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SIXDEGREES

Finland’s ENGLISH

LANGUAGE MAGAZINE

KRISTIINA

WHEELER IS ALL ABOUT SOUL

18

CAISA’S JOHANNA MAULA 6 FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE 9 THE ART OF THE TATTOO 11 SUPERSTAR INDUSTRY 14 Issue 2/2009 www.6d.fi 27.2. - 26.3.2009


Jacek WalczakP

Virka Info and Virka Gallery a view to the city Kimmo Brandt

Much information about the City of Helsinki is available from the City Hall, situated close to the main market square. In November 2008 the Helsinki Information Bureau moved to the building and at the same time its name changed to Virka Info and Virka Gallery. We welcome residents of Helsinki as well as visitors to the ground floor of City Hall.

Carina Johansson

This meeting point at Pohjoisesplanadi 11-13 is open daily with some seasonal exceptions. Virka Info and Virka Gallery are open Mon-Fri 9:00 – 17:00 and Sat-Sun 11:00 – 17:00 and entrance to all events is free. Virka Info also gives advice and information by telephone Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 15:00 (09 310 11 111). From the end of February onwards information about upcoming events can be found online at www.virka.fi

ONE OF the aims with moving the Information Bureau to City Hall was to lower the threshold for people to come into contact with the city and maybe also catch a glimpse of the civil servants working in the building. Virka Info gives information about the services in the city and it is also the place to hand in applications, forms and propositions for the various departments of the city’s administration. There are computer stations connected to the city library network and a free wireless internet connection. In Virka Gallery, interesting exhibitions are held periodically which put local as well as other happenings in the spotlight. The light-filled layout makes the space well suited to photo exhibitions. The upcoming exhibition is Open Panorama – Photographs by Taneli Eskola from Urban Paradises. “In

his search for an understanding of what defines a good city, the artist introduces us to new angles of our surrounding and shows that glimpses of paradise can be found in unexpected places even in urban environments,” says Chief of Exhibitions, Liisa-Maija Hertto. The exhibition is shown 25 February to 29 March 2009 during opening hours of the Virka Gallery. The entrance hall of the gallery also displays sculptures by Finnish artists. Upcoming events include concerts and film presentations. “These are mainly documentaries about Helsinki and will be shown non-stop in the Gallery,” Hertto says. “The city orchestra holds a philharmonic concert once a month during the weekend and in March there will also be a special children’s concert. For Mother’s Day, in May, a rock concert will be held.” Tickets for the concerts are available one week in advance from Virka Info.

Welcome to the InternatIonal cultural centre caIsa! Peru’s most famous poet. “Intensity and Tonality”, the title of one of his most important poems, illustrates the distress of creative work. This is a celebration of the plentiful and varied artistic and poetic tradition of Peru. Music, poetry, art. Free entrance.

Fri 6.3. 3-10 p.m. International Women’s Day Celebration 3-6 p.m. Food Bazaar and Pampering Delicacies and pampering from all continents! Food coupons: 5 € 6-10 p.m. My Battle - The Stories and Art of Strong Women Hear the stories of different kinds of strong women, and witness delightful multicultural performances. Free entrance.

Wed 25.3. 5 p.m. How to Make It Together The Jewish-Islamic Forum The Hakunila International Society organises the Jewish-Islamic Forum for the fifth time. This year, participating in the discussion are French philosopher and intellectual BernardHenri Lévy and doctor Azzam Al-Tamimi, the director of London’s Islamic Political Thought Institute. Free entrance.

OURVISION SEMIFINAlS Fri 13.3. 7-11 p.m. Ourvision Semifinals: America-, Middle East- and Afrovision Will we hear Turkish Arabesque or Bongo Flava? Whether pop or classic, the songs have a magical air to them. Come experience it for yourself, and vote for your favourite. Tickets: 15/10 € Fri 27.3. 7-10 p.m. Ourvision Semifinals: Asia- and Europevision Will incense scents linger, kimonos shine, or Swedish pop tunes take it all? Enjoy the talents of European and Asian singers, and vote for your favourite! Tickets: 12/8 € location: Savoy Theatre, Kasarmikatu 46–48, Helsinki Tickets at the door from 1 h before showtime or advance tickets from www.lippupalvelu.fi.

www.caisa.fi

18.–25.3. ANTI-RACISM WEEK Wed 18.3. 10 a.m.- noon Intercultural Dialogue Course for High School Students Clown Show 11.30 a.m. - noon Course topics: cultural encounters and diversity. Registration: oge.eneh@hel.fi or (09) 310 37508

