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					Final seminar of DESERVE 27.9.2007 TIPASOJA VILLAGE (draft of the speech) To truly understand life today and the meaning of working together, we have to be aware of our past and the happenings of our history. The vitality of Tipasoja village has, during the history, been maintained by agriculture. Until 1950’s nearly all households had a little piece of land and some cows (1 – 4). Life was nearly selfsufficient. Roads were very bad or there were none, and people used water routes when travelling. Pine tar production, by burning, brought some extra income during the 19th century but, due to the decreased demand of pine tar, forest work during winter time and log floating during summer time replaced it. All more expensive machinery in agriculture were owned together, like motor, threshing machine, saw, corn sorter and machine for processing linen, etc. Aid from neighbours was necessary for living. Associations of Farmers and Rural Women took care of the professional training, and Tipasoja school, founded in 1890’s, was in charge of education; and sometimes with a heavy hand, too, if pupils ran away for work. In 1940’s there were years of war, which stopped the development. The people from Tipasoja were evacuated to Ostro-Bothnia. When the war finished, men who returned from the fronts, were both physically and mentally injured. In 1950’s an indemnity to the victors had to be paid. Huge loggings sites offered jobs to the countryside. The population was at its highest in 1950’s and 1960’s, and for example in the school of Tipasoja there were more than 100 pupils. Families were big ones, and having 6 – 8 children was quite normal. The home areas were built and there was a strong hope for future. Work in the rural areas, too, started to become mechanized. The first tractors were most often owned collectively by several farms. Getting wealthy meant that horses were replaced by tractors and the technical revolution conquered also Tipasoja. Big logging sites were mechanized, and roads were built to every corner of the village. The logging sites did not need a huge amount of working men, and the number of the sites went down after finishing the payments of the indemnity to the war victors. The trees had been felled down. Many villages were depopulated because people had moved to places where jobs existed … most of them emigrated to Sweden. What happened to Tipasoja? Many houses became unoccupied, especially around Nimisenkangas. The farmers had, fortunately, invested the money they had got from the forest work in the development of their farms and had at least something to carry on with. The farms of 1970’s were not big ones, having about ten milking cows and 15 hectares of field. Aid from the neighbours was still necessary and many machines were still owned collectively. The village movement - as it is nowadays understood – started to develop. Amongst the first joint voluntary work undertakings was the building of Tipaspohja dancing place. In 1970’s a Finnish baseball field was built at Tipasoja school. In 1980’s a ski track with lightning and a route of ski tracks were built. A village development committee was founded with summer happenings and smaller voluntary work undertakings during the 1990’s, for example cleaning up the roadsides, building up swimming beaches at the lakes, maintenance of the places etc.. During the 2000’s the neighbourly spirit has been revived and, for example, some of the buildings of the school have been renovated. The village of Tipasoja just refused to die even though the last village shop closed in 1995.

Tipasoja in year 2007 We have already had village development activities for 100 years. The Tipasoja Association of Farmers was founded in 1907, the name of which was changed into the Village Association of Tipasoja 3 years ago; in practice this meant that the village movement committee and the association of farmers were united. Tipasoja, unlike very many other villages nowadays, has still a lot of agriculture. There are 12 farms producing milk, 3 farms producing corn etc. (without any livestock) and 2 farms producing meat (cattle), and 1 garden enterprise. About 80 % of the arable land that is in production in Tipasoja is in the organic production. Some of the farmers are specialized in producing services to other farm entrepreneurs, as contractors in harvesting, manure field, ploughing and sowing. The livestock producers can then use their own resources in developing the core of their productive activities among the livestock. Altogether there are 136 permanently resident households and about 120 summer cottages. The structure of livelihoods is versatile, but a big amount of people in their working ages are entrepreneurs. The working places of the residents are mainly in the centres of Sotkamo and Kajaani. Abilities to carry out tasks together, getting help from the neighbours and making voluntary work are still alive. This is a tradition that we want to transfer to our children, too. This so called voluntary work, carried on without wages, in order to increase joint well being and joy, is definitely the strength of our village. Very many villages unfortunately nowadays wait for what ready-made is given to them. With the idea “if somebody would make it for us, we would then use it” one cannot feel well for long. One cannot appreciate ready-made things, and one misses the memories, experiences of life, and the joy of making things together. Of course, life would be much easier if one would just take care of his or her own jobs, and would not care of other issues. But… what, then, would we have now? At least this part of Sotkamo would have changed into a desert where wolves would be running without any problem. What kinds of activities the voluntary work of Tipasoja village association includes? Neighbours help each others in every level. No money is taken! Voluntary work: Skating field, maintenance works etc. Defending the civilian rights: an appeal was made against the actions of municipality 2006 Teaching younger generations, for example Info map Taking the young especially into account, airsoft, meeting places for young etc. Development and maintenance of the school Summer happenings, Wolf Howling Games, in other name TipasHowling, at the national park of Hiidenportti Listening to each other, sharing the sorrows Producing joy (let’s go for a dance….) = satisfying the social needs Trips, Theatre, Concerts etc. Collecting money for certain purposes - Bazaars, issues of shares, raffles, Kekri-buck, scrap metal etc. Collecting money for the school trips Social events for elderly people Taking care of the environment, cleaning up the roadsides Getting new residents to the village, Stock market of Plots, Telling positive issues about our village, Image Creation of new services. ELMO-project Documentary Trainings Tipas newspaper

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