Jussi paita: The Ostrobothnian Uniform

Season 2 Episode 30

Student Film-makers Tytti & Onni tell me about the origins and history of the Jussi paita, plus what they learned while making their documentary ‘Pohjanmaan univormu’ (Ostrobothnian Uniform).

Guests: Tytti Kuusinen & Onni Venäläinen, Film-makers

Download an MP3 file of Episode 30 – Jussi paita: Ostrobothnia’s Uniform

Show Notes

Featured image: Jussipaita 20190226 by Santeri Viinamäki / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) LINK

First designed for the movie ‘Pohjalaisia’ in 1925, where it was worn  by the character Jussi, after whom the design then took its name. The ‘Jussi pattern’ consists of a row of diamonds, with a line above and another below. The diamonds represent traditional Finnish cabins, and the lines are the fields, or plains, of Ostrobothnia.

The Original Jussi and his paita

Black & white still image from the movie Pojalaisia. Image: www.elokuvauutiset.fi
Einar Rinne (left) ja Oiva Soini as Jussi (right)
Image: http://www.elokuvauutiset.fi

Traditionally wine-red and grey, but nowadays anything goes, almost. Nowadays, the Jussi styling is ever-popular, and is used by many manufacturers in product branding, as it is likely to drive sales of merchandise. It’s popularity has been spread across Finland by The Dudesons, a danger-loving, stunt group from Seinäjoki, who have the logo tattooed around their arms.

Jukka Dudeson and his paita

Jukka Dudeson Tattoo
And his tattoo!

There was once an alternative, blue and grey, version which was created by the (defunct) right-wing group Lapuan liikke, and was named the Antti paita. We briefly mention Ricky Gervais’ character Derek, who regularly wears a cardigan that looks very much like the Jussi paita

Derek and his paita (available on Netflix)

Actor Ricky Gervais behind the scenes filming of series Derek Sept 2012
Actor Ricky Gervais behind the scenes filming of series Derek
Sept 2012

Pohjanmaan univormu: Full-length documentary on YouTube

Finnish words in this Episode

  • Paita – shirt
  • Etelä-Pohjanmaa – the South Ostrobothnia region of Finland
  • Pohjalainen – A person from Pohjanmaa
  • Pohjalaisia – People from Pohjanmaa
  • Juha Mieto – Olympic competitor & medal winner in 1970s and ’80s
    • Pictured here in his Jussi paita


Next episode –  Beer ‘Appreciation’ at Mallaskoski Brewery

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