Wed 18.3. 1-3 p.m. Intercultural Dialogue A seminar for teachers and other interested parties What kinds of multicultural skills do teachers need? How are cultural differences dealt with, and what kinds of tools and skills are necessary in multicultural schools and classrooms? Listen and discuss! Clown Show 1-1.30 p.m. Seminar fee: 20 €. Registration: oge.eneh@ hel.fi or (09) 310 37508 Sat 21.3. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Intensity and Tonality This event for the whole family is related to the memory of César Vallejo, undoubtedly

www.ourvision.fi

the InternatIonal cultural centre caIsa Mikonkatu 17 C, 00100 Helsinki / tel. 09 - 310 37500 Open weekdays from 9 am to 6 pm.

EXHIBITIONS Gallery open weekdays 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Corridor Gallery and Entrance Hall open weekdays 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Free entrance to all exhibitions. Welcome! GAllERY 5.-26.3. ”Paintings” Georges Valenzuela Solari, Chile/France CORRIDOR GAllERY 4.3. – 26.3. ”Replacement Migration – Portraits from the 21st Century” Malene Nors Tardrup, Denmark, photographs

www.infopankki.fi


Contents WeMet



Issue 2 2009

in this issue March 2009

14 THE SUPERSTAR INDUSTRY

Got your ticket to see Madonna and Metallica next summer? Good for you. If you want to know what it takes to lure these superstars to this remote little country, veteran concert promoter Antti Einiö is here to tell us. Einiö has been organising concerts for six decades, and provided SixDegrees with an eye-opening introduction to the music business.

4

STARTERS

13 SOCIETY: RACISM & SPORT 17 CULTITUDE

The chef recommends: Il Duetto

Interview with Kristiina Wheeler

20 TV GUIDE AND PREVIEWS

What’s on TV in March

Movie premieres, latest games and DVD reviews

21 OUT & SEE

Where to go and what to see March in Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Jyväskylä and Oulu

26 FakeNews

6

INTERVIEW WITH CAISA’S JOHANNA MAULA Johanna Maula is the head of the Cultural Centre Caisa in Helsinki. Her heart remains in Africa however, where she lived and worked for many years. She talks about the meaning of international aid and immigration, and is optimistic about the future of Africa.

9

The SixDegrees Team Editor Alexis Kouros Managing Editor Laura Seppälä Editorial team Kati Hurme Advertising & Marketing Bob Graham, Kati Hurme, Aiman Kaddoura, Stephen O’Brien +358 9 689 67 420 info@6d.fi

Cover photo by Vuokko Salo. Read interview with Kristiina Wheeler on page 18.

Emails in the form: firstname@6d.fi Out & See Helsinki and capital area outsee@6d.fi Out & See Tampere outseetampere@6d.fi

LIFESTYLE: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE Helsinki has often had the dubious honour of standing in for various Russian cities in international film productions. The most recent filming took place in December, when a SixDegrees reporter spent a freezing day in Kruununhaka dressed as a Muscovite. Out & See Turku outseeturku@6d.fi Out & See Oulu outseeoulu@6d.fi Out & See Jyväskylä outseejkyla@6d.fi Layout & Graphic Design Kirby Wilson / Moose Design&Photography Writers and other contributors in this issue Nick Barlow, Katarina Boijer, David Brown, Robin DeWan, Amira Elbanna, Justin Goney, Kathleen Grant, Risto Haataja, Ben Hughes, Kati Hurme, Carina Johansson, Mari

Commentary

11 THE LIFESTYLE: THE ART OF TATTOO

Thinking of getting a tattoo? Then there’s only one person you have to convince, namely your tattoo artist. SixDegrees met Tomppa, the brutally honest and assertive tattoo artist from Tampere who won’t be content with carving just any old design into your skin.

Kaislaniemi, Sidney Kitchen, Gulsana Koomanova, Matti Koskinen, Sami Makkonen, Niina Mero, Dunja Myllylä, James O’Sullivan, Miissa Rantanen, Tuula Ruskeeniemi, Aija Salovaara, Janne Salovaara, Ville Ukkola, Siru Valleala, Jutta Vetter, Tomas Whitehouse, Yasmine Zein Proofreading David Agar, Matthew Parry, James O’Connor Print house I-Print Seinäjoki Circulation 50,000 pieces

Publisher Dream Catcher Productions www.dreamcatcher.fi 6° DreamCatcher Vilhonvuorenkatu 11B 00500 Helsinki tel. +358 9 689 67 420 fax. +358 9 689 67 421 info@6d.fi www.6d.fi ISSN 1459-5680

