Ryhmä lapsia istuu kelkkojen päällä tai vetää kelkkoja lumessa. Kaksi aikuista on mukana. Mustavalkoinen kuva. A group of children sits on sledges or pull them in the snow. Two adults are with them. Black and white picture.

Children on a sledging slope, 1957–1961.

Picture: Teuvo Kanerva, Historical Picture Collection, The Finnish Heritage Agency

When I came to Finland, it was winter. When I look at this picture, I remember my first winter day trip – it was when I’d arrived in Rovaniemi in Finland. The Social Services organised a day trip and many families participated. Everybody went cross-country skiing and sledging together. It was a cold, but really fun day. I tried skiing but I fell down probably a thousand times. Everybody kept falling down, we helped each other up, and fell again. But it was so much fun and falling didn’t hurt because of the snow!

I’d never seen so much snow in Afghanistan, or skiing and sledging like that. The kids got to borrow skiing gear from their school, and later we bought them their own equipment. They’d often go cross-country skiing in their spare time. It does snow in Afghanistan, but never so much. Rovaniemi was so snowy that it never got dark. Because of the snow, it was always bright.

Atai Shokriya