This is the story of Tuula Rintala, a Finnish woman. It will be your story during this activity.

My name is Tuula Rintala. I live here on my parents' farm, just outside the town of Turku. I just celebrated my 22nd birthday last week. It has been a very emotional week for me.

Let me explain.

My fiancé, Matti, has finally sent me the letter I have waited for. He went to live in Alberta 3 years ago. 3 years I have waited for him to arrange things for us to marry in our Lutheran church and go to live in Canada. And now it seems as if we are ready.

Matti's parents, like mine, are poor farmers here in Finland. We just can't seem to make a decent living on our land here. When Matti wanted to buy some land, there was none he could afford in our country. He knew he would have to leave.

He had other important reasons for leaving, too. These I have heard many times in our house: the Russians are running our country. They have passed laws forcing Finnish boys to serve for mans years in the Russian army. They want Finnish children to use only the Russian language in school. The Russian laws prohibit free speech. Our Finnish newspapers are censored. No wonder Matti was ready to listen when the agents from Canada came to Turku. He didn't want to serve in the Russian army. He signed up for Canada at once, sailed away and worked in a coal mine at Canmore in Alberta. Now, after 3 years, Matti has earned enough money for us to settle there.

Matti's letter says he'll be arriving in a few weeks. Then we can marry and move to Alberta to begin our new lives. Matti can go back to work in the mine and I can raise a family. Maybe we can buy a ranch or farm someday. It seems like the solution to our problems here in Finland.

I wonder?