All articles, pictures and graphics are subject to copyright. No reproduction or reprinting is allowed without permission from Dream Catcher Inc.© Dream Catcher Next issue is out on 27 March


SixDegrees



Issue 2 2009

Ethnic

product

of the month

St. Patrick, meet St. Urho

Welcome the spring Niina Mero

FOR MODERN man, the vernal or spring equinox is no more than a pointless reminder in the almanac. Nothing happens. Clocks are not advanced until a week later and there’s still a good three weeks until Easter. All the spring equinox does is refer to the date when day and night are of equal length. However, it is also an ancient holiday celebrating the arrival of spring. For centuries pagans have celebrated this time of harmony, when the powers of light and dark stand in perfect balance. It marks the beginning of spring, an end to the confines of dreary winter. Life begins to sprout anew and the barren, cold landscape gives way to the blossoming spring. The timing of Easter each year is decided according to the first full moon after the spring equinox, and the Christian tradition has a close connection with pagan celebrations of spring. The word “Easter” derives from an Old English word Eastre or Eostre, rooted in the month

Pop-Tarts Justin Goney

STRICTLY speaking, Pop-Tarts are jam-filled, rectangular pastries that are meant to be heated in toaster and are part of a balanced breakfast. In a larger sense they’re a frazzled mother’s best friend, a college dorm staple and a testament to the durability of Cold War-era convenience food technology. Back in the 1960s, the Post cereal company announced a forerunner called Country Squares, to tout their foil-sealed technology. However, they made a fatal flaw by announcing the product before it was ready to hit the market. Given the idea and a six-month head start, Kellogg’s came up with its own version. Part of the reason why Pop-Tarts endured is due to the clever name. It’s a double pun, referring both to the tart “popping up” out of the toaster, and Andy Warhol’s hip Pop Art of the era. The product hasn’t evolved much over the years apart from the crucial addition of frosting and sprinkles in 1967 and various flavours that have come and gone. Despite innovations in the toaster pastry sector, Pop-Tarts are as popular as ever. Moms love them because kids love them, and kids love them because they’re loaded with processed carbs, sugar, and other stuff that’s likely to lead to type-2 diabetes. Students love them because they’re cheap, high-calorie and you can eat them cold on your way to an early class. And though there have been some missteps along the way such as unfortunate flavours like “Frosted Wild Watermelon”, and the fact that unattended Pop-Tarts have a tendency to combust, sending a footlong flame shooting out of your toaster, Pop-Tarts will seemingly remain an American classic.

Sami Makkonen

Sidney Kitchen

AS THE hallowed day of St. Patrick slowly approaches, it comes as a shock to any foreigner steeped in the tradition to notice that 17 March goes by for the most part unobserved. Apart from your local Irish pub there is very little show for green, no “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirts and a complete unavailability of green beer. Why in Patrick’s good name does a nation that is so fond of a party pass up on 17 March? The ready answer is that there is no national identification with the Irish. For countries like the United States and Canada, Irish immigrants played an integral role in their growth as nations. So it’s no wonder that cities like Boston and Chicago will throw parades and dye their rivers green (yes, really). But for many St. Patrick’s is a day to let loose and party like you

A sport is born Sidney Kitchen

ALMOST everyday a new sport is invented. Some are destined to die as quickly as they are born, and while a few prosper, seldom does a new sport thrive to attract a cult following. Chess Boxing - it’s exactly as the name suggests, alternating rounds of boxing and speed chess make up this odd sport fusion of brute force and stra-

were Irish. On St. Patrick’s Day it’s not unheard for people with no particular Irish heritage to become “more Irish than the Irish themselves.” But let it be noted, Finns were key players as well. Take a trip to the state of Minnesota and you will find proud Finnish descendants on every corner. And it is in this part of the United States most similar to Nordic climates, where we find the birth place of our hero. It’s highly disputed who exactly coined his legend, but as far as it is known, St. Urho emerged from Minnesota in the late 1950s. With a much similar legend to that of St. Patrick, who banished the snakes from Ireland, St. Urho banished grasshoppers from Finland, at least temporarily. As the story goes, long ago when Finland once had a bounteous grape harvest it was threatened by a horde of hungry grasshoppers, and so brave young Urho with the thunder-

ous voice of a god uttered the phrase “Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen” (Grasshopper, grasshopper, get the heck out of here). And all the grasshoppers fled. So now each year on 16 March, exactly one day before St. Patrick’s Day, Finnish communities across North America celebrate St. Urho Day’s with parades and banquets. Now for some it may be a little hard to get enthusiastic over a saint who bears so much resemblance to another more popular saint. But St. Urho’s Day, like the one following it, is not necessarily so much about the saints themselves as it is about having a good time. Perhaps on a more humanistic level Urho could be Finland’s spiritual link with Ireland, with the mutual respect of what can be only described as explosive national pride and one hell of a good time.

