Strangerless DNA journey

Have you ever wondered where your roots are, where your ancestors come from? I sure have. Why? Because A) our family history from my father’s side is quite blurry, B) strangers in Finland often tend to speak to me in English, saying I don’t look like a Finn (whatever that means…) and C) I feel so at home in Latin countries, I wonder if there’s any historic explanation to it (my dad loves to tell the story of a French organ grinder’s blood running in his veins). So, guess what? I’ve decided to do a DNA test!

At home in the Latin world

I’m a firm believer in past lives. Therefore, I don’t find it all that strange that you can feel very much at home a place you’ve never been to, with people you’ve never ever met before. As for myself, I feel such a strong connection to Italy, Spain, Portugal, South America etc., I feel half of me has always been to these countries (well, I have spent a big part of my adult life in Italy). Yet, although some connections could stem from a previous life, some could actually be explained historically, right? So, why not find out if there’s any Latina in me!

It seems that most people in this world either try to make themselves more exotic or more pure, especially nowadays. It’s funny, but it’s a common trend to be of e.g. “gypsy blood” or “native American”. People love to relate to the nomadic lifestyle of the gypsies and somehow want to emphasize this with “having it in their blood”. The same goes for the ancient indigenous cultures of the Western world. It gives value to our present to be offspring of people who actually used to connect with nature and spirits.

The homogenous people of Finland

According to research, Finland is one of the most genetically homogenous countries in the whole world (although the nationalistic identity created after the wars is definitely just a myth feeding racism). The Ugro-Finnish languages apparently come from the Ural mountain region, which we nowadays know as Russia. Yet, the history of the Finnish people is still somewhat unclear. Some research even says, Finns have nothing to do with other Europeans. Whatever the case, I find it fascinating to be from an isolated country, which has only recently (in 1990’s) started having more outside influence.

However, an alarming trend in Finland, and in Europe in general, are nationalist movements, which claim to be pure blood – such as e.g. “True Finns” (as is the name of a nationalist party in Finland). These people loath immigrants and foreigners, and strive towards a clear distinction between us and them. I’m not sure if I wish for any True Finn to do a DNA test, as I fear they might prove just as pure blooded as they think. Yet, most of the time people tend to hate others, although they might actually have more of this so-called other in their genes than what they may even be aware of.

Momondo and the DNA Journey

In 2016, the flight search engine momondo.com launched an amazing campaign called the DNA Journey (which was repeated in 2017). The point was to give out free DNA tests to random people, of which one would win a journey to the countries his/her DNA was from. The best part of this campaign was a video of a group of 67 people who were going to do the test. In the first part of the video they explained, for example, who they disliked in the world (e.g. “I hate Germans”). The second part showed their reactions to their own DNA results. The idea of the campaign, according to momondo, was to show people that “there are more things uniting us, than dividing us”. The campaign was repeated in 2017.

Today I, myself, am feeling very overwhelmed and happy. Why? Because thanks to a random post of mine on Facebook, momondo has offered to provide me with a DNA kit!! If my love for this company wasn’t already big enough to start with (because I always book all my flights through momondo and no, they do not pay me to say this!), it has now grown into immense (gladly, the love is reciprocal, though).

Strangerless DNA journey

As I have no words to express my gratitude towards this act of kindness from momondo, I’ve decided to go ahead and make my very own Strangerless DNA journey video to thank them. And, of course, for you to be able to join me on this exciting journey towards the past. (Aaaargh! Why can’t I have the results already?!)!

Thank you so much, momondo!!

Written by Sissi Korhonen

Fascinated by meeting, interpreting and understanding people. Strangerless at soul and heart.