me it's not about freedom, but quite the contrary. It's about oppression, bullying, arrogance and ignorance, it's about belligerence and inconsideration, it's about being so used to get one's way through brutal force and blackmail, one doesn't even consider diplomacy. It's about "winning is the most important in the world". Shit co-operation. You do as I say, or you do as I say and cry while doing it.
So - it's hard to see the USonian "patriotic" Pinterest boards, that speak about all the things the USonian patriots associate with their flag... especially, when it's accompanied with idolizing the USonian military, which is the main reason to why the flag has all those associations for the rest of the world.
You are not defenders of freedom and liberty.
You are not defenders of peace, honor, good values or anything that is worthy in this world.
You are not the "land of the free" or "home of the brave".
It is like with the stupid "US wipes the floor in Olympics, and they say USonians are fat and lazy!" Yeah... Olympic athletes are the norm, you think?
There are brave, courageous people in USA, but their bravery doesn't rub off on the bullies and cowards, those people who are ready to use the military might of USA against any enemy weak enough to not cause much trouble - like Iraq and Afghanistan - when they get scared by finding out that USA is not untouchable.
I mean... there hasn't been war on US soil since the civil war.
No, Pearl Harbor doesn't count. A military base on the other side of an ocean doesn't count, even if it is theoretically "US soil". Frankly, USA annexed Hawaii illegally over 100 years ago, so Pearl Harbor isn't legally even USonian.
Uh. I'm sick and tired and full of the USonian version of patriotism.
Military, guns and god, "real American" BS; suspicious, belligerent, hostile, obstinate, cantankerous, grouchy - the bad national self confidence.
And they never learn, because it's always someone else's fault, and every problem will be solved by brutal force or money, or both, but never with kindness, understanding and diplomacy.
I hate the imperialistic, chauvinist, supremacist attitude and the hogging of words and values... like with Christianity... the people who complain about a non-Christian using words like "family values", "faith" and "God". It's the same as with the flag. People who are so conditioned to associate words like "freedom" with "USA" they get offended, when other people don't agree.
As I said, the association is not automatic. YOU HAVE TO EARN IT.
The concept of freedom is clear.
You either have it or you don't. If you don't, you don't have it, how much you ever say you do. It really is as simple as that.
Anyway... one thing USonians are good at, are parties. I do have party envy. The 4th of July traditions are pretty amazing, and I wish I had the same.
We Finns are not much of party people. I mean... the wildest thing we do on our Independence Day is to burn candles. Two.
Fly the flag.
Watch the President's Independence Day Reception and Independence Day Military Parade on television.
There might be some blue-and-white pastry.
There might be singing of Maamme, Porilaisten marssi and Finlandia, but most likely just listening. If that.
And perhaps some fireworks.
It's very sober, focusing on military and state, the gratitude we have to our veterans, who actually did fight to keep Finland independent, on a war on our soil, against an aggressor huge compared to our size. And we didn't lose the independence, even though we lost the war.
WE have a reason to be grateful to our veterans and military.
WE do owe our freedom and independence to our military.
WE don't send our military overseas to attack other nations.
WE don't use our military to bully others to do our bidding.
WE don't go forcibly ripping off other people's peace, liberties and right to self-determination because we want their oil or what ever else it is they have.
Nevertheless, I do envy the 4th of July and 17th of May and all the others who do celebrate their independence and nationhood properly :-)
Yes, if it is one of the most important things to me, I should also honor that, and show my love, gratitude and appreciation with the most amazing party ever.
(Even when it means I'm considered weird and my zealousy is considered uncomfortable and disturbing by a lot of people, and disrespectful, making fool of serious issues and ostentious... Yes, it bothers me a bit.)
So - I go to the masters to learn...
and I am met with the attitude ranted about above.
Or the "we will never forget" whining about 9/11...
Really... what is it they will never forget? That USA is not untouchable and should perhaps show a little more consideration when dealing with the rest of the world?
That a small group of people managed to strike fear so deep in the WHOLE USONIAN PEOPLE that they still tremble with fear after 11 years?
That... what? What is it you'll never forget?
Or ugly and badly made decoration.
Sure, you do your best, but... OTHER people pinning your ugly "patriotic craft" that looks like your 4 years old niece did it... No. How is that honoring and respecting the country?
I can ignore all that. It just makes me annoyed.
What is worst is disrespect of the flag. People sitting on the flag, people wearing the flag, people using the flag as something else, people making secular things of old flags, people dragging the flag on the ground, people jumping on the flag, trampling on the flag, wiping their feet on the flag... MY patriotic soul screams of pain!
Sure, there is a difference of whether the item is a real flag, a true depiction of the flag, or just something to that effect, but to me - and many Veterans - it's enough that it's red-white-and-blue and has stars and stripes. The intention doesn't matter. I will not sit on my flag. I will not stand on my flag. I will not put my flag on the floor. I will not wipe my feet on a flag. Even when it's "just a symbolic" flag. The flag IS a symbol in itself. You can use the colors - have a red chair with white and blue cushions. Have a red and white striped skirt and blue top with stars. Have red-white-blue striped banners, red, white and blue ribbons... but do not have anything that even remotely resembles the flag anywhere lower than your knees and nowhere where people might sit on it, or use it as a cover of something else, like a tablecloth or placemat.
The only "patriotic feelings" that is expressing is despice.
And misunderstanding things...
"United we stand, divided we fall"... how can they not understand that hating the president simply because he belongs to "wrong" party is DIVISION!!! Not being united! HOW???
And "Keep calm and wave on"? Huh? Does it even mean anything? What ever. Be a flag waving idiot.