Finnish at Indiana University
It is a circumstance not generally known, perhaps, that among seamen, Finns are regarded with peculiar superstition. For some reason or other which I could not get at, they are supposed to possess the gift of second sight, and the power to wreak supernatural vengeance upon those who offend them. On this account they have great influence among sailors.”
Herman Melville, Omoo: A Narrative of the South Seas (1847)
If you, too, want to wield supernatural abilities and unlock the mysteries of the denizens of the Arctic Circle, Indiana University's Finnish studies program is the place for you! Indiana University is one of the few places in the US where you can study Finnish language and culture. We offer language classes at three different levels, culture and literature classes, and a lot of extra-curricular programs as well.
Under the tutelage of native Finnish professionals, you can learn to speak, read, and write in the language that inspired the Elvish dialect of Quenya in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings saga:
[Learning the Finnish language] was like discovering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavour never tasted before. It quite intoxicated me.”
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981)
As if that weren’t enough, Tolkien’s penchant for big beards and heavy axes fits well into the world-famous Finnish heavy metal scene, which draws largely upon the same aesthetic. A match made in Mordor Rivendell!
There's something for everyone: if you're into sports instead of Tolkien and sharp metal objects, Finnish is the language of the 2011 Hockey World Cup champions. (Finland 6; Sweden 1.)
Conan O’Brien, Late Night with Conan O’Brien (2006)
If rampant beverage consumption is more your style, take a swig of this: annual Finnish coffee consumption as of 2008 was more than any other country in the world - and they did it without a single Starbucks. Beer is an integral part of the Finnish national epic, Kalevala, from the 19th century. Two centuries later, Finnish alcohol consumption is finally in decline (in 2004, it was more than a bottle of spirits per week per person). But everyone loves ice cream: Finland consumes twice as much ice cream per capita than any other EU country. Need we say more?
If you want to be able to communicate with the citizens of the country that Newsweek declared the “best country in the world” in 2010, the country where a president’s re-election was aided by her physical resemblance to Conan O’Brien, a country where the capital city is also a gay bar capital, and where the coat of arms is a lion stabbing itself in the head, sign up for Finnish courses at Indiana University!Inquire further at Central Eurasian Studies, Goodbody 157, 855-2233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.