23 September 2011 marked the autumnal equinox, when the day and the night are equal in length.
From there on, Finland slowly starts descending to darkness, kaamos.
The Finnish word ‘kaamos’ means more than darkness. Physically, yes, it is the time of dark, wet, gloomy and , eventually, slushy days. You barely recognize your friends because they are wearing thick pullovers, hats, mittens and skarfs. But it also means a shift in mentality: people turn inwards, become less active. All of a sudden it is more comfortable to crouch under the blanket on the sofa rather than going out for a walk or meeting a friend.
For a few more days, we get to enjoy the colours of the foliage.
Text and photos: Mirja Onduso, International Services