tegic smarts. The qualities of a boxer and chess master unite in the most epic of battles. Inspired from the graphic novel Le Froid Equateur by Enki Bilal, in which chess boxing was a key plot line, Chess Boxing has had organised matches since 2003. Largely based in Berlin, the World Chess Boxing Organization (WCBO) boasts world title matches three to four times a year. Chess Boxing is not for amateurs though. A fight can be won by either knockout or checkmate, so aptitude and skill in both disciplines are

a must. Imagine how a blow to the head could affect one’s chess skills. According to the WCBO website the sport has grown cult followings with 150,000 boxers world-wide. Undoubtedly a pivotal reason for its popularity is the comical spectacle this ironic biathlon creates. The WCBO website has several videos of its matches for all those who still have their doubts. Fighting takes place in the ring, while the wider war rages on the chessboard. www.wcbo.org

Eostur-monath named after the Goddess Eostre of AngloSaxon pagans. The Teutonic name most modern pagans use for the deity is Ostara. Little is actually known of this Goddess, but there are beautiful stories. Legend has it that Ostara turned a bird into a hare and it, being still a bird, was able to lay beautiful coloured eggs. Both the hare and the egg are oblivious symbols of fertility and reproduction, well suited to a time of planting and sowing seeds. In many traditions the GodKing is born on the winter solstice and it is only logical that he is conceived nine months before, on Ostara. The vernal equinox is a time to salute the reawakening of nature. It is spring after winter, life after death, be that in a Christian or a pagan context. Whatever religion you may follow and whether or not you choose to connect the rising sun with the rising son, the vernal equinox still remains a celebration of resurrection and rebirth. It is all around for us to see. The vernal equinox is 20 March.

Streaming opportunities Gulsana Koomanova

ANY STUDENT with a video camera, a laptop and some basic technical skills can earn some money by live streaming various events. Different events are available at floobaajat.ning.com and anyone can sign up and try their hand at streaming one. Tuukka Troberg, part-time Floobs videographer who has streamed over 100 events, thinks that live video can offer more meaning to the viewer and it has great prospects in the future. “Of course people are used to watching edited news and reports on TV, but the advantage of live video is that it’s faster and cheaper to produce and anyone can do it. It’s suitable for anyone who is open-minded, ready to meet new people and quick at solving problems.” Live streaming does not only allow students to earn money but also to access a

wide network of employers. While streaming an event at the Arabia district in Helsinki, Troberg has signed a contract to do photographic work for Vartti magazine. Beginners are bound to encounter some difficulties when starting however, the most common being technical ones. It might be hard to synchronise between video camera and laptop if these are not of the same generation. Troberg points out that in some places internet connections don’t exist so you may have to improvise. But with standards like 3G the possibilities are becoming almost limitless. For instance, streaming video from a mobile phone, which allows sharing any event is an interesting option. Interested? Then grab your camera and laptop and start streaming. For more information on technical or logistic aspects, contact Sasu Halme at sasu.halme@floobs.com Gulsana Koomanova

Tuukka Troberg is an experienced live streamer.


Starters Issue 2 2009

Don’t bin it,

Freecycle it

A century of progress

David Brown

Justin Goney

FREECYCLE is pretty similar to eBay or Huuto.net except that all of the items changing hands are free. Since the Freecycle Network’s (TFN) launch as a small waste management project in 2003 it has expanded to include branches in over 85 countries, with over five and a half million members. According to the organisation’s mission statement, the idea is simple: “to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.� Although TFN recently launched a centralised website to keep track of the various chapters worldwide, each group is independently maintained and moderated through mailing lists or websites. Though each group has a fair amount of leeway with regards to their rules and policies, the main Freecycle rule universally applies: items must be free, legal and appropriate

for all ages. Since the basic idea seems so straightforward, you could be forgiven for wondering why it hasn’t become more popular than it has so far. One major drawback lies in basic human nature, as people seem to be inherently greedy. Of 27 total posts on the Helsinki group’s page, 21 were “wantedâ€? posts. In other groups, audacious posts such as “Wanted: motorboat, six metres or longerâ€? have been reported. Others have become disgusted enough to give up Freecycling altogether when people say they’ll come by to pick up an item, only to arrive late or not bother to turn up at all. Though in Finland there are Freecycle chapters in Helsinki, Tampere, Rovaniemi and Kuopio, membership is still very low, with the Helsinki group being the largest at 90 members. But if you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to decluttering your place than donating to the Salvation Army or Kierrätyskeskus, Freecycle might be right up your street. www.freecycle.org

