Wednesday, March 2, 2011

puukko knives

After my trip to Norway for fun, I went around Europe for work over two weeks with several co-workers. My last stop was Finland.  I happened to be in Finland when my hubby celebrated a very special birthday.  Without me.  For the second year in a row (I was also traveling for work for his birthday last year).

I asked one of my Finnish colleagues to suggest a good Finnish gift for a man and he told me about Puukko Knives - traditional Finnish hunting knives.  However, I was warned that it is bad to give someone a knife.  Rather, you must ask them to pay you some small token amount in exchange for the knife.  That way it is bought rather than given.  Apparently to give a knife sends the message that you want them to kill themselves with it - definitely not the message I want to send!  From wikipedia: "In Finland, receiving a puukko as a gift is considered as an honor."

I had a free day in Helsinki, so I headed to the basement of Stockman's (a big department store there) to make my purchase.  I got my hubby a beautiful knife with a waxed birch and reindeer bone handle (the "witch tooth knife") made by Marttini.  I made him give me $5 before he opened his gift. :)

puukko for my honey
One of my co-workers, who was leaving a day early, asked me to pick up two knives for his sons.  Puukko knives are apparently the knife of the Finnish boy scouts, and both of his boys were boy scouts and would think the gift was really cool.  I also got them knives made by Marttini with waxed birch handles.  Really beautiful knives.
puukkos for my co-workers sons
If you ever find yourself in Finland, you now know what makes a great (and practical) souvenir!  Just don't try to get into a hockey game while holding three in your purse - because that won't work... they check bags at the door.  From wikipedia "Openly carrying a puukko, while technically illegal is not vigorously enforced."


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