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ICQ stupidities (NEW!)

Q: What does AINUR mean?
A: Ainur is a Tatar name. It means "moonlight" or "moonbeam". The spelling is peculiar for Finnish Tatars. Usually Tatars spell it Aynur, and this name is also quite common in Turkey and among other peoples in the Caucasus and Central Asia (read more about their mythology). It is gender-neutral. It has nothing to do with Tolkien, although I enjoy the fact that it means "the Holy Ones" (in plural!) in Quenya.

Q: What does ELMGREN mean?
A: It is a Swedish name and it means "elm branch". More details here.

Q: How old are you?
A: I was born on March 20th in 1979. Do the math. Sometimes I feel like a hundred years.

Q: XX or XY?
A: XX.

Q: What is your occupation?
A: I'm a Ph.D. student in history at Lund University, Sweden. I spend most of my days at the Department of History. I also draw cartoons and illustrations for various publications (as well as for my own private delight). Clients include the students' magazine Lundagård. Additionally, I write reviews of comic fanzines for Bild & Bubbla.

Q: Where do you come from?
A: Many people ask this and expect an easy answer. The truth is, as always, much more complex.

I was born in Gislaved, Sweden. My father's job caused us to move to Hannover, Germany, where I spent my early teens (1991-1995). Next time, it was my mother's turn to choose country, and we moved to Urjala, Finland. I went to high school at Väinö Linnan Lukio. After graduating, I was determined to attend Lund University, and I moved to Sweden with my mother and sister in 1997.

Below, a map of my family's travels through the centuries. My paternal great-grandparents were Tatars - an ethnic minority in Russia with a long story of their own. My mother's family is genuinely Finnish (from the province of Häme), with the occasional Gypsy and Finland-Swedish sprinkle. In the 1970's, my parents met and left Finland.

Q: What languages do you speak?
A: I'm fluent in Finnish, Swedish, English and German. I understand Danish and Norwegian reasonably well. I know a little Russian, French, Italian, and Japanese. I have also studied Latin.

Q: What do you look like?
A: I stand 163 cm tall and I weigh 53-55 kg, depending on how much I have stuffed myself at doctoral school. My eyes and hair are dark brown. Draw your own conclusions from these pictures. If you crave more, there is always

Q: I think you are interesting/annoying and I want to talk to you/spam you/flame you. How can I get in touch?
A: Read more details here.


I'm a citizen of Sweden since 2000. I'm considering to apply for a double citizenship. Finland has a limited offer for former citizens to get their passport back. Double citizenship was made possible for Finns as late as 2003.

Q: Do you feel more Finnish, Swedish, or Tatar, or something?

A: Boy, I get this a LOT. I don't really feel any national differences inside. However, hanging around with Swedes can make me feel more Finnish in resistance, and dealing with Finns makes me identify more with Swedishness - until I escape to the safe and exotic haven of my 25% of Tatar blood and my 4 efficient years in Germany.

ComicsArtPhotoMeProjectsFinlandCute Guys in History

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