The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Little Finland hosts singer, storyteller


November 13, 2017


KIMBALL — Singer/storyteller Tanya Stanaway presented a program of Finnish music along with stories of Finland at Little Finland Sunday afternoon, to the joy of the assembled crowd. Stanaway played accordion and did “sing alongs” of songs in Finnish while accompanying on guitar.

Stanaway was born in Finland and moved to the United States when she was younger, but she retains her love for her native country, as anyone who listened to her presentation could tell. She has stayed in touch with her roots, teaching Finnish in the school system where she lives since 1979. In addition, she takes yearly trips back to Finland to see family.

Stanaway has also taken tour groups to Finland and a number of the people at the event had gone with her back to the old country. Close to half of the people who had come out to listen to Stanaway had traveled to Finland in their lives as well, and it was easy to see the pride and love of Finland come out as she talked with the crowd about places they loved and were important to them. Little Finland was formed in 1964 as a means to honor and keep alive the Finnish heritage of the many immigrants to this area, and as a result, such times where they can sing in Finnish and talk of Finland are very valuable to them.


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