Almost related to a famous mental patient

I am taking part on the Scintilla Project, a fortnight of story sharing. During these two weeks I will be writing personal stories inspired by the daily prompts given by the project. For the inconvenience of other participants I will be writing in English. Find out more about the Scintilla Project at http://www.scintillaproject.com.

This is a story inspired by Day 9 prompt:
What is the longest thing you know by heart (for example, a prayer, speech, commercial jingle, etc.)? Why did you learn it?

I don’t know if it’s a longest thing that I know by heart but it sure makes people stare at me a long time when I say it aloud. It’s a phrase that explains how I’m related to famous Finnish author Aleksis Kivi.

In Finnish it goes like this: “Isän äidin äidin siskon miehen siskon mies oli Aleksis Kiven veljenpoika Arvid Stenvall.”

In English: “My father’s mother’s mother’s sister’s husband’s sister’s husband was Aleksis Kivi’s nephew Arvid Stenvall.”
Aleksis Kivi


My aunt who has an astonishing ability to remember poems, verses, quotes and lyrics for every occasion taught this phrase to me. I don’t know how she ended up with this genealogy but I trust it to be true.

I like to explain myself that this somewhat far-fetched connection to a creator of Finnish modern literature explains my love for reading and for the art of writing. I love to think that there is a tiny bit of a writer in myself thanks to this distant relation.
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