Saturday, 26 May 2018

hietaniemi cemetery

Another cemetery post, because who doesn't love cemeteries? I didn't think photos of the presidents' graves would be that interesting to anyone else but me, so I'm not sharing those. (There's a part of Mannerheim's tombstone, though, if you can and want to spot it.) Maybe when I complete my collection with the missing two, I'll post about it, because apparently I now collect pictures of presidents' graves. Sounds about right for a strange new hobby for me to have. But here's some other little shots and impressions of the Hietaniemi cemetery.

I don't really know how to properly articulate why I love cemeteries so much, it's just such a strong feeling I have. I love the whole sentiment of memento mori. I love how cemeteries make death seem so beautiful, sentimental, and melancholy. So self-evident, inevitable and permanent. Something that'll happen to everyone. I feel such a strong connection to something whenever I am at a cemetery, whether that is to myself, the people I love, the people I have loved, God, the universe, the people that have been laid to rest there or people and the humankind in general. At a cemetery everything feels at peace, like everything is as it should be. And I love that. And I love the idea that I can remember those that have died whether I have known them or not, and in the future someone else can do the same and remember me.

I also love learning at cemeteries. There's always something to discover and something I end up looking up back home. Wars, personal info that is available, symbolism, anything really. On this trip I ended up learning about two new things in particular. One of the presidents, Lauri Kristian Relander, had a servant/housekeeper who is also buried in their family grave. She came to work for the family when she was 24, and stayed until she died a few months before Mrs Relander died as well. She was with them before the presidency, during it, and afterwards, especially after Relander himself died and the Mrs had to live in much humbler circumstances. And I think it's really sweet she's in the same grave, like part of the family. And I also learned about the Hakaniemi riot, as I found a grave with seven of the people that died in it. It was part of the Sveaborg rebellion and was meant to lead to a revolution (relating to the Russian Revolution of 1905). It was also one of the first confrontations between the "whites" and the "reds", that would eventually fight in the Finnish Civil War. Although this rebellion was still more of a Imperial Russian military mutiny. I kind of miss studying history full-time and loved learning, even though these weren't the most fun subjects.

I also simply love the beauty of cemeteries. They're often the most stunning green places, they have pretty flowers, maybe even a fountain (Hietaniemi has one). The graves, the tombs, the crosses, the statues. The family mottos, passages from the Bible, looking at people's names. The symbolism of butterflies, or little skull and crossbones, for example. It's lovely to see familiar things that are popular grave engravings, but there's also always something new and unexpected. My favourites I discovered this time were the statues with their hands extended upwards (gorgeous!), the Eye of Providence (cool!), the headstone in the last picture (pretty!), and the old, small benches that were next to old graves or sometimes even inside the grave (kind of creepy and enchanting?). There is so much to love.



Corinne said...

I know what you mean about cemeteries. There is just something beautiful about them, even though they are a sad place.

Lovely photos.

Corinne x

Gail J said...

I can see the beauty within the sadness of this place!

FashionRadi said...

Very interesting hobby you've got with graves! haha
I love the photos!!!

Laura Jones said...

Corinne - yes, definitely! and thank you, dear! xx

Gail J - glad you do, doll! xx

FashionRadi - haha, i know, right! thank you, honey! xx

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