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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, February 01, 1903, Image 30

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Reports of terrible famine in Sweden and Fin
land have brought that part of Europe into
general notice. The Grand Duchy of Finland
recently claimed the sympathy of the world be
cause of the efforts on the part of Russia to
wipe out cherished institutions and to destroy
its individuality. Now it is once more the re
cipient of much sympathy on account of the
»ufferings of its people from hunger.
Bordered by the gulfs of Finland and Bothnia
on the south and west, and bounded by Russia
and Lapland on the east and north, Finland is
away from the beaten path of the tourist, and
consequently its features and the characteris
tics of its people are not well known.
Finland is larger than England, Ireland, Scot
land and the Netherlands combined. It has its
own constitution, which was framed in 1772.
This instrument was modified and changed
fchen. in 1809, the grand duchy was ceded to
the Emperor of Russia, but it still provides for
a national parliament, in which the four estates
-the nobles, the clergy, the burghers and the
peasants — represented, and names as the
bead of the State the "Grand Duke of Finland,"
»ho is the Czar. The patriotic Finlander speaks
if the Czar as the Grand Duke, just as the Hun
garian does of Emperor Franz Joseph as his
A visitor to the capital, Helsingfors, in speak
tng of the place said that the first thing that
Attracted his attention in the place was the
treat number of bicycles. "The streets are
paved with cobblestones," he said, "and far
from good from the wheelman's point of view,
but the seventy thousand inhabitants own more
than three thousand wheels. This is the more
remarkable from the fact that for seven months
In the year the ground is covered with ice and
enow, leaving only five wheeling months."
The inhabitants of Finland are a serious
people. They know nothing about humor, and
i juke told to them must be explained. All
Musses are educated; and, according to the
freision of a careful observer, "they have fixed
ideas as to the equality of men and women.
Coeducation is practised in its broadest form,
and the people are reared to disregard the
Imaginary line which society draws between
nit n and women; yet in all social gatherings
an antithesis to this freedom is found in the
form of unusual restraint."
Since 1893 women have been eligible as mem
bers of the school boards, but among the work
ing classes equality with men has long been
established, as may be seen by the number of
women who follow vocations which are usually
monopolized by men. Thus, there are among
the trades women 144 bookbinders, 112 hatters,
17 dyers, 12 carpenters. 1O paperhangers, 11
•watchmakers, 20 goldsmiths, 538 bakers, ID
slaughterers, 353 hotel and restaurant keepers,
765 ship loaders, 198 printers and 5130 brick
lay« rs in the grand duchy. There are also 800
women in the employ of the State in various
Fur hundreds of years Finland belonged to
Bweden, and although it is nearly one hundred
years since Russia came across %ne border and
gobbled up the country the upper class still
Epeak Swedish. These upper class people are
called Finlanders, while the peasants, who speak
only Finnish, are spoken of as Finns.
Mr. Shoddy cannot live and be comfortable
In Finland. He cannot pretend to be a man of
laiK 1 ' income, when, in fact, he is on the ragged
ed^c because one of the customs of the land I*
tv publish in the daily papers at a certain time
«;v< ry year the income of every eitir.en. In
comes of less than $1,000 are exempt. With a
full knowledge of a man's financial resources
his friends know when he is overstepping the
bounds of prudence in his expenditures and
v Inn be does or fa'ls to -do his share of charity
This willingness to allow others to know their
business is not more remarkable than the cus
tom which prevails throughout the country of
entering a house or a room without knocking.
l'« ople never think of making their presence
known before entering, never say or act "by
iuur leave," but walk right in, and they feel
justified in doing so, because many doors have
neither bolts nor locks. The people are gen
erous and hospitable, they love peace and re
spect law and order, and. although they are
slow to anger, they are equally slow to forgive.
The Finlander rivals the Chinaman in his habit
of asking personal questions. He asks his guest
questions about his age, his business, income
or family without reserve, but when questions
are put to him he never gives a direct answer,
seldom saying directly "yes" or "no."
"But don't think," said the man from Fin
land, "that because the mean temperature of
Northern Finland is 21t degrees, and near Hel
singfors 3S degrees Fahrenheit, that we have no
summer. The summer is short, but we have
warmer weather there than they have in Eng
land, and we have better wild strawberries be
tween June 15 and July 15, and more of them,
than in any other place I know of."
(Reproduced by courtesy of the- publishers, the sfacneillaii Company, from Mrs. Alec Tweedie's book,
"Through Finland in Carts.")
A peculiarity of Finland Is the bathhouse.
Every house in the country, no matter how
small it may be, has its "sauna," or bathhouse.
This stands away from the other buildings, and
is always easily recognized by the blackened
wall against which the stove stands. Every
Saturday the whole family takes a bath— not
singly; that is considered unnecessary. It is a
joint bath— men, women and children. The
farmer, his wife, brother, sister, laborers,
friends who happen to be with him at the time,
and ir there be a dog on the place he usually
takes his share of the family bath. By this
custom the population of Finland becomes clean
once every week, although few of the country
people know what daily attention means. The
bath is of a kind peculiar to the country, but it
resembles the Russian bath in some respects.
