Suomenlinna Fortress

In addition to taking my exams as a Helsinki Guide, I have enrolled into a training to become an authorized Suomenlinna Guide. The large historic sea fortress on several (5,6,7,8? The number keeps changing) islands in front of Helsinki has made it into the Unesco World Heritage list. It has been a very important influence…

Hvitträsk

With  my family in Germany over Easter, I decided to use my free time for visiting Hvitträsk, former home and studio to the trio of architects who belonged to the most influencial forces during the Art Nouveau period in Helsinki: Hermann Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and  Eliel Saarinen. Unfortunately, the weather was very “Finnish” and the…

Penkkarit

Wenige Tage, bevor in Deutschland die Karnevalsumzüge starten, gibt es jährlich in Finnland, und vor allem in Helsinki, eine eigene Art Umzug: Penkkarit. Auch hier werden Süßigkeiten unter das Volk geworfen und die Teilnehmer und Fahrzeuge sind “verkleidet”. Allerdings handelt es sich nicht um Narren, sondern um Abiturienten, die sich nun auf die letzten Abiturprüfungen…

Charismatic in Finland = no Charisma

According to Wikipedia, Charisma is something like a “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others”. YLE, the national broadcasting company, has undertaken a poll to find out, who of the political leaders in Finland is seen as the most charismatic. Out came the leader of the Centre Party, Juha Sipilä. People seemed…

Holiday on Ice

Quick changes in temperature and strong winds have created a beautiful landscape of ice at the seashore in Helsinki: There is a layer of ice on a cushion of air and underneath is ice again. A wonderful “crunchy” walking experience when your shoes break through the ice but it’s dry underneath. Only our dog wasn’t…

Finnish Voices

It’s dark again. This means: you need inner power. I found this video of a concert of Naiskuoro Timotei, a Finnish Women’s choir. They sing  traditional music and wear traditional costumes of their area. I think the power they present is very impressive. The quality of the recording is not so great, but I hope…

Melancholic and fierce

Finnish traditional music also mirrors the quietness of nature. This song has accompanied me for many years: Olin sairas …kun luokseni saapuit. Singer is Anna-Kaisa Liedes, now head of folk music department at Sibelius Academy. From the area of Karelia, which now lies mostly in Russia, this somewhat more lively piece: Lannen Lokari , performed…