My faithful readers, here is your history lesson for today:
On November 30th, 1939, before he knew Hitler was going to betray him and not honor the Ribbentrop pact, Stalin attacked its Northeastern neighbor Finland. What he thought was going to be a piece of cake and matter of a few days turned out to be one of the bloodiest and toughest battles of all times. What is known as the Winter War, during the next 104 days the Finns put up an incredible fight. It was the coldest winter of the century and Stalin's army wasn't prepared to meet the enemy that climbed up into the trees in their white camouflage outfits, and caused absolute havoc, shooting from where they couldn't be seen from the white snow, destroying their enemies in hoardes. Although the Soviet Union wouldn't give an accurate number of their fallen, some estimates put the count at 1 million vs. 20,000 Finnish casualties. The entire Red Army was aimed at little Finland who was fighting without anyone's help. This was a most humiliating turn of events for Stalin and an example of what the Finnish word sisu means.
In more modern times, my countrymen have won praise for being the most honest and least corrupt people in today's world. They also excel in producing fabulous musicians: composers, instrumentalists, singers and especially orchestra conductors. Not bad for a nation whose population is considerably less than that of Washington State.
I am darn proud of my roots and the mandate it gives me to defend what is right.
Incidentally, my last name "Talvi" translates as "Winter".