Onko sitkeydestä särpimeksi? Topeliaaniset selviytymisen strategiat

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Topelian Strategies for Survival

The article discusses the representatios of hunger in Zacharias Topelius' Maamme kirja, 'The Book of Our Land', and the reasons why they are still relied on as strategies of surviving hunger and economic difficulties. The starting point is the idea that Topelian strategies – perseverance and hard work – are specific ways of creating meanings for Finns and of turning the negative effects of hunger into something positive. They are not a praise of the Finns nor an observation of how hunger affects them: they are a means of making the Finns adopt certain idealistic values and act in accordance with them. In the context of modern Finland, however, such Topelian rehashing may turn against itself, as there is a record number of unemployed people in the country who are unable to act according to these ideals. We should instead start looking for new applications of Topelian ideals which would better match the everyday problems of modern Finns and in this sense, make a new interpretation of 'The Book of Our Nation'.