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3.2.2015 Belgialaisen sauna-addiktin toive päästä saunomaan Vaskiniemeen toteutui
Filip Keulemans on tutustunut suomalaiseen saunaan alkaen vuodesta 2006, jolloin hänen yliopistonsa Belgiassa aloitti yhteistyön Turun yliopiston kanssa. Yhteistyön alku tapahtui vierailulla Turkuun. Vierailun yhteydessä Filip tutustutettiin myös suomalaiseen saunaan.
Filip toteaakin, että hänestä tuli sauna-addikti (mukaan lukien avannossa käynti) heti ensimmäisellä kerralla. Liki 4 kuukauden työjakso Turussa 2006 – 2007 mahdollisti monia saunassa käyntejä ja muutamat käynnit suuntautuivat myös savusaunaan. Tuollaisen käynnin yhteydessä Filip totesi savusaunan olevan ylivertainen saunakokemus.
Tuon jälkeen Filip on käynyt Suomessa pari kertaa vuodessa ja aina saunomassa . Tavallisiin saunakokemuksiin liittyi mm. yhdessä ystävienkanssa rakennetut jääsauna, telttasauna, venesauna jne. Ja lopulta Filip päätti rakentaa oman suomalaisen puulämmitteisen saunan Belgiaan kotiinsa.
Koko ajan taustalla on ollut toive päästä kylpemään myös Vaskiniemeen. Yhteys syntyi ISA:n kautta , Belgiahan on ISA:n jäsen ja nyt tämä toive toteutui melkein neljän tunnin saunakäynnillä 3.2.2015 Kivisen Matin osaavalla opastuksella.
Filip toimii varmasti saunan ja saunakulttuurin hyväksi jatkossakin kotimaassaan.
Ja toivotamme Filipin tervetulleeksi uudelleen saunomaan Vaskiniemeenkin.
Teksti: Risto Elomaa, kuva Filip Keulemans
15.10.2014. Oregonilainen saunayrittäjä ihastui Vaskiniemeen
Jessica Kelso pyörittää Oregonissa omaa saunayritystään, kts www.loyly.net.
Hän kävi tutustumassa syvällisemmin suomalaisiin saunoihin. Vaskiniemi oli huipennus. Tässä Jessican kuvaus saunatalosta, jossa häntä emännöi ja opasti Tuulikki Terho.
The facility is on the outskirts of town, on a wooded peninsula, making it feel almost rural. After a wrong turn and some help from a bus driver, we made it just on time. Our hostess, Tuulikki, was a retired architect in her 60’s who also used to work for the Ministry of Culture and was on the Sauna Society’s board. I was a little worried that people were going to be very serious inside and unfriendly to the Americans.
We checked in easily and were just given a number to run a tab with in case we decided to get any food or drink from the cafeteria. I picked up a frozen Vihta, a whisk made of spring birch tree branches to whip and invigorate the skin. Tuulikki’s said, “And now, we go to the locker room.” We undressed together and headed to the shower room to rinse off.
The Society has 5 saunas heated with firewood, three of them savusaunas, "smoke saunas", the most traditional, and we were excited to finally try them. None of the public saunas we found have them, only facilities outside of town that are usually rented out by large groups. Taking up to 24 hours to heat, these savusaunas are a special type of sauna without a chimney. Wood is burned in a very large stove and the smoke fills the room and when the sauna is hot enough, the fire is allowed to die and the smoke is ventilated out. The residual heat of the stove is enough for the duration of the day. Traditionally women gave birth in them because the walls were lined with naturally bacteria-resistant soot, making them the cleanest room in the house. They were also the place for purification rituals before marriage, and the bodies of the dead were washed and prepared for burial on the wooden benches.
As we stepped into our first savusauna, the smell was wonderfully woodsy and slightly smoky. The light was dim, no bulbs and only a small window for natural light. Seven women of all ages sat, their features hard to see in the dim light, only the shapes of their bodies visible. Our hostess talked to us about the smoke saunas and others joined in to explain and to ask us questions. When they heard we were on a sauna tour, they were delighted. “I always thought the Finns should export the sauna experience!” one woman said. Everyone chimed in with the benefits: it makes your troubles disappear, it is a place where everyone is the same, it makes you sleep so well. I was greatly buoyed by the immediate openness and warmth of everyone in the sauna. They were genuinely excited that we were sauna researchers and promoters, there was no sense that they wanted to protect their culture or keep it for themselves.
Next, we went to the hottest room. This one was dark and very hot, and the mood was a little more serious. “The rule in this room,” Tuulikki said, “Is that you are allowed to throw as much Löyly as you want on the stove, and when it gets too hot, you just leave.” In most other saunas you ask the entire room before you throw more water on the rocks, usually when entering or leaving the room.
None of us lasted very long in this room, maybe 7 minutes. As we exited the sauna Tuulikki gravely pronounced, “And now, to the sea.”
The day was very windy and dramatic, and waves splashed as we walked the plank to the water. There was a line of red-cheeked naked ladies coming and going. They swim all year round, keeping a hole in the ice for jumping into in winter months. We dipped in off the ladder, unable to keep from laughing at the situation we were in. There we were, roasting ourselves, jumping into freezing water and enjoying every minute of it.
Next, we sat on the covered porch to continue cooling off and to watch the stormy view. Birch trees and red-berried branches whipped around in the wind. Tuulikki told us about her job and how stressful it could be over the years, and some days she thought she couldn’t take it anymore. “But then I come to sauna, and all of my troubles get smaller, and I feel good again, and I am able to go back and do my job, no problem.” We laughed and agreed, the sauna does seem to erase problems, or at least make them bearable again. We talked about the United States, and their growing but still lacking understanding of the full sauna experience. About how the hotel and gym saunas of America are really not related the the Finnish sauna experience, which is almost spiritual. Finnish children are taught to behave in the sauna as they would in church, with respect and reverence. It is common to not talk about politics or anything controversial, but to just enjoy the company of your fellow sauna-goers. Although saunas are sometimes used for business and political negotiations, the atmosphere leveling the playing field. Former president and Nobel peace prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari used sauna diplomacy - diplomatic meetings in the sauna - to move forward negotiations from Tanzania to Indonesia. During the Cold War, Urho Kekkonen - who served as president for 26 years - negotiated with Soviet diplomats in the sauna at his official residence.
Next, I was shown how to soak my birch branch in a bucket of hot water to use in the vihta-approved saunas, indicated by a wooden leaf on the door. We entered a third room, a wood fired sauna of moderate temperature. Tuulikki demonstrated the whipping of your skin with the branch, and “then you must ask a friend to do your back.” The birch branches stimulate circulation and make your skin tingly. I smacked at my legs a bit as Tuulikki told me that the others were commenting in Finnish on the nice smell the birch imparted to the sauna room. Anna whipped my back for me and I started to feel pretty local. While part of me threatened to feel envious that Finns had this deep heritage and ritual, I also felt a connection to the human experience of it, and like we were right where we were supposed to be.
This visit was an incredibly special experience that gave me faith that we are doing the right thing in spreading the sauna culture.
19.11.2013 Saunaseuraa kävi tervehtimässä Japanin saunaseuran 7 edustajaa ja he nauttivat löylyistä useita tunteja.
16.11.2013 Saunataloon kävi tutustumassa italialaisen sotalaivan Caio Duilio päällystön sekä Italian suurlähetystön edustajia.