No Finnish child grows up without the Moomins. Tove Jansson (1914-2001) created these white roundish hippo-like characters in 1940’s and ever since they have been part of our childhood and communal memory – my parents read the books and comics when they were young and so did I. I love the philosophy of life of the Moomins: they accept others as they are, live close to nature and are eager to experience the world. So today I read Moomin books to my little children. My kids also watch the television animation made in early 90’s, wash their teeth with Moomin toothpaste, hug stuffed Moomin toys and eat from Moomin tableware.
The year 2014 is Jansson’s 100th anniversary. Tove Jansson is not only the mother of the Moomins, but she also wrote novels and was a great painter and illustrator. She was a bold figure and shared her life with the graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä. In her honor our main museum of art, Ateneum, will host a major centenary exhibition presenting Jansson’s impressive career as an artist, illustrator, political caricaturist, author and creator of the Moomin characters and stories. The exhibition opes in March and I can’t wait to go and see it!