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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Varpu Lindström & Börje Vähämäki Beaverton 2007

5th Finglish trip July 2007 #38

Born in Helsinki, Finland, Varpu Lindström came to Canada as a teenager, received a Canadian education, yet always retained her love of Finland. She founded the Canadian Friends of Finland friendship society in 1982 and fostered cultural relations between Canada and Finland.

She enjoyed a stellar career as professor of History and Women’s Studies at York University. Her book 'Defiant Sisters, A Social History of Finnish Immigrant Women, 1890-1930' was a doubly pioneering study: it helped establish oral interview-based social history as legitimate history, and was the first dissertation devoted to the history of women.

Her subsequent books cemented her reputation as the world’s leading expert on the social history of Finnish women in Canada. Varpu Lindström conducted the research for the award-winning and Gemini-nominated historical documentary 'Letters from Karelia' about the tragic fate of Canadian Finns lured back by Stalin’s promises of prosperity only to be killed in his purges in the 1930s.

Varpu´s husband Börje Vähämäki was born in Finland where he was raised and educated. He came to the US in the 1970s and has taught at the University of Minnesota and at the University of Toronto. Dr. Vähämäki is a renowned scholar and a leader in the area of Finnish Studies. He is publisher of Aspasia Books and Editor of the Journal of Finnish Studies.

Next 6th Finglish trip December 2007 Washington and Oregon USA

Alice & Walter Ek Battle Ground Washington USA

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