Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Finding Finns in Fez

Sometimes the universe can deliver unexpected surprises. Less than two weeks ago, a couple of people in the Fez Medina were chatting about the huge diversity of nationalities who arrive in the Medina. A notable exception, said one observer, is that, "there are few Finns".

Well, today he has been proven wrong. On a cool evening on the rooftop terrace of Riad R'cif, The View from Fez met up with Jenni and Mikko Lahtonen from Finland.

Olette kaikki tervetulleita Marokossa!

Jenni and Mikko Lahtonen at Riad R'Cif

The couple are only here on a short visit, but after a day of touring the Medina, they are committed to returning for a longer period to explore the Fez area at a more leisurely pace.

"It's amazing,' Mikko comments, "There are so many sights and sounds and something different down every alley."

Jenni is equally impressed, but for her this is a return visit, having been in Morocco twice before.
"But I was so much younger then; maybe seven years of age."

As artists and artisans, they were drawn to the design and artisan work in the Medina.

Back in their home city of Nokia (yes, the same name as the phone), Jenni is a graphic artst and Mikko a man of many talents from running restaurants, to wood working skills and performing as a musician. Jenni, he tells The View from Fez, is also a singer (so they have an invitation to return and give a house concert at Riad Zany in the future) . At present they are heavily involved in setting up a huge new arts centre in an old factory on an island in the middle of Nokia. The island is surrounded by the Nokianvirta River (Kokemäenjoki).

Little known facts about Nokia #275 (It's all about the beaver!)

The origin of the name "Nokia" is obscure. In modern Finnish, noki means soot and nokia is its inflected plural, although this form of the word is rarely if ever used. The most common theory claims the name originates from the archaic Finnish word nois (pl. nokia) or nokinäätä ("soot marten"), meaning sable. After sable was hunted to extinction in Finland, the word was applied to any dark-coated fur animal, such as the marten. The sable is enshrined on the Nokia coat of arms. However, later research has appeared to indicate that sables never inhabited Finland in the first place, and the name nois may actually refer to the beaver.

Print Friendly and PDF

1 comment:

Suvi said...

WOW - Riad R'cif looks amazing indeed! Enjoy these lovely guests and what comes to the Lahtonen couple: absorb all the sun and inspiration and bring it back to Finland. <3 Have Fun <3