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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Finland Series at FinnishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Finnish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 13, Day of J.L.Runeberg. In Finnish, it’s called Runebergin päivä.
Johan Ludvig Runeberg was the Finnish national poet, or kansallisrunoilija in Finnish. Runeberg's Day is celebrated on his birthday on February 5. In this lesson, we will learn about Johan Ludvig Runeberg and the day of J.L.Runeberg in Finland.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know what form Runeberg cakes take and what they contain?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Johan Ludvig Runeberg was a Finnish-Swedish poet, writer and journalist, who was born on February 5, 1804 and died on May 6, 1877. Runeberg rose to the status of Finland's national poet during his lifetime, due to his work being very patriotic, or isänmaallinen. Runeberg's best-known work is The Tales of Ensign Stål, or in Finnish Vänrikki Stoolin tarinat. The opening poem of the work was later composed to become the Finnish national anthem, or Suomen kansallislaulu, called Maamme which means “Our Land.”
Runeberg has received numerous national accolades including a day dedicated in his honor. Runeberg's home, located in the center of Porvoo, was the first museum house in Finland. In addition, a number of monuments and memorials have been erected in his honor, and numerous streets, squares, and parks have been named after him. For example, there is a Runeberg street in Helsinki and a Runeberg park in his birth city of Jakobstad. One of Finland's most prominent literary awards, or kirjallisuuspalkinto in Finnish, the Runeberg Prize, was also established in his honor.
Runeberg's Day is a well-established flag day. Literary-themed events are held this day at places such as bookstores and cafes. A well-known way to celebrate the day is to eat Runeberg tarts, or Runebergintorttuja, which are sweet pastries said to have been Runeberg's favorite treat. The baked goods are usually available in grocery stores and cafes from January up until the day of J.L.Runeberg. Some of the cafes in Porvoo offer the pastries all year round.
Johan Ludvig Runeberg's wife, Fredrika Runeberg, was also a distinguished writer. She was the first Finnish historical novel writer, achieving popularity through her short stories as well as her novels.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know what form Runeberg cakes take and what they contain?
It is said that Johan Ludvig Runeberg's wife, Fredrika Runeberg, developed the pastry for her sweet-toothed husband from whatever ingredients she could find in the pantry. The cylindrical shaped, arrack- or rum-flavored tarts contain wheat flour, bread crumbs, cookie crumbs and almonds, and they are decorated with raspberry jam and icing.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Who is the most famous writer in your country?
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