Though I thougt spring had come a few weeks ago, the temperature suddenly went down. The weather changes day by day. Yes, it even snows… However, the sunlight is getting stronger and the sun is getting longer. The best season is surely coming.
By the way, what is the famous product(s) in your town?
I think there aren’t so many clearly famous local products in Finland. (Yes, there are some.) Is it due to the small population? Is it because they don’t have a strong culture buying a souvenir for friends, co-workers or neighbours like in Japan?
The first thought that came to me as a souvenir in Seinäjoki is Jussipaita. Jussipaita is a symbol not only in Seinäjoki but also in Etelä-Pohjanmaa area.
Jussipaita is this one.
This sweater has been arranged as a design for women. Anyway, Jussipaita is ”normally grey and on the bodice there is a wine red diamond patterning” (by Wikipedia). Jussi is a typical Finnish masculine name and paita means shirt. Jussipaita is a traditional sweater in Etelä-Pohjanmaa but its roots belong to the knitting history of the Swedish speaking coast. This sweater on the photo is sold at Taito Shop in Kalevan Navetta.
Usual colour is wine red but I sometimes find other colours like this.
Jussipaita itself is a sweater but the design is also used for socks, pipo (=knit cap), scarf etc… These products could be a good present to those who moved from Etelä-Pohjanmaa to other area but also to some local people. According to Wikipedia, the jussipaita symbolizes the stamina, diligence, honesty, integrity and even the insanity and bravado of Etelä-Pohjanmaa people. The characteristics of Etelä-Pohjanmaa people are having a strong will, making some(any)thing if there aren’t (= there are many entrepreneurs in this area) and having a pride of being from Etelä-Pohjanmaa.
The upper left-hand side product is a sign for a towel in a bathroom. The diamond (or salmiakki) shaped sign is the same as Jussipaita pattern. The dialect of ”Granma”, ”Granpa” or ”Hands” is written on it. Furthermore, ”Strange people” (= direct mean is stranger => guest), ”Host” or ”Hostess” signs can be found. This is a kind of good sense of humour in this area.
The right-had side product is a motif that is used as an accessory on Etelä-Pohjanmaa traditional clothing. The down left-hand side product is a motif of a typical Etelä-Pohjanmaa area’s house. The colour is wine red same as Jussipaita. It is a large, symbolic two-story farmhouse in the area. My father-in-law’s parents’ house is just like this.
This product is not related to Jussipaita but they are also sold at Taito Shop. I thought they are made from kimono but are made from Finnish traditional clothing.
I also went to a book shop (Suomalainen kirjakauppa) to look for Jussipaita related products. And I found it!
This character is called Pöyrööt. Pöyrööt is a seris comic whose main character man is from Etelä-Pohjanmaa. His name is Jussi Pöyröö. As you see, he always wears Jussipaita. He is a little bit goofy but is loved due to his character.
”Hyvä, parempi, pohojalaanen” means ”Good, better, pohoja people”. Pohoja is the area that includes Pohjanmaa (Vaasa is the capital city), Etelä(=South) Pohjanmaa (Seinäjoki is the one), Pohjois(=Norh) Pohjanmaa (Oulu is the one) and Keski(=Central) Pohjanmaa (Kokkola is the one). ”Pohoja people” (Pohoja is also a region dialect) is used Instead of ”best”. You know, Pohoja people likes being Pohoja.
I’ll let give you small information that you can find those local products or Finnish famous brand such as Marimekko, Muumin, Lapuan Kankurit or Aarikka products at Suomalainen kirjakauppa that is a franchised book shop in Finland.
It was my first time to find Pöyrööt goods here. Some comic books are also available.
The kitchen towels is made by Lapuan Kankurit. It includes some factors of countryside life.
You may be able to find Jussipaita products at a supermarket. The man on the left-hand side product wears Jussipaita. The content is salmiakki. Someone says the most terrible taste candy in the world. It’s difficult to say yes or no. Anyway the taste is vey unique. If you are brave enough, you can try it. And I must say that many Finnish people love it.
These are Jussipaita pattern salmiakki candies.
I can’t forget Yrittäjä-Jussi (= entrepreneur-Jussi) that is in the cover photo. Since it stands in Central Market, please find him if you come to Seinäjoki. Now he wears a boy scout scarf. Sometimes he wears a warm scarf in winter, for example. He seems to be taken care of by local people. Basically he wears Jussipaita (of course), a chain belt (it is sold at Taito shop) and a small knife, called ”puukko” which is also a local product in Etelä-Pohjanmaa.
If you have a chance to come to Seinäjoki, please enjoy finding Jussipaita or Jussipaita pattern products.
Hyvää kevättä!（＝Have a wonderful spring!）