January 16th, 2005


(no subject)

With Eljay being down I've entertained myself by reading sauna-stories - stories in which my countrymen have gone to sauna in other countries and where foreigners have been taken to sauna here. The sauna is a part of our culture I'll willingly admit has potential to make us seem peculiar to others.

Sauna does not come from Sweden. It doesn't come from Finland, either, but is a remnant from primitive northern peoples. It's my understanding that it began as a shamanistic practice, and a lot of the sauna terminology that doesn't have translations to most languages is proof of this. For example, the word 'löyly' - the steam that rises from the stones on the heater - is an ancient word for 'spiritsoul', one of the seven souls my ancestors thought they possessed. But my main gripe in people thinking that sauna is a Swedish invention comes from the fact that the Swedish and Finnish saunas are nothing alike. Theirs is a fucking watered-down pansy-assed lite version, and should be called by the word for sauna in their own language; bastu. These bastus and steam-rooms and Turkish bathhouses shouldn't be called saunas, because that isn't what they are.

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