Friday, September 7, 2012
Finnish Fridays: Tango til they're sore
Today on Finnish Fridays we're featuring a pair of dancing Finns carved from wood, which my mother gave me, I don't remember when. Underneath someone has written in neat ballpoint print "Souvenir from Finland, 1953." This tchotchke has never really pleased my eye but the kids love it for some reason, and have managed to incorporate it into the ongoing Verdopolis-like sagas they weave with Playmobil, Littlest Pet Shop, Polly Pocket and Papo figures.
It does remind me of this Morley Safer segment that aired on 60 Minutes in the early ’90s about the alleged passion the Finns have for the tango. I say "alleged" because overall the tone of the piece is quite patronizing and it makes it seem like you can hardly make your way through a public space in Finland without running smack into a flash mob of mopey Finns sadly tangoing. Ptooey. I never heard anything about this Finnish love affair with the tango till I saw it on 60 Minutes.