Friday, September 3, 2010

R Y I J Y.....
Yup.....that is a REAL word and it really means something......

Wayne and I just bought one today and we are so loving it! It is very large.....larger than we had expected to be. We anticipated we would buy a 'small' RYIJY.....but you can see how big it is compared to our double sized bed....

And here is the 'story' Wayne share with all of our children in an e-mail about it......I thought it was cute:

You've NEVER seen a rug on a bed before? Well, this "rug" has never been on the FLOOR before. But then again, this is Finland, the land of ... the unusual.

So what it is, is a "ryijy." If you know you Finnish vowels, it's easy to pronounce (go back to "Finnish Lesson #1 a few days ago). Well, maybe this one is a little difficult. Start out by puckering your lips, then.... Oh, forget it. We'll teach you how to say it when we see you.

A ryijy is really a wall-hanging. They vary in size, and this is one of the larger ones. They date back several hundred years, and yes, they were originally designed to pull over you in the winter to keep you warm. The older designs have special meanings. Ours is entitled "Orb" (you know, that thing the king/queen of England holds in his/her hand -- a golden ball with a cross on top, mounted on a golden pole. It represents the world, the cross representing christianity, of course. It is symbolic of the king/queen being God's steward on earth to care for His people.) If you look closely, you can see the "orb" at the top of the ryijy, near the head of the bed.

Often a ryijy is made for a couple getting married. They kneel on it at the alter, and later hang it in their home as a reminder of the vows they made. It consists of thousands of knots, which are symbolic of the unrelenting work that goes into making a successful marriage.

This one was made 50 years ago (about the same time I was finishing up my mission here and Mom was graduating from high school), and has been hanging on the wall in Br. and Sis. Alakoski's home for that long, "witnessing," as Sis. Alakoski says, "many happy moments, as well as some not so happy." They have downsized and have no place to hang it now, and none of their children wanted it. She knew Mom was looking for a ryijy (although not quite so large), and thus offered it to us... for about 1/4 the price that it would cost new. It is very well made, of good material. Although it cost a little more than we had wanted to spend, it was a bargain (even I agreed with that!), and it now has a new home. Unfortunately we have no place to hang it here either, but we have a place picked out at home (above the stairs, by the family pictures).
(P.S.....Wayne just calculated that there are at least 42,000 knots in this RYIJI)
You can now appreciate this beautiful 'rug' even more. We can't wait to see it hanging in it's rightful place in our home when we get there.
And, also today.....we 'discovered' we lost a birch tree on the temple grounds. It apparently had a disease of some kind and succumbed to the winds that we were having.......bringing in the cold air from the North Pole (we were told). And the air certainly was cold. Winter is on it's sweet little way......

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