Reader’s Opinion | The restoration debate disdains the work of past generations

Now the generations who know nothing about really hard work want to restore the swamp fields, block the ditches and let the fields fall to waste.

I am from a pioneer family. My father, a war invalid, and my mother bought a so-called quick settlement facility from the state. The state bought land from large landowners and then sold it to war invalids, veterans and immigrants from Karelia. Of course, the landowners didn’t give their cloth lands, but they were usually Finnish lands, just like my parents’ lands. I think the idea was that when you cut down the trees and sell them, you can use that money to pay the government the price of the land. At least the land my parents bought had 14 hectares of trees cut down, and it was never found out who pocketed the money.

My parents drained and cleared the 12-hectare marshland with the tools of the 1940s: a hoe, an iron rod and a horse. From my childhood, I remember those huge stacks of bags and talkies. There were those who moved with a prosthesis, like my father, there were one-armed. Someone had an artificial eye, someone had lost their hearing. The amount of work was huge, but they did it with joy. “Perkas, diligently took care of his land, but hoped for growth from God.” The result was beautiful, even, well-growing fields, which I still visit to admire.

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Now generations, who know nothing about really hard work, want to restore these bogs, plug the ditches and let the fields fall to waste. Is it possible to despise the work of previous generations any worse?

Nature and animals were respected and protected.

The spirit of talking and helping also worked in clearing the forest. The war widows and low-income people of Kirkonkyl went to clear the forest and thus got their firewood. Sometimes they pushed them with handcarts, sometimes they stacked them in piles and dad took them to the yard on horseplay. Nature and animals were respected and protected in every way, because that’s where the food came from. In autumn, a flock of cuckoos landed in the oat field. “Even those birds need food, there’s enough for us too,” was my parents’ statement. We were allowed to quietly admire the cranes, but not to be embarrassed. No garbage was left in nature, because it could have been a danger to forest animals. Every time you went to the barn or stable, the animals were greeted, and they were not to be disturbed during their resting time.

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My thanks and respect to the generation of pioneers who started the prosperity of our country. Thanks to my parents for letting me learn everything possible with them in the forest, in the field, in the barn and in the hut. It was not the use of child labor, but practical learning according to one’s own strength and understanding.

Hilkka Kiiskinen

82 years, Helsinki

The reader’s opinions are speeches written by HS readers, which are selected and delivered by the HS editors. You can leave an opinion piece or familiarize yourself with the principles of writing at the address

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