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Scandinavian American. [volume] (Seattle, Wash.) 1945-1958, May 01, 1947, Image 8

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87093436/1947-05-01/ed-1/seq-8/

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Finland Was First In Europe
To Grant Vote To Its Women
By Alice Myers in The Christian
Science Monitor
HELSINKI. Finland. -— I am
writing this while one of the first
women members of the Finnish
Parliament is relating her early
experiences to an audience of some
6.000 gathered in Helsinki’s great
Exhibition Hall to celebrate the
40th anniversary of woman suff
rage in this progressive country.
Just 40 years ago the present
speaker and 18 other women‘ made
world history by their election to
the Finnish Parliament. Of those
19. six are still living and one.
Miss Miina Siilanpaa, still is a
member of the nationai Diet. Five
are taking part in today‘s observ
From the opening strains of Si
belius“ stirring “Finiandia.” played‘
by the official radio orchestra, it
1111': been an impressive ceremony.‘
The nation which has made; name '
for itself by paying its war debts
tlso has the distinction of being“
the first country in Europe to
grant the vote to women. *
Except for New Zealand, Fin
land is the first country in the‘
world to have taken this step. And
it went New Zealand one better
13‘. at the same time, granting Fin
nish women the right to stand for
eitction to the national parlia
ment, *
Spring With Snowdrifls ‘
It is a beautiful afternoon. The
- Finns call it spring. The sun.‘
which is melting deep snow out
side. is pouring through the hall‘s
high windows onto the flag-decked
rostrum. Girl ushers in gay na
t.onal costumes add welcome
spiashes of color to a sea of war—
drab garments.
Between two groups of flags at
the back of the stage is painted in
both Finnish and Swedish. the
motto: “In women lies the power
of 'demoeracy.“ Finnish women
have earned this tribute through
lore, years of sacrifice and service.
Representatives of Sweden. Nor
way. D~~nmark. Czechoslovakia.
R .>sia. z‘ne I'n‘ited Kingdom, and
Fish Company
Pier (57 Seattle
Open All Day Sundays
Turnu if «io-xiro-(l on all
Landsvaping and Nhruhhvry
Nursery and
Garden Store
NI. \. (Bud) SHEFI’ER.
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l.v~~|do-m-o>—“I‘jst I'M“;
2H") (alifurniu Au-
Again You Can Enjoy a Delightful Bit of
“Old Country” here in Seattle
On Senet-a Between 7th and 8th M.\in 1300
M Free Parking in Exeter Garage
ithe United States are here. Most
tof them are sitting in the row in
'front of me and nearly all look
Iequally baffled by what is being
isaid in Finnish. We two newspa-
Iperwomen have kind Finnish
friends friends at our elbows to
Iwhisper in English the gist of
what is going on. Hardly any out
sider understands Finnish, though
most Scandinavians understand
I The British delegation of tour
includes two men, one a member
lot the Labor Party and one a Con-‘
iservative, They probably would be
fsurprised to know that for several
idays they have been one of the‘
:main topics of conVersation among
‘the planners of the current cele-1
‘bration. .
While exceedingly pleased to:
‘have two gentlemen coming to‘
l‘ihis predominantly women‘s affair.’
the women of Parliament who are‘
their hosts by no means have lett
‘the humor of the situation escape.
them. Nor, indeed. have the gen-!
'tivmen themselves. They were!
quick to accept it as a joke on'
their hostesses when, upon open-i
inf.r their invitations to yesterday's}
luncheon. they found them madei
(vi to “Mrs." Pargiter and ”Mrs.”
Tceling. The outsides of the en-l
\‘elopes had been carefully correct-i
‘ed. but the names on the tickets1
still read “Mrs." I
But F‘.nland's women are not‘
making England's men sit behind a!
curtain as England‘s men madei
American women do back in 1840.;
Our hosts have been greatly‘
amused to hear about the anti-!
slavery convention held that year.
in London. Eight women went as
delegates from the United States.‘
It had not occurred to the British‘
hosts that any women would come,
and they at first refused to admit
tziem. Finally. they condescended
to let them sit behind a curtain in
the gallery.
\Vc were reminded of tnis inci
(‘ent by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt
just before we left for Finland.
This American pioneer in the
V'v-man's movement passed on af
ter we arrived in Helsinki. but her
letter to the women of Finland,
\‘Jhirh we brought, was read this
citernoon. It received the longest
applause of any message.
