Time passes, but secrets remain

Last night I began watching a new TV series – well, new to this country it was actually made a couple of years ago. This is how its described:

Man in Room 301 – Finnish thriller series. Time passes, but secrets remain. One fateful night on holiday changes a family’s life forever. Twelve years later, will the past ever let them escape? – Gripping Finnish drama – in 2019, 12 years after the tragic death of his grandson Tommi, Risto Kurtti receives a mysterious letter at his home in Helsinki.

I’ve read several crime novels set in Finland but this is the first Finnish show I have seen and before it started I was interested learning something about the country, the people and the language. I don’t think I have ever met any Finnish people, and to be honest I know very little about the history and only the vaguest idea of the geography. I know the language is very different from other languages from the books I have read and the names of the characters.

Within a few minutes of watching I realised how different; a boy calls out to his mum: hei äiti and then asks where she is missä sinä olet. There was nothing I could recognise or even grasp in any of the dialogue – apart from a few words of English; luckily there were subtitles so I knew what was happening, and it was absolutely fascinating to hear something so very different. I know quite a lot of French, I’m familiar with Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian and even a tiny bit of Russian. I’m also learning Danish, but this was excitingly different from any of them.

According to Wikipedia, Finnish – properly called suomi is a Uralic language of the Finnic branch spoken by the majority of the population in Finland and is one of the two official languages of Finland (the other being Swedish). Finnic languages include Estonian and a few minority languages spoken around the Baltic Sea and in the Republic of Karelia. Uralic languages are spoken by about twenty-five million people and as well s Finnish and Estonian, Hungarian and Sami also belong to this group. I think Finnish is probably quite hard to learn so I don’t think I will be attempting it, but I may have a dabble in it on Duolingo just to have the experience!! Meanwhile I will continue to watch Huone 301 – Man in Room 301!

I started watching

Finnish language


  1. David Lewis

    I grew up in a Finnish neighborhood in Canada and delivered newspapers to a Finn bakery. On collect day the ladies let me pick out a pastry as a tip. Thats when I fell in love with Finnish coffee bread. Also learned about pickled herring from my friends Mom and saunas and skiing from my chums. Know a little of the lingo to but it has to do mostly with beer and swearing. If you have a Finnish friend tho you have a trusted friend for life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      Gosh, how interesting! I’ve never met any Finnish people – I must look up Finnish coffee bread, maybe I could make some. I love pickled herring, but it’s ages since I had any or made any, something I must remedy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Seán

    Started watching Man in Room 301 too. It’s a long complicated story but I did spend 24 or so hours near Helsinki, stayed at an acquaintance’s, back in ’84. She kindly took me around the sights of Helsinki. Apparently in the snowy months the outdoors saunas were popular/are popular. Finns would get roasting hot in the saunas, hit each other with birch sticks then run into icy lakes, Finland has thousands upon thousands of lakes. Sorry, the story ends there, sort of, as I wasn’t tempted by any aspect of it, and unlike the friends in David’s story above, she didn’t end up being a friend for longer than my brief stay, never mind for life…….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. David Lewis

    I used to love cross -country skiing as the trails thru the woods were beautiful and kept well groomed but the bonus at the end was having a sauna with your girlfriend and sharing a bottle of wine. Happy times.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lois

      It sounds wonderful – but I think I would have spent more time falling over and crashing into things – maybe I would just have the bottle of wine and forget the skiing! There was some fabulous scenery including snowy forests in ‘Cardinal’ which I recently watched!

      Liked by 1 person

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