Last summer the Nordic Seminar took place in Tuusula (Finland). Jurjen and Elena are sharing their experiences below. Photo by Bal Parkash.
Jurjen de Jong writes:
A few years ago, I heard for the first time about the Nordic Seminars. However, due to the pandemic, it was a few times postponed. So, this year I had finally the chance to attend my first Nordic Seminar! The positive stories turned out to be true, as I had an amazing weekend with lovely people. It is always great to spend time in a bubble of people who stutter, as you can experience a world for a short time where having a stutter is the norm, versus a world where speaking fluent is the norm.
The Nordic Seminar in Finland had a nice mix between workshops and social/relaxation events. Of course, you haven’t been in Finland if you haven’t been in a sauna and swam in a lake, so I was very happy that this was a major part of the Saturday afternoon program. The team building during the church boat rowing was also great fun. Because there was also a lot of free time, I never felt any rush or pressure to attend any part of the conference and it also gave space to make your own plans and play for example with a few people a football game on an invented football field.
People sometimes say that the more north you go, the worse the food becomes, but I think that this year’s Nordic Seminar organization showed a strong counter-proof, as the food was great and our bellies were perfectly filled until every next meal. For me personally, it was also very special that my sister came to visit. Although she does not stutter, she felt as at home as me.
If what the Finnish stuttering association performed organizationally is going to be the standard for any future Nordic Seminar, you can count me for sure in! I want to, therefore, thank the Finnish association a lot for organizing this Nordic Seminar.
animation by @JustStutter
Elena Molina Aragüez (Spain) writes:
The first time I heard about the Nordic Seminar was by a friend, Sergio, one of the participants from Spain of the YE 2022, Satu told him about it, so he became interested in it and he encouraged me also to apply. At the beginning there were no places available, but one person canceled and I could get in.
Being in the Seminar was a really special experience, because it was multicultural and gave me the opportunity of speaking in English with less stress. Every time I go to a place where many people stutter I realize again that we are a lot of people in the world, we stutter, yes, so what? I liked also that this seminar was not only a place for people who stutter but also for the ones who were interested in knowing more about it from the inside. I loved sharing time with them too. About the program, I found it perfect, because we had time for everything: talk, laugh, cry, dance, playing traditional games, that was really really fun, etc. I didn’t expect to like so much the conference that we had on Saturday morning, but it was really interesting and touching. But, for me, the most surprising thing was experiencing the sauna and the lake, it was just awesome, something I will never forget. The area where we were staying were lovely, surrounded by nature, and the food, amazing. And talking about all the organizers, what can I say, I like finish culture and finish people, I want to come back.
I also took the choice of joining the after excursion, that gave me the opportunity to get to know a bit more Finland, and also I extended my visit for a few more days. I love nature and Finland is simply beautiful.