Mixing traditions of different cultures during the holidays

Jason Lepojärvi has only been living in northern Ontario for a few months but it’s starting to feel like home.
Jason Lepojärvi recently moved to Canada from Finland to be an associate professor at Thorneloe University in Sudbury. Lepojärvi has a lot to share about Christmas traditions in his homeland. (Waubgesghig Rice/CBC)

Jason Lepojärvi has only been living in northern Ontario for a few months but it's starting to feel like home.

Lepojärvi came to Sudbury to work at Thorneloe University as a professor of religious studies from Finland. Northern Ontario is home to many people of Finnish descent. Growing up, he had a taste of both cultures as his mother was Canadian.

The result? A mix of Finnish and Canadian traditions during the holidays.

"In Finland, we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, that's the big day," he said.

"In the Germanic tradition you open the presents on Christmas Eve."

He says that did cause tension growing up as his Canadian mother tried to implement the North American model.

"But we did have stockings, unlike Finns," he said.

"It's not a Finnish tradition to have stockings. So that was a Canadian innovation that my mother infiltrated."

Listen to his entire conversation with Up North host Waubgeshig Rice:

With files from Waubgeshig Rice


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