While Culture Shock was going on, we had guests staying at the hotel who had been stranded in town while they waited for their boat to be repaired. Towards the end of their stay, one of the men said how much he likes Sointula. He said that where he lives now, when you run into bad luck no one really cares. No matter how desperate you are, everybody pays the same price- nobody gets a break.
He said it was different here. In Sointula, everyone did everything possible to help, with no expectation of return. People tried to give good deals and bent over backwards to help in any way they could. He said Sointula was friendly and refreshing and one day he hopes to move here.
The next day, as I read through the notes about the play “Sointula”, one line reminded me of the above conversation. Kurikka describes a ‘large and benevolent communal space that is just ahead of them…”. “It is a space in which all spontaneously will and do good to each other.”
It seems that some of those values that were so important to him are still important to many people who live here today. It is evident to many residents and visitors that this is a special place. The play says Kurikka died feeling like a failure, but I hope that somehow he knows that some of his dream is still alive and being lived out every day in Sointula.