Today‘s Parliament happens to
have the same number of women
'15 the one 40 years ago, though
there have been more at various
tines in between. We have just
hard five of them speak. one
twin each of the five parties that
complicate the political scene here.
Miss Sillanpaa began her career
as a housemaid ~-— and a very good
«ills, I am told by the woman be
5 tie me. who knows one of Miss
Sillanpaa's early employers. Now.
:is its senior member. she opens
Parliament each year. Members
of all parties pay her tribute. She
is highly respected.
'lurtit‘s: ‘Make Men “'ork'
in Miss Silianpaa's speech just
now. she asserted that women
lh/ive made up for their lack of
rumbers by making men work for
* Uli‘il‘ aims. (Vi-operation. she said.
as taught to men by the wom
on in Parliament because the lat
i-Ir brought it from their homes.
But she frels that Cabinet posi
tions and othrr high administra-
Basic Language
‘ Icelandic is one of the oldest
literary languages still spoken
and written in Europe. It stands
in a similar position to the Nor
dic languages and English as does
Latin to the Romantic languages. .
A thousand years ago it was?
spoken all over Scandinavia.‘
{Northern Germany, and Eastern‘
England. Many of the most in
dispensable words in English are
the same as in Icelandic. These
are the words of everyday usage,
family, relationship. life and
'death, joy and sorrow. Icelandic
lhas changed so little that school
.children read the Sagas for fun.
though they are published with
an archaic orthography.
All Icelandic words are pro
nounced with stress on the first
syllable. This means that any
foreign word fits badly into the
'language. and Icelanders stake
‘their honor on translating every
1word they need from abroad into
‘Icelandic. Even such technical
words as have come into usage
with radio and television are now ‘
Icelandic. Foreign languages arel
taught in schools in towns to,
children from the age of ten’
years and English is widely read 1
and spoken. :
Another survival from 'oideng
times is that we use the Chris- i
tian name and the father‘s name 1
to which is added son or daugh- 1
ter. but as a rule do not use fam- l
ily names. A daughter of Leif"|
Erikson would be Huldur Leifs-i
dottir. and that would not be;
changed when she married. f
Education is compulsory for}
children between the ages ofE
seven and fourteen and all in-l'
struction is free. There are ele-é
n'ent ary schools in every district :
.but the higher schools and techni- ;
,cal schools are mostly in the‘.
ltowns. . . . ;
“ In Reykjavik there is a uni-:
versity with faculties in theology. T
law and economics, medicine, en-l
.g‘ineering, philosophy and philol‘i
‘ogy with special stress on Ice-‘
iiandic language and literature:
'The students number about three
hundred. But apart from these.
over three hundred students are;
at present at American universi-i
ties studying either subjects they I
cannot obtain in Iceland or post
graduate work. The I:elandic
State is liberal in furnishing
Scholarships to those who study
some subject which is regarded;
as necessary for the development ‘
of Icelandic trade and interests;
~Fron: "Iceland and the Ice-‘_
lenders." by Helgi P. Bricm.
(Maplewood. New Jersey: John:
‘Francis McKenna Co._ 1945.: .
Signo Hasso has been signed by
Kanin Productions to star opposite
Ronald Coleman in “Imagination,"
which Michael Kanin will make
from the screen play by Carson
Kanin and Ruth Gordon. The pic
ture will he produced by Universal-
.tive posts still are too much mon-
OpOllZf‘tl by men. She. herself. is
the, only woman to have served as
a Cabinet member in Finland. To
gether with other speakers, to
day, she appealed to the younger
women to work for fuller realiza
tion of the aims of these who
‘fought to win the vote.
Entertainment this afternoon
has included four songs sung by
l-"nland‘s national choir. which
his toured many countries. includ
; ing the United States. This is a
i singing nation, and eveiy village
has at least, one choir. Them last
selection. from Sibelius. expresses
the patriotic spirit with which ev
en the most casual visitor cannot
fail to be impressed. A rallying
song during the war years. it.
rtzzds in part:
‘A force is hidden in the hearts of
' us all.
It makes our feelings hum like
This word is our Fatherland.
:This word made our fsthers till
‘I this earth.
_ It is this unquenchable fire 0! pa
‘» iriotism
mm is going to lead us on.
i'nu. land is never to be lost.
