Summer 2016 has been kind of hectic so I have had have energy to tell about it now when it is about ending. Before the Midsummer the project was belly dance intensive course. We were happy to have training from our long time teacher Marinka just came back from her maternal leave.
The music was somewhat exceptional, the “Myrskyluodon Maija” by a Finnish composer Lasse Mårtensson who died last spring. It was originally composed to the film telling about the life in Finnish archipelago in 19th century. The music is very romantic, sad and sentimental. And choosing Mårtensson music was a pure coincidence and had nothing to do with his death.
Almost immediately after that we went to Estonia to celebrate Midsummer. Actually we could do it twice for in Estonia Midsummer is a day earlier than in Finland. Both countries do it with bonfires, “Juhannuskokko” in Finland and “Jaanituli” in Estonia. It seemed they used some special tree in Jaanituli, for the smell of the smoke was special and different from the Finnish variation.
The sun in Pärnu at 10 pm
Most of the time we were in lovely spa town Pärnu. The Midsummer eve was very peaceful and there weren’t many people on the beach in the almost-midnight sun.
Luckily the weather was warm most of the time so we could swim, sun bathe and make a bike tour along the Pärnu seaside and river side.
...and of course there was time for doing some shopping in the shopping street of Pärnu.
After spending three days in Pärnu we headed to north. The weather was still really hot and dim so we had to chill us in the sea. The place was near Villa Andropov, the luxurious villa where Andropov had time to visit only once. That also gave an explanation to the odd piece of the four lane highway leading to the villa.
Remains of the Jaanituli in Virtsu ... 3 days after!
Our last night in Estonia we spend in the Padise manor. There also was a monastery ruins near the manor. We had a sweet and a luxurious dinner in very at a reasonable price.
At the Padise monastery
The next morning was very foggy. So when we visited the Paldiski cliffs we could hardly see the see under it. Anyway the feeling was spectacular in the meadows of Paldiski. Wea have had a tradition to visit Paldiski “Kaubamaja” mall. Paldiski seems to be sort of relic from the Soviet time and also the Kaubamaja is old fashioned in Russian manner. Anyway the prices were very cheap and it is one of our places to complete our pantyhose stash.
The Estonian trip was the first completely made as Anukatariina from the home door and back. The lack of need of hiding this issue was really relieving.
The next big thing was Helsinki Pride. One of the things I was involved was a panel discussion about the treatment policy for transgender people, arranged by the committee of trans political affairs of Seta. We had good debaters, a doctor Teemu Kärnä, a transgender activist Luca Tainio and the Pii Anttonen as the leader of the conversation. The main conclusion was that in spite of the notions many people have made the two treatment units Helsinki and Tampere have approximately same policy due to intensive collaboration between the units. The problem is mostly with the admission notes made by the ordinary doctors before the trans treatment unit and also with the surgeons who interpret the admission notes made by the treatment units. The debaters agreed the other thing is that the treatment and legal gender process should separate completely. In the audience of about 30 people I noticed the members of “True marriage” group of Finland making lots of notions to their notebooks. I’m interested in seeing the results of that action but haven’t found anything, yet.
Luca, Pii and Antti
The other thing was I got a short floor in another panel about discrimination of LGBT people at work, arranged by labour unions. There I could give some information about our survey. The third panel was about legislation work by LGBT group of members of parliament. The situation is not very good because very stagnated party True Finns in the government. The sad thing is the other parties in government let them stop any reasonable progress in this branch, mostly to shut True Finn’s mouths in other matters where Finland is going towards economical inequality. And of course there were two parties missing in the panel: The True Finns and Christian Democrats. I asked if the new legislation should base on the principles of the older, sort of constitutional bills. The debaters agreed, but just today it became evident the new laws can be confirmed in spite of the fact they contradict with the constitution.
The politicians debating
Of course I had some “obligatory” events like Dreamwearclub coffee evening with 23 visitors and the traditional Finnish ball where I danced waltz, humppa and jenkka with friends.
In the Pride parade there were more people than ever, partly because of the LGBTI Euro Games held at the same time in Helsinki. Though I had got sort of bikini tan lines in Pärnu I burned my back in otherwise so lovely sunshine during the parade and the park festive after that.
In July we visited Kristiina in Rymättylä. The weather was not good for sun bathing but we had very useful discussions how to proceed with our survey and made some statistical analysis on the material. Earlier I had met a scholar at the University of Helsinki who also gave me some valuable pieces of advice. And of course we made some barbequed food in Rymättylä.
I still had some spare time to enjoy my lady holiday. I have been as Anukatariina in my garden dining or in bikinis, I have been on the beach and in the woods for some mushrooms. The life has been much easier in that respect and it takes much less energy to do anything.
But the most important thing for me was to meet my grandchildren as Anukatariina for the first time. Surprisingly they payed no attention to my changed outlook and were ready to play with me as usually. The other of them wanted to look my ear rings more specifically...