As a Finn I’ve been very shaken up by the awful events in a fellow Nordic country, and felt I needed to say something about it here, even though I’ve barely been able to watch the coverage from Norway on TV or read the accounts of it in the newspapers and online.
First of all the bomb in Oslo, then the indescribably terrifying atrocities committed by one lunatic – surely Anders Behring Breivik must be mentally ill? – on the island of Utoya.
The peaceful holiday island where the massacre took place reminds me of my childhood summers spent by the lake, as well as of the many family holidays on the Aland islands. A place where you couldn’t imagine anything bad ever happening.
Then for the victims to be youngsters, with their whole lives in front of them. Both of my children have been to holiday camps in Finland, not political ones, but all the same. I cannot even begin to imagine what the families of these poor children, or young adults, must be going through.
In the face of these terrifying events, the people of Norway have shown such courage and stoicism, that one cannot but admire them. The Norwegian government has opened a book of condolences online, the link to it is here. I urge you to write something there – to show our support in this way is the only thing we can do to try to stop such atrocities from happening again.