1 hing live this country of hope and
1 tslth, Suomi! (Finland)
Sweden Has First Woman Cabinet Member
STOCKHOLM, April 10.—(By wireless)—Dr. Karin Kock,
economist and financial expert, has been made Sweden's
first woman cabinet member by her appointment to the post
of Minister without Portfolio.
“In Sweden’s history,” writes the Conservative Svenska
Dagbladet, “this is an important dateefor the first time
a woman will be seated at the King’s council table. It marks
the high point in the striving of Swedish women toward full
citizenship rights and recognition
of the just principle that merit
and skill, regardless of sex, should
be decisive in appointments to
high Government positions.”
Dr. Kock was born in 1891 and
received her Ph. D. degree in 1929.
In 1938 she was made acting pro
fessor at the University of Stock
holm and in 1945 received the
title of Professor. From 1918 to
1932 she served with the Skand
inaviska Banken in Stockholm,
and from 1931 to 1936 was secre
tary of the Swedish Economics
Society. Since the beginning 01‘
this year she has been chief of
bureau of the Department of
Commerce. On several occasionsi
she has functioned as a Govern-E
ment expert on committees in-1
vestigating financial, commercial.
and economic problems. She is‘
the author of many books and}
papers. ;
Dr. Henry Goddard Leach
Lectures on Sweden in
USA and Canada
’ NEW YORK, April 16.—~Dr.g
jHenry Goddard Leach, President,
‘Emeritus of The American Scan-i
ldinavian Foundation in New York. |
‘is now on a lecture tour that will;
[include all the forty-eight statesJ
Ein the Union as well as Canada.3
.He has to date spoken on modern'
iSwedeii at.colleges and universi-E
Ities in thirty-six states ‘
l At a recent appearance before}
'the Swedish Colon? Society of‘
lDelaware‘he receive the keys toi
ithe City of Wilmington. In Sep-i
Etember and October he will give’
:a course on Swedish Civilization
‘at the University of Kansas City.
:November and December will be
jdevoted to a lecture tour through
1Canada. from Victoria. B. C.. to
‘Halitax, N. S..- under the auspices
of the Canadian Institute of In
ternational Affairs. 2
A new Vitamin B, discovered in
the United States. has been used
with success at the Kcademic
Hospital in Upsala. It is called
“Folic Acid." since it was original
ly derived from spinach leaves.
Dr. Jan Waldenstrom. head physi
cian at the Hospital, says that in
some respects it is more effective
against pernicious anemia than
liver extract
Friendly Greetings From The
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“It’s the Quality”
Bondod Winery No. l
The Premiers and Foreign Min
isters of Sweden, Norway, and
Denmark have met in Stockholm
April 25-26 to mscuss the pro
posed international trade organi
zation and allied matters. The
British and American Govern
ments have invited Sweden to
send an observer to the prelimi
nary international trade confer
ence in Geneva. which began April.
10. Foreign Minister Osten Un
dén has named. the Swedish Min
ister in Berne to serve as observer.
Commissioned by the Royal
i Swedish Telegraph Board to study
{American telephone factories,
:Arne Agnerby and Walter Bro
iberg arrived in New York April
;22, on board the S. S. “Dl'ottning
illolm" of the Swedish American
iLinc. Other passengers were Pro~
ifessor Nanna Svartz, head physi
lcian 0f the Carolinian Hospital in
iStockhoim. who will study at the
I Rockefeller Institute, and Captain
lSVen Forsberg of the Swedish
; Navy. who came to attend the In
‘ternational Radio Congress. which
Ewill open in Atlantic City May 15.
i Svea Kline, for many years a
'disciple and collaborator of Carl
;Milles at Cranbrook Academy in
‘Bloomfield Hills, Mich. has won
it'irst prize at an art exhibition in
:Detroit with a piece of sculpture
'called “Peace Bird."
‘ Lawrence Beller. formerly of
‘the Office of War Information and
now connected with United Art
‘ists, has been awarded the SWed
ish Royal Order of' Vusa. first
‘class. with the rank of knight.
‘Thc decoration. which was pre«
scntcd to him by Cons. Gcn. Len
nart Nylamiei'. was bestowed in
recognition of Mr. Bcllcr's work
in connection with an exchange of
American and Swedish journalsts
in 1942.
Best \Visht‘s From
For a Good .‘lual at Modem!!-
Cust, Visit Emil's
2407 IOHI Nu. EAs‘t (i532

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