Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sisu.. Say What?

It seems appropriate to throw out some definition to my online nickname... and my dog's name (blog to follow!) "Sisu" is near and dear to my heart - literally it comes from within! My heritage is from Finland (mother & father's sides), and I grew up near a sea of Finlanders in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I am thinking about doing some research into the history my maiden name (RAJALA), as I am only 3rd generation in the States! I am a proud Suomalainen! So, don't blame me.... blame those before me? :)

So here is some help in understanding who/what/why SISU is:

"Sisu is a unique Finnish concept. It stands for the philosophy that what must be done will be done, regardless what it takes. Sisu is a special strength and persistent determination and resolve to continue and to overcome in the moment of adversity . a combination of stamina, perseverance, courage and determination held in reserve for hard times."

Sisu is a Finnish term that could be roughly translated into Englist as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. The equivalent in English is "to have guts", and indeed, the word derives from sisus, which means something inner or interior. However, sisu has a long-term element in it; it is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain the same. The term is commonly used in everyday speech to describe stoic toughness. It is widely understood in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is home to a large concentration of Finnish Americans. For instance: "Even after cutting his hand open and getting 12 stitches, he didn't shed a tear. Wow! He's got sisu!" This has extended to include a popular bumper sticker saying simply "Sisu". By analogy, the term has picked up new meanings. Depending on context, "sisu" can refer to spunk, attitude, self-confidence, and so on.

There it is ... now how many of you did not know there were 2 parts to Michigan?! :)

1 comment:

Mel said...

How very cool!!!