Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius

Silentium Rurale – Hiljaisuudesta hyvinvointia, elinvoimaa ja liiketoimintaa (Silentium Rurale – Silence as a source for welfare, vitality and business activity)

by Päivi Vuorio last modified Feb 07, 2014 02:07 PM

In daily human interaction silence and being silent are often interpreted as negative characteristics. Virtues of the postmodern work culture require social activity and continuous communication. During recent years, there has been an increasing demand for some alternatives to balance a busy and hyper-social life style. This has lead to the situation where people tend to search for deeper understanding of their values and consumer based manners.

There is a certain shift of attitudes which has turned people toward more spiritual leisure activities, for example, many are interested in meditation, rural cultures and history, physical training, pilgrimage and above all, many are keen to search “silent” and “meaningful” intimate space. This has created demand for therapeutic affordances of rural landscapes.

In a narrow meaning, the word silence is understood soundlessness and noiselessness. In a wider humanistic context, silence is positioned as a possibility for individuals to listen one’s inner and calm down. This kind of wider interpretation of silence can include also abstaining from the forced visual culture and constant background noise of media.

The Finnish countryside offers possibilities for silence and tranquillity according to both narrow and wide meaning. In rural resorts, there can be found ultimate sense of space, nature experiences, noiselessness and physical terrain which is suitable for different kind of activities. Rural areas are also retreats containing rich rural culture, events and local history.

In this research, it will be studied what kind of silent based affordances and amenities can be developed and promoted in rural areas, and what kind of surprising opportunities the context of silence can bring forth. Also theoretical ideas related to silence, defining and categorizing of silence and general conceptualising of silence will be addressed.

The aim of the study is to produce new research information concerning the direct or indirect possibilities based on a “silence reserves” of the Finnish countryside. In this way, the research project will also present some fresh ideas and seeds for tentative entrepreneurial models.

Publication:

Kaipainen, Jouni & Olli Rosenqvist (2013). Maaseudun hiljaisuuden hyödyntäminen. (Utilization of rural tranquillity). Maaseudun uusi aika. Maaseutututkimuksen ja -politiikan aikakauslehti 21: 1, 5–17. (In Finnish)

Further information: Ilkka Luoto, Jouni Kaipainen ja Olli Rosenqvist

Funding: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Rural Policy Committee (2011–2012) 

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