Pyhäjoki & Neighbourhood

Katri Savukoski and her husband Ville Savukoski built a house in Pirttikoski eight years ago. Their children Aava and Otto represent the young power of the village. Ville’s parents live in the neighboring house of the farm that is a little over half a hectare in size, so grandma’s place is close by. Photos by Teija Soini

Pirttikoski village trusts in the future

The residents of Pirttikoski village believe in doing things together and having good interpersonal relations. Communality creates a shared feeling that Pirttikoski is a good place to live and raise your children.

Pyhäjoki River with its numerous rapids is one of the key characteristics of the scenery in Pirttikoski. The road winds its way towards Pirttikoski Elementary School, where the pupils have just finished their lunch break. Located on the upper floor of the school, the library is open. Downstairs in the main room, some of the residents are having coffee and chatting.

There is a delicious smell of coffee and warm pastries in the air.

“There are familiar faces here,” say the smiling Katinka Käyhkö, project manager of the Welcome to Pyhäjoki project, and Tanja Ryymin, project coordinator.

There are 329 residents in Pirttikoski. Despite its small size, the village is full of vitality and a hopeful attitude towards the future. The Hanhikivi 1 project has already brought new jobs, new residents, and returning residents to Pyhäjoki. Some of them have settled down in Pirttikoski.

There are only five dairy farms left in the village, but the volume of cultivated land has increased. The municipality of Pyhäjoki and the service industry offer employment. Some of the residents work at the SSAB in Raahe.

Something for everybody

The vitality is first and foremost reflected in the wealth of events arranged in the village. The local women arrange monthly get-togethers where they chat while enjoying some coffee and pastries. Everybody is welcome, regardless of their age. The youngest member of the club of rural women is 23.

When a larger event is arranged, different associations – such as the Pirttikoski village association, Pirttikoski rural women’s club, and Pirttikoski hunting club – join forces.

One of the important events is Iltavilli, a summertime event to which all of the residents are invited to spend an evening together.

Welcome old and new residents, say Outi Helaakoski (left), Laura Salmela, and Ahti Helaakoski from Pirttikoski. They love it in their village.

In the wintertime, trips to trade fairs and theaters are arranged. A declaration of winter peace is arranged before the holiday season, and a skiing track from the parish village to Pirttikoski is made in late winter. In addition, the local ice rink hosts many an ice hockey game.

There is plenty to do in downtown Pyhäjoki as well, and it is only eight kilometers away.

As everybody knows each other, the support network is strong.

“If someone who lives alone does not open their curtains in the morning, someone will knock on their door to make sure that everything is fine,” says Tiina Tiirola, secretary of the Pirttikoski village association.

Curious minds

People in Pirttikoski have followed the progress of the Hanhikivi 1 project with great interest. They hope that the project will bring new people and new ideas to the village.

“Everybody is welcome! Hopefully we are also able to show that,” Tiirola says.

The crowd having afternoon coffee believes that the attitude of most elderly people towards the future changes is positively curious. For example, Tiirola’s 82-year-old mother Tuulikki Mattila is quite happy to communicate by means of body language with people who do not speak Finnish

There are 36 pupils in Pirttikoski Elementary School. The children come to school in a school bus. Those who live close by come on foot or by bike. There is an ice rink in the yard of the school where you can play floorball, for example. Veera Tuuttila is the goalie this time.
Siiri Kesti, 3, tags along when her big sister Ella Kesti rides the family horse, Oiva. The Kesti family moved to Pirttikoski from downtown Pyhäjoki a couple of years ago. “The peace and quiet of the countryside is the best,” says Veera Kesti, who works at Raahe Hospital.
Outi and Ahti Helaakoski live right on the bank of Pyhäjoki River. Last fall, the couple participated in the Let’s Eat Together! event. They enjoyed themselves even though they did not have a common language with some of the participants.
Outi and Ahti Helaakoski live right on the bank of Pyhäjoki River. Last fall, the couple participated in the Let’s Eat Together! event. They enjoyed themselves even though they did not have a common language with some of the participants.
Every month, the villagers come together for afternoon coffee. Downstairs of the local school, Erkki Ojanaho (back left); Pekka Oravisjärvi, Laura Salmela and Kirsti Haapakoski (front left); as well as Maija-Liisa Haapakoski and Outi Helaakoski are having some coffee. A weekly handicraft club also meets in the same place.

 

Pyhäjoki & Neighbourhood

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