Monday, December 21, 2009

Finnish culture...

It's not all that often that we encounter things from Finland here in Portland. So imagine my surprise when we're on our way to our weekly date-night with Tove, and our baby-sitter is gushing about this adorable and wonderful Finnish YouTube video.. She apparently have been watching it three or four times a day for the last few days (weeks?), laughing hysterically.

I'm intrigued by this notion, so I look it up, and notice that I am very late to an internet phenomenon. The thing in question is Armi & Danny's "I Want to Love You Tender", which has apparently been a big hit on youtube for several years now.

Now, people who aren't from Finland may not realize the whole depth of that video. To an outsider, it may look like some highschool musical number with particularly inept dancing. It's funny, yes, but you go on to watch keyboard cat and dramatic chipmunk.

But to somebody from Finland, the first reaction is "I recognize that tune". The second reaction is "Oh, it's them!". That's not some inept highschool musical number, that's one of the most beloved Finnish entertainers ever! Ok, so the version you hear in Finland is in Finnish, and the above is the English version - and Finns back in the seventies weren't really all that good at English. That explains some of it.

When I grew up, the Swedes had ABBA and Björn Borg. The Finns had Armi ja Danny. Really.

Now I just find myself wishing that we'd have Finnish meal-pouches with musical accompaniments. "Rudolf in a Bag" MRE's (reindeer meat with lingonberries) with Armi and Danny on BluRay.

Although I'm not sure I could take the concentrated awesomeness that is "I Want to Love You Tender" in glorious HD. Maybe it's safer in that low-quality YouTube version.