26 September 2007

sauna vihdan tekeminen

Marja-Leena mentioned something about birch vihta or vasta in a post that mentioned sauna. It's difficult to get over just how important sauna is to Finnish people but it might help to explain that just about everybody has a sauna of some kind at home. Even in blocks of flats/apartments, there's often a shared sauna that people use according to a rota. Vihta (or vasta depending on what part of Finland you're from) is part of the sauna ritual. I've seen vihta translated as 'bath whisk' and that's sort of what it is, a whisk made of birch branches and leaves that you tap yourself - or get your partner to tap you - with while in the sauna. Some of Marja-Leena's readers seemed to get the wrong end of the stick, imagining vihta to be an instrument of self-flagellation. Joining in the discussion, I remembered that Ms Suomi-Suolmate's dad recorded some videos about making vihta before my first trip to Finland last year. So I edited them together, put on some text, and here it is.

Oh aye, in case it's not obvious, please don't take it too seriously...

(For some reason, the embed thingy doesn't seem to be showing up at the mo in which case, watch it here)


Molly Bloom said...

Does that middle bunch say 'Vem' or 'Dem'? Perhaps it really belongs to you Dem.

Just been peeping at your recent posts. As always, brilliant work. Glad to see you still sending them out there. Loved that font too. How clever!

Dem said...

Yay Molly! It's good to see you here and read you there. I was just thinking about you, been meaning to send you something daft for a while now, some choons.

Yes the label (which was made of birch bark) said Dem and the vihta was mine. Somewhere on here and in my flickr photostream you can see it later in its short life, bedraggled and soaking in a bucket. Those with strong Finnish ears will have heard Tapio explain to Kati in Finnish that my vihta has thorns in it so it was definitely mine.

Thanks for your kind words as always. Hope you're happy and well..?