27 May 2022

Historical failure on an issue related to a Finnish beer

The former liberal (in the classic sense) politician and Doctor of Political Sciences Jukka Tarkka reminded us - the older generation - and educated younger ones about an interesting beer-related case between Finland and Soviet Union back in 1968. 

Then the ambassador of the super power - Andrei E. Kovalev - pointed out in his speech that the Karjala beer bottle label included a Carelian (a Finnish county, Karjala, partially located in the Soviet Union) coat of arms. It illustrates two hands against each other, one holding a sabre (eastern sword) and another one a direct (western) sword. The ambassador considered that as provocative and demanded its removal from the bottle.

That launched a nationwide interest to the Karjala beer, and it became for a long time the most popular beer in the country, although before ambassador´s intervention its popularity was quickly vanishing. 

Obviously Finnish people had not completely accepted the official policy considering Soviet Union as our best friend. And wanted to show it.

Interestingly, the same swords can also be found in the Finland´s coat of arms, but in considerably more provocative setting. There the lion of Finland is standing on the eastern sabre (symbolizing a defeated eastern enemy) and holds bravely the direct sword on its head. 

I have never heard Russians to complain about that. Not even when Finland was an autonomous part of Russia (1809-1917), although its coat of arms included the same symbolism as it has had since 16th century - this you can confirm by your own eyes by visiting the tomb of the king Gustaf Wasa of Sweden in the Uppsala Cathedral.

No comments:

Post a Comment