Saturday, 29 August 2009

Curiouser and curiouser

Here's an odd item: the author of a book called Meeting Jesus at University: Rites of Passage and Student Evangelicals, which examines what he refers to as the "under-researched" life of student evangelical groups at British universities, has turned his attention to the subject of Finland, in a work entitled The Finnuit: Finnish Culture and the Religion of Uniqueness. From the book's dustjacket:
In The Finnuit, Edward Dutton reveals Finnish 'uniqueness' to be a religious dogma. It reflects the modern-day religions of Romantic nationalism and its cousin Cultural Relativism which turn disempowered cultures into mysterious gods to be worshipped and awed at. And Dutton argues that Finnish culture can be 'understood' - like anything - through comparison. Drawing upon detailed fieldwork, he finds that Finnish culture makes sense as a diluted Greenland - the world's most advanced Arctic culture.
And in an article published last year in Britain's Telegraph newspaper, the same author tells us that

Finland is NOT Nordic: the language is related to the Siberian languages; it was (disputably) a Soviet client-state until 1991; and the Finns' intense quietness is very different from the more confident Norse.

As one among several puzzled commenters points out,

Please, Finland is not 'Arctic' - and has nothing in common historically, linguistically, culturally or ethnically with Greenland or with Siberia, for that matter. The language was probably always spoken here and in the area around here (it closely resembles Estonian). You simply cannot say in one word what might take ten in English (unlike Inuit).

Hat tip: Soila Lehtonen

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