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Stundars Friends

The Talko people Topp

It is said that the talko people is a dying species. That we, the modern people, no longer have time to engage in volunteer work. That we are too full of ourselves and of our own lives. Just like any other association in Ostrobothnia, Stundars is depending on people willingness to give of their time for a good cause. People who cook our famous ”Nugget Soup”, people laying wooden shingles on leaking roofs and people serving coffee or prevent traffic jams in the parking lot. And just like for any other association, the real challenge is to find new talko-men and -women. In the 1970’s, everybody put in the hours, week after week, year after year. But that’s not the case anymore. Although the website’s Click here-button signals that the opportunity lies but a button-click away, is not that frequently used, Stundars have hope for the future. With a warm heart, they hear the talko people still accept the invitations and turn up when help is needed. It’s not like in the old days, but what is anymore, really?

Still, there are constant thought on which of the values of volunteer work that is to be promoted to make talko a resource you can still count on. Two loyal talko-workers, Håkan Hyöty and Margit Syring, takes a moment to think through why they volunteer year after year. Frankly they state that according to them, that is simply expected of them. They can’t say no. They can’t get out of it either. But then, it turns out than its a lot more fun than you’d think. – It’s always nicer to do things together. We’ve gotten a lot of new friends amongst the talko people. And you meet a lot of familiar faces amongst the visitor at the events. It’s a bit like going to church when people come to Stundars, they aren’t in a hurry. They take the time to chat. And yes, we confess, we do feel proud looking out over Stundars, knowing that we have been a part of its construction. That we have been and are allowed to be part of it all. In a way, Stundars is a part of our lives, just as we are a part of Stundars.

”And suddenly, I had to cook the red ochre paint. Me, who never was that much of a cook!”

Uno Sand

Let’s return to the question of what would make talko work popular again. Because while it is stated that we are quite busy with our own lives, the modern man is also described as a seeker. A seeker of the possibility to be part of something bigger. A seeker of a community to belong to. A seeker of a place where we can belong, and a group to be a member of, if only for a short while now and then. And maybe that is exactly what’s needed to entice the talko people to give of their time and efforts: the connection to others, the laughter, the new acquaintances. Just like it has been, and still is for Håkan, Margit and all the other volunteers at Stundars. That’s why it’s important to make time for each other. When the talko effort is at its greatest, there is seldom time for more than a few words to each other, but before and after, and at the annual Talkokaffe there is no hurry or pressure. Then, there is time to sort out who’s related to who – something oh so important in Ostrobothnia. And you have time to talk about who’s dead and who gave birth, where it hurts and who’s done what. Here, you have the time to socialize in the literal sense of the word. And that is when you think: oh, how wonderful it is to do things together!

Text: Maria Österåker in the book ”Stundars” from 2013

Föreningen Stundars rf – the Stundars Association Topp

Stundars open-air museum is maintained by Stundars r.f, a volunteer organisation with about 250 members. Stundars is open for everyone interested in museum operations, our built heritage, traditional crafts and local history.

The membership fee is 15 €/year. Through your membership, you support all operations at Stundars, and you get newsletters and the magazine Hembygden.

Be a Stundars volunteer – take part in the “talko” tradition! Topp

There are those that claim that volunteering and the Finnish way of doing community work is one reason as to why the Finns are the happiest people on Earth. Through volunteer work, you feel social belonging, generosity and that what you do makes a difference.

Do you want to take part in a meaningful activity?
Do you want to meet new people?
Do you want to learn new things?
Do you appreciate nice surroundings?

If so, you are very much welcome as a “talko”-worker at Stundars museum!

At Stundars, there is at least 10 different events every year, big and small, but together they attract thousands of visitors. Only with the help of our volunteers are we managing to direct cars at the parking lots, serve coffee and our famous sugared pastries called “jam pigs”, barbeque the mandatory sausages and so on. We also have a great bunch of artisans, craftsmen and craftswomen doing craft demonstrations or taking part in our pedagogical activities. And it’s simply more fun doing it all together.

Interested? Please contact us! Topp

You can fill out this form and we’ll e-mail, text or call you.

You can also use this form to update your membership details. If you’d like to get our newsletters, please give us your e-mail address.