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Acclimatization In Progress

After my departure from India, visit to Vienna and subsequent arrival in Helsinki, I’ve needed some time to re-orient myself to this part of the world, hence no posts for a little while. Finndian will be reporting from Finland for a little while before heading back to India towards the end of the year, with many ideas already on the back burner. But before focusing on Finland I still want to share some thoughts on Vienna in the next post. Vienna left a very strong impression on my mind and I think deserves a lengthier post. Possibly also a Review of the hotel we stayed in, which I think might come in handy for someone needing decently priced accommodation away from the center but easily reachable by public transport.

Returning to Finland after a long stay in India always requires a few weeks to get back into action and synchronize with the surrounding way of life. Walks in nature, jogging and meditation are a big help in this, along with catching up with old friends and acquaintances. Morning coffees at the Market Square are a source of inspiration too. The desire to once again acquaint myself with and participate in Finnish/European cultural life arose in my mind during recent days of walking the streets of this fair Baltic seaport of ours. Always after arriving from India I feel as I have been provided with a new set of eyes with which to look at life around me and to come to new conclusions about age-old questions about Finnish-ness and its changing definitions.

Today during a stroll downtown I picked up a copy of Ananda-magazine, a finnish yoga-journal for which I recently wrote a column on Yama’s and Niyama’s. Reading the magazine provoked some thoughts on cross-cultural relations and how Indian thought and culture has made itself felt even here in rather remote Finland. Browsing through the book section of the same store I couldn’t help noticing how many books on India and Indian philosophy there have been published in Finnish over recent years that I’ve spent in India. The most recent one being a new translation and commentary of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s by Måns Broo, which I intend to read soon.

Changing faces of both Finland and India are something that I follow with great interest and hope to share insights and reflections on both. Looking out my window I see a playschool bustling with children from all ethnic backgrounds playing together. My thoughts stray to the future and what it will mean to be Finnish when they have grown up. I’m not always so clear about what it means to me, but one thing is sure, I’ve always preferred a sweet confusion, where rigid identities cease to exist to a narrowly defined cultural identity which confines one to nothing but a narrow stereotype.

More posts to come soon. Promise.

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