(Feature photo: Matti and the oldest surviving diving suit in the museum in Raahe, Finland.)

The Hieno! is the official partner of the Finland 100 independence programme:What is “Finnish-ness”?  endorsed by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Today we have the huge privilege of having Matti as our fifth featured guest. At the wise age of 71, Matti writes actively at Sartenada, a fascinating blog with a wealth of information about Finns and Finnish culture. Matti shares his insights with us here about what Finland 100 means to him.

Enjoy the read! Personally, I was extremely moved by his writing.

“Finland has enjoyed independence now 100 years. Before looking how I see Finland, I want to thank those to whom we owe our freedom and after it to observe Finland’s development during my career at airline business.

Big thanks belongs to our war veterans, but there are other people who also deserve a mention – women at home. Their role was difficult at home region, because they had to take responsibility for the raising of children, animal husbandry and, therefore, to do their own chores, and those of their husbands at battlefront. For widows after the war, situation continued worse and worse. My hat to those women who raised their children at the time when Finland suffered lack of everything. After the war, Finland had to pay huge war indemnities, which luckily started the era of industrializing in Finland.

I was lucky having the possibility to follow how information technology started in to develop in the 70s. My company Finnair introduced the first computers provided with the program for load and balance calculations. First time in the beginning of 1990s, I had possibility myself to familiarise with personal computer, when my wife brought to our home her laptop Toshiba T3100/20. The software it used was Lotus Symphony, which was MS-DOS operating system. Symphony was a progressive program, because it included text editing, spreadsheet and charts. I became interested in its spreadsheet, because I made manually many kind of statistics. Soon we decided to get to our home same laptop with same program. This was big impetus to my computer life, which ended to learning to programs before being Excel Spreadsheet trainer and specialist.

There was also another thing, which I has possibility to follow very near – flying. When I started my job in Finnair, we had small planes like DC-3, Convair Metropolitan 440. In 1969, Finnair got DC-8, which made its first flight to Las Palmas where I was as a representative of Finnair. My company offered during years many kind of interesting and challenging jobs, which kept my brains brisk.

I retired from my job in 2004, which started a new page in my life. Retirement is easy or not. With this, I mean that if a person do not have hobbies before retirement, it is like drifting on high seas. I had two hobbies, photographing and languages. A couple of years later, blogging became a natural extension of taking photographs. Thanks to my beloved wife who has supported me to spend active days now when retired.

How Finland will continue from now on? My opinion is that this country needs education, role models, innovations and high quality products, products which when on sale, people say, oh made in Finland, I buy it. Finns, who now continue to care of our well-being, they should take care of their physical health by daily outdoor activities.

When Finland became independent, it was quite unknown country in Europe’s northernmost corner, now it is known all over the world.

I love this country.”

We hope you have enjoyed Matti’s sharings. The Hieno! is the official partner of the Finland 100 independence programme: What is “Finnish-ness”? endorsed by the Prime Minister’s Office. Feature photograph courtesy of Matti.