”Jos pidät minusta lupaat poimia minulle kaikki tuikkivat tähdet tummalta taivaankannelta. Jos pidät minusta oikein paljon, lupaat noutaa minulle hopeisen kuun taivaalta. Mutta jos rakastat minua et tee turhia lupauksia.” - Nyyti
Okay so I was a Finnish kid in the 90′s so of course Moomins were a big part of me growing up. Especially the 90′s cartoon.
But I also read the books, although the anime was my first introduction to Moomins. The thing with tiny Lieju was that I had only a very vague grasp of gender and had the tendency to assume characters probably had no gender or it wasn’t important lot of the time, or that they were girls because why not (which is why I still to this day consider Leonardo from TMNT to be a girl). Finnish language can be really vague about gender due to our lack of gendered pronouns. In the names like ‘Muumipappa, (Moominpappa)’ or Niiskuneiti (Snorksmaiden) the gender was made obvious by the name but something like Nuuskamuikkunen (Snufkin) was not, and I was rubbish at reading cues like voice so I just assumed they were not a guy.
Until in kindergarten I told the kids I wanted to be Nuuskamuikkunen and was bullied over it because he’s a dude and I picked Snorksmaiden as my fake fave because she was acceptable and had pretty jewelry and I’m a sucker for shiny things.
My bad reading of gender also brought me the first lesbian couple I ever remember seeing in anything though.
There is a picture book called ‘Kuka lohduttaisi Nyytiä?’ Which is a story about Nyyti who looks like this.
Nyyti is referred to as a guy in the swedish text but in Finnish it’s vague, and I just assumed Nyyti was a she. She is lonely in a lonely house, and I identified with her.
So then the story is about her going on a journey to find happiness, and she eventually finds Tuittu, who looks like this:
And the book is a bit more vague about it but the animated adaptation is even more explicitly romantic (since they kiss which I don’t think happens in the book where it ends with them moving together)
And the… I guess 7-year old me figured Tuittu looked female so if they were a couple then Nyyti was a boy probably… Which was oddly disappointing.
But then I very vividly remember thinking ‘but what if they are both girls? What if they are girls who kiss each other and move into a house together and live happily ever after?
And the idea made me really happy even though I really didn’t understand why for years.
This picture was kind of tricky to make suitable for tattooing because of the satchels black and white pattern. The tattooer (Reetta from Liskogalleria, Helsinki) was easy to work with and the (maybe) finished piece is wonderful!
The original art is from Tove Janssons story and illustration Who would comfort Toffle? I left the tag empty, so that i can fill it with something important in the future. I also might give some touch up to it later, it would look a bit better with darker colors! It’s a fine project, having a tattoo.
Jos pidät minusta
lupaat poimia minulle
kaikki tuikkivat tähdet
Jos pidät minusta oikein paljon
lupaat noutaa minulle
hopeisen kuun taivaalta.
Mutta jos rakastat minua
et tee turhia lupauksia.