The room in which the function takes place is
filled with hot vapor, which is replenished by
the attendant, who throws water on the heated
stones and the stove. The bathers are lathered
and scrubbed and massaged, and, although
taking a bath in the Finnish style is considered
haul work for people who are not accustomed
to the process, it is exhilarating to the natives.
In the rural districts no one is allowed to sell
liquors or to distil them, and no person, unless
he is licensed to sell spirits, is allowed to keep
more thin six litres in his house for .very adult
living in the estab IstamenL To the visitor from
other countries one of the noticeable features
of the country is the censored newspapers.
Whenever an article is printed which the gov
ernment censor thinks objectionable it is black
ened or blotted out. and if this cannot be done
the edition of the paper is confiscated, and an
other is printed without the objectionable ar
There are choirs and muFical societies every
where in the country, and the people are thor
oughly musical. The kante'tt. an instrument
which resembles the zither, is popular, but the
music whi.h is produced is weird, and reminds
one of the bagpipe. The singing of the people is
sad rathc-r than Joyous.
How severely the famine now rages in Finland
is shown by an account in the "Skandinaven,"
a paper published in Chicago as the organ of
America's citizens of Scandinavian origin or
descent, which prints a translation of a letter
recently sent by one Finnish clergyman to an
other. After telling how difficult it is, owing to
the severity of the Russian censorship over let
ters as well as the press, to make known abroad
the true condition of the country, the writer
describes what he saw when in the regular round
of his duty he visited the home of a family in a
remote part of his parish. On approaching the
house he found lying in the snow the dead body
of a girl of seven, who had evidently perished
while making a desperate attempt to summon
aid. Then he entered the house. "On a table,"
he says, "I found a small piece of bark bread
and a gnawed off bone. In one bed was the
lifeless body of the mother, and clasped in her
arms and pressed to her bost>m was the corpse
of her youngest child, a little girl two and a
half years old; in another bed was the husband
and father, sick and helpless, more dead than
alive, and by his side the dead body ol a little
boy, four jeara old." Such tragedies are eaid
to be occurring all through th<? famine district
and Russia, with her own hungry h<>n!«-3 more
numerous than she '-an care fcr. is tlcirr.,' little
for the relief of Finland. The Treasury De
partment has instructed the immigration ofS
«-i:.l.- at this port, in view of the Finlirvl fam
ine, to favor as much as possible the immi
grants from that country who are forced to
leave it from lack of food. In Dwmter about
seventeen hundred Finns arrived in this country.
Paranac Lake. N. V . Jan. 31 (Special >.— This
hard frozen, snow blanketed, icy hamlet of the
North Woods thaws out for three at - next
week to celebrate its annual winter carnival.
The palace of ice has been erected on Flower
Pond; the floats are decorated, and a score of
racers are sharpening their skates.
The carnival begins on Tuesday with a parade
through the village and a meeting in the Town
Hall. Wednesday is a day of ice sports. Thurs
day will resemble a midwinter Fourth of July,
when the ice palace is stormed by a force
armed with fireworks. When one considers the
size of the village the carnival is a considerable
The consumptives who in fighting dearh i :Uce
Saranac a place of life will leave the;: a
chairs for a brief span of "something
Out of months of doing nothing but re?' c
carnival days will be red letter ones.
The many persons who are here for haaMh.
have scattered invitations broadcast
their friends who are able to live in bus\ +
and sleep in steam warim-d rooms. - t
them will come from New- York. Bostsa
delphia and other places, for in th~v
when railroads go everywhere, even 9 I
is easily reached.
Hardworking lumberman from tht- cat
tered through the waosa will add catM
carnival scene with th-ir bright catH I I
clothing. Many of them are WltmtM
whose lives have been spent in U
and summer. There will be a hast «
from Plattsburg. Ma.one and afl
towns. Then there are the aal
the prime movers of the carnival, hearty,
souled and hospitable.
This is the fifth carnival which - -»
held, and the four previous ones were n.
cessful. None was held last year, I
terest seemed to have died I whtsl
carnival time came every one was .-■
had been dropprd, and the "never .._- fc* »••
was mail'- th-: n and th re.
The centre of the carnival fan ■
Flower Pond, so called hacaaa
is the finest lily ground in tat • . Just
now it is covered with thick in-.
kept clean for skating. At one aad
the ice palace has be- n erected. It
constructed of large blocks of ice, wh I
country is clear as crystal. It is sh..: afhw
an old fort, with ramparts and bu ■
On the closing nigh: of the carnival ■ '
revellers will sweep down upon
firing roman candles, skyrockets I
crackers. The fort will be def» :
lagers with similar ammunition ar .
Winter life in the North Woods for those who
are not taking the rest-fresh air cure la tvll of
joys. In the first place the New-Yorker, shiver
ing in and out of cars, to and from his home
and office, has not an idea what Nt winter is.
One day in the metropolis will be as cold and
stormy as the most winter loving person could
ask; the next so mild that one looks for rob
ins and other signs of spring. Hut up here the
winter comes early and stays late. ami. more
than that, it is continuous. It is not c;ui:e as
cold as it is in Quebec, where, according to Mr.
Kipling's small boy:
When asked. "Are you friz?"
Replied. Tea. I la;
But we don't call this cold in Quebec.**
But it is cole! enough for continuous ice and
snow for four, five or six months, according to
the length of the season.
There is no cad of winter sport hi the Par;inao

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