Mika Hakkinen and Matchsticks by Helvi Oosterman

December 18, 2009

By Helvi Oosterman

Feminism is not our major concerns these days; women’s liberation is something that smells of grannies; did you really burn your bras in them olden days asks many a confident granddaughter whilst giving a fleeting glance to check if going without support caused any sagging…

The daughters and granddaughters have more in their pay packet and they know whom to call when the boss pinches their bottom. Wishful thinking from their part if you ask me; I believe the once hurt male finds it safer to hang out with mates, rather than enter the bitchy world of females. It’s back to “like it was in granddad’s days “for boys.  They now watch the bullying blondes from the distance…

This all brings me to my first uplifting experience of sisterhood, the power of girls not spitting at each other but naturally becoming the shelter of each other. It was a long time ago; I was seven and in the first year of primary school. In those days it was thought as useful to teach knitting for both girls and for boys, something to do with dexterity, preparing the fingers for writing.

I was sitting on one of those two seater all-wood school desks, next to Mikko who had taken to knitting like a duck to water, and who was laughing at my somewhat loose stitches. The teacher was busy helping another student and I was struggling with tears and shame for so lacking in this most female art form.

To my and to the teacher’s great astonishment we all heard this loud and clear statement from the back of the class: “Helvi can knit better with match sticks than you Mikko with proper needles!” It was my second best friend Maija. It might have been a strategic call from her, hoping to be elevated to the first place in friendship stakes. Now, that’s the older and more cynical me thinking. Back then it dried my tears, it warmed my heart and soul; it made me happy. After the class had been settled and returned to previous calm, I remember thinking how my friend came to the idea of knitting with match sticks…

Mika Hakkinen

Well, Maija always was a creative girl and later on she became a writer of some fame and Mikko, if I’m to believe my sister’s Finnish newspaper clippings: a knitwear designer! He changed his name to more international Mika, riding on Mika Hakkinen’s fame, no doubt. I am being jealous now, I think.

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2 Responses to “Mika Hakkinen and Matchsticks by Helvi Oosterman”

  1. Adrian Says:

    Well written article Helvi.


  2. Helvi Says:

    Thanks Adrian, we had Herman staying here Friday night, nice to see him so happy and relaxed!


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