A story for Finnish Swedish Heritage Day: Östermark

Today people in Finland celebrate Finnish Swedish Heritage Day. Time for me to publish the following fictonal story. No offence is intended.

Östermark

A normal student party at Uusi-S across the street from Turku University. Samuli and Pekka had been drinking a fair amount of booze. As it was normal in a Finnish student party. But what should you else do. Drinking and having a good time.

“Hey are you going to the independence day event tomorrow?”
“Ah why not, if I’m awake.”
“You are such a lazy patriot.”
Laughter.
Pekka turned around and fell.
It must have been some time when he woke up.

A well hung guy in a nurse uniform spoke to him in Swedish.
“How are you?”
“I’m not sure, my head hurts. Where am I”
“In the the Karl-Gustav Hospital.”
“What is the Karl-Gustav Hospital?”
“The central hospital here in Abo, capital of the eastern province of the Kingdom of Sweden, Earth.” The male nurse said with a friendly smile.
Only then Pekka realized, that the nursa had answerd in Swedish.

He tried to sit up.
“Hey, be careful, we are not sure how long you lay there.”
“Where did I lay?”
„On the opposite side of Abo Academy Student house. You were found there this morning by an ethnography student, doing work on Swedish Student culture.” Pekka was baffled for a moment. He was sure he couldn’t be in Sweden. Was his hung over so bad, he had taken the ferry to Stockholm?
„You are always mentioning Sweden and speaking Swedish to me, but the last thing I remember was being in Turku in Finland?”
The nurse laughed. “Good joke, you students always like to prank, but lets get some rest, a concussion is nothing to take like heartedly.”

Pekka decided to follow the advice and lay back. Maybe this was prank, by one of his friends, who studied nursing. Whatever he was glad his head had stopped hurting. And he tried to sleep a little bit.
Some time later, he woke up when a doctor came to his room and examined him. He asked him why he spoke Swedish with such a bad Karelien accent. Was he part of the Finnish speaking minority from Karelia?
No Pekka replied, he came from Turku and had lived all his live here, but his parents spoke Finnish with him at home.

“Yeah some people are really set in their ways, but boy you can go home. Get your stuff. The nurse will take care if you need any help.”
“But Doctor, its normal that people in Finland speak Finnish.”
The Doctor had been about to leave an turned around.
“Finland? But that is only a term used by his hard core separatist from the East. No one say Finland, we are here in the eastern province of the Union of Scandinavia.”
“No we are in Finland….”, for a moment silence ensured. “At least we were before I fell down the stairs at the student party house.”
“Boy I think its best you talk to our hospital psychiatrist before you leave.”

The doctor wondered, OK, there was no information about the guy in the hospital system and the student card he had carried with him looked a little bit strange, but thee had not been any sign for serious head injury seen on the CT scan.”

Some time later the nurse came in and walked with him to the psychiatrist waiting room.
“I’ll leave you here, Dr. Blomquist is going to see you soon.”
Next to the chair, was a small desk with some newspapers. He picked up one called Åbo Underrättelser and began scanning it. The first thing he noticed was the byline: „Scandia unitas“ but even more shocking were the news: Former Staatsminister Tarja Halonen, will retire from union parliament today, the article even gave a hint to long portrait of the women who took over after the assassination of Olof Palme and led the united Scandinavia into the European Union.

Another article reported in shock of the speech the leader of the so called “True Finns Party” had given in the regional assembly of Karelia in Vyborg, demanding independence of their nation, that “had so long been suppressed by a Swedish majority”. Economic news also featured big with the reporting of the presentation of the new Nokia Ericsson i10 flagship smartphone, simultaneously in New York and Stockholm. Fazer had increased its bid to take over Nestle. He went to the local news section: There was coverage about a planed tram fare increase du to the opening of the new line to Sankt Marie. Housing in the capital region was in short supply. In the travel section there was a report about the beautiful small university and fishing town on the train line to Borgå, Helsingfors that had so beautifully preserved its 18th century charm.

“Pekka Ahonen”, a voice said. “Yes”, he answered. “Doctor Blomquist is ready to see you.” Pekka thought he would have a lot do discuss with the doctor but thought maybe a doctor of physics could help him more.

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