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the people

working class life

Finns of all generations are proud of their characteristic, "sisu" or enduring strength. Sisu played an important role for the Finns who settled in Canada, clearing homesteads, working in the bush, and laying the foundations for the future. These early immigrants didn't know what to expect. Life was hard and they were often the subjects of prejudice. Finns were heavily dependent on each other for navigating their new life in Canada. Finnish communities were alive with dance, drama, music and sports clubs; networks of newspapers; as well as temperance societies, congregations and co-operatives. With their lives often dominated and characterized by struggle, these Finnish migrants became more politically active protesting working conditions and advocating for social changes that would benefit all Canadians. Culture and Traditions Finnish identity in Canada was preserved by activities that focused on a love of the outdoors, the arts, sport and culinary traditions. Daily Life For all Finns, daily life began and ended in the sauna. It was a balm for the spirit after the rigors of work and homesteading. Profiles – The political and social culture in the Lakehead was shaped by Finnish men and women determined to make a difference. LONG READ…