Deconstructing Identity

I’ve been reflecting on what a Finnish identity really means as an adoptee, while weaving a traditional Finnish textile pattern. This pattern is used for traditional Finnish costumes, and takes a very long time to produce. The materials and the technique are regulated by an organization that aims to preserve the traditional costumes of Finland. The number of stripes, the colors and the materials are all regulated.

When I started the process of weaving, I was reflecting a lot on my identity. I had a sort of fantasy that by weaving this cloth, I would feel like I belong. All of the time that I put down would make me accepted and let me feel like I belong. But during the process I noticed that I never felt like it was enough, and started to question why I even wanted to belong.

In the end, the whole idea of a Finnish traditional costume felt strange to me, and I realized that no matter how hard I wished, I could not reach my goal of belonging through weaving, and neither did I want to. I decided to destroy the cloth and combine it with another pattern, trying to find my place.