Archive for February 11th, 2010


#42 story beside the road

042/365 story beside the road, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

I just had to create a story of these pictures today. I actually went out to take the Daily Shoot wide-angle picture, but then got interested in this boy waiting at the bus stop.

The pictures reminded me of how tough, and sometimes lonely, it is to be a kid in this country, where you are expected to be independent at a very young age. It is a valued national characteristic. This boy – no more than 8-9 years old – was going home from school, on public transport. This is nothing unusual, since working parents’ and their kids’ schedules don’t often coincide. My daughter had to do it, too, although I don’t like it, and I actually feel very sorry for these little commuters, especially on cold and pitch-dark winter mornings. I can imagine how, in some cultures, this might even be regarded as parental neglicence…

There is a special Finnish word, ‘reipas’, for this quality. It is an adjective often used to praise kids, but impossible to translate into English with just one word. The dictionary suggests translations, such as brisk, brave, cheery, breezy, alert, alive… Little children are good when they can demonstrate all these qualities, and not show any weakness, fear, timidity or hesitation. They have got to be especially ‘reipas’ to show off to relatives and friends. What a short carefree childhood they have!


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