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Hanna Nurminen

Hanna Kirsti Nurminen
Born May 18, 1955, Helsinki

Master of Arts (Finnish Language), University of Helsinki

Director 2006-, Saari Residence
Farmwife 1982–2013
Assistant officer 1981–1982 and officer 1983–2013, Kone Foundation
Freelance cultural producer 1995–2006
Cultural secretary 1989–1995, municipality of Merimasku

Posts and expert tasks
Member of the Foundation for Finnish Peasant Culture 1988–
Board member of the Kone Foundation 1988–, Vice-chairman 1989–2001, Chairman 2002–
Member of the Arts Council of Southwest Finland 1998-2003 and 2007–2012, Vice-chairman 2007–2009, Chairman May 2002–2003 and 2010–2012
Board member of the Foundation of the Finnish Institute in Athens 2000–2005
Chairman of the KULMA project’s steering group and member of the KULMA team 2003–2005
Board member of The Council of Finnish Foundations 2003–2006
Member of the Arts Council of Finland 2007–2009
Board member of the Turku 2011 Foundation, 2007–2009

Antti prize for local newspapers, Rannikkoseutu
“Meri” cultural award of the Rymättylä and Merimasku Lions 2001
The Regional Council of Southwest Finland’s Aurora medal for cultural work to the benefit of Southwest Finland 2002
Recognition for cultural work from the Arts Council of Southwest Finland 2005
Merimasku Society’s annual prize 2009

Written by Hanna Nurminen
Translated by John Calton

Joy and Insight

After matriculating, I had to think for a year before I dared begin studying Finnish, but after that, starting university felt wonderful. In the phonetics, morphology and syntax courses of my fresher year, it was thrilling become aware of the principles of language that had been completely unmentioned at school. Soon I also began to study general linguistics.

Moments of insight provided me with joy throughout my time as a student. It is only a pity that I had too little time to properly enjoy them, as my studies suffered from a desire for perfection. I couldn’t go to exams if I didn’t know every set text by heart, nor could I hand in seminar work unless I had gone through it with a fine toothcomb. In hindsight, I understand how sad and corrosive it was.

Many a summer I participated in the field trips organised by the Department of Finnish and the Institute for the Languages of Finland, which always felt like a huge adventure. Country folk and their expressions became familiar in a whole new way to me as a city girl. When I was young, I had the energy to tour round places such as Leppävirta and Kangasnimi, going from house to house collecting place names and then in the evening still go to a dance or stay up late with my study mates!

When my Master’s thesis was complete and I just needed to complete a few short exams, Silva Kiuru offered me a temporary post at the Department of Finnish. However, the date for my wedding was already set and a baby was on the way—and a rich life awaited me quite elsewhere.

Pekka Sammallahti’s course on Saami, which was held in 1977 in Utsjoki, was one of the final courses in the Finnish language degree programme. Among the course students who climbed to the top of the fell, I recognise myself, second on the left, Hannele Branch, Jyrki Kalliokoski, Juha Janhunen and Jaana Karhia. Photo: Pekka Sammallahti.


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