March 19 is dedicated to Minna Canth and equality. Writer Minna Canth was the first woman to be given an official flag-raising day in Finland.
Minna Canth was the first Finnish-speaking female writer and the most notable Finnish-speaking play writer since Aleksis Kivi. She learned to observe life and its various phenomena in a very realistic way, full of social criticism and from a female perspective. She published ten theatre plays, seven short stories, various other stories, newspaper articles and a number of speeches. More than five hundred private letters written by her have also been published.
In addition, she was the first Finnish-speaking female journalist. In the early 1870’s, lector Canth began to edit the newspaper Keski-Suomi assisted by his wife. Minna Canth wrote more than eighty articles, speeches or lectures, which were published in various newspapers and magazines.
Her writing style was sharp and she took a clear stand on various issues. In her writings, she discussed temperance, female perspective, freedom of religion, the role of the Finnish language, socialism and gender ethics.
She took part in the social discussion both as a writer and a journalist. Mastering various foreign languages and with her curious character, she was a mediator of new European ideas and she also was an important opinion leader in Finland of that time.
Minna Canth died of a heart attack only at the age of 53 in 1897. In 2003, she was the first Finnish woman to be given an official flag-raising day. This flagging day on her birthday was also appointed the celebration day of equality.