PERHAPS the most influential figure in 20th century Finnish feminism was fictional. Although Finnish women won the right to vote in 1906 (the first country in Europe to do so), it was only when the Winter and Continuation Wars ravaged the country that women took over much of Finland’s essential war work. The Lottas, women’s civil guard units, were named after Lotta Svärd, a character from a J.L. Runeberg poem who treated men on the battlefield. In 1944 the organisation had a quarter of a million volunteers working in air raid warning centres, hospitals, and even manning an antiaircraft battery in Helsinki. Elsewhere women ran farms and shops in the absence of husbands and fathers, establishing a model of Finnish womanhood much changed from that of the prewar generation. Sixty years later, the revolution in the role of women in Finland seems to have been even greater. The daughters of hospital orderlies and farmers have master’s degrees in philosophy, or have become IT engineers and architects. No longer is the choice of career limited to that of teacher or nurse, but spans the entire economy. These changes are strongly reflected in education. Fifty six per cent of new university

students last year were female, a high number even by European standards. Female students outnumber men in many fields, although there are still areas dominated by males - only 19 per cent of engineering students are female, and similar patterns can be seen in mathematics and computer sciences. As far as motherhood is concerned, the cycle seems to have come full circle. While the Baby Boom generation saw virtually all healthy women bear children, during the sixties and seventies the birth rate plummeted as the rising tide of feminism carried women out of the nursery and into the workplace. But in the twenty first century, many Finnish women take a more post-feminist view, incorporating career and family into a balanced life. So while Finland’s birth rate is still low at around 10.6 per thousand, it is still slightly higher than the European average of 10.25. While Finland does have a female President and seven female government ministers, total equality has not yet been achieved. Female directors remain something of a novelty in large Finnish corporations and with women often paid 20 per cent less than male colleagues, the work started by Lotta Svärd is still not complete. International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March.

A Finnish thing?

North Karelia College

Items you can find in every self-respecting Finnish household

Sisu Tuula Ruskeeniemi

WHAT does it take to be a real Finn? The answer is sisu. According to Finns (other nations haven’t been consulted), sisu is a uniquely Finnish characteristic. Finns usually say that the meaning of the word does not translate easily, but it revolves around willpower, tenacity and persistency. It is the very quality that allows one to endure hardship and to succeed, even if faced with impossible odds. The terms “guts� may be a close English match. Sisu is also the name of a popular throat lozenge devel-

oped in 1928 by a Turkubased confectionery called Seres – or more specifically, in the basement of the chemist Johan Ponkamo. Sisu is made of gum arabic and flavoured with a top-secret concoction. All that can be positively said is that it contains sal ammoniac, a flavour much favoured by Finns. The original lozenge was hard. In fact, if it didn’t shatter when dropped on the floor, the whole batch had to be remade. One of the rare changes in the long history of Sisu came in the early 1970s when a new, softer and sugarfree version was introduced, yet the taste remained the same. Despite the launch of new flavours and changes in the box and size of the

CAREERS IN MEDIA - MEDIA ASSISTANT

OUTOKUMPU

Application at internet ZZZKDHQ\WĂ€IURP 2nd to 20th March.

drop, Sisu still feels virtually unchanged; the red and gold colours and the logo on the box would look familiar to a time-traveller from the 1920s. Indeed, the Fraktur script of the logo has confused generations of children, wondering why it says “Gifu� on the Sisu box. This sense of tradition is part of Sisu’s charm. It is known to Finns since childhood, and the classic marketing campaigns succeeded in

associating the sweet with the idea of “sisu’, an everpersisting Finnish quality, from pioneering farmers to modern day athletes, in a way that still seems valid to Finns struggling through the slush to their central-heated homes. According to the book devoted to Sisu, commemorating its 80th anniversary, the pastille has also helped many to give up smoking. The only problem now is how to stop eating Sisu.

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North Karelia College OUTOKUMPU

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SixDegrees Issue 2 2009

Tomas Whitehouse


Interview



Issue 2 2009

Johanna Maula

Under African Stars

Having spent part of her childhood in Nigeria, Johanna Maula has gone on to crisscross the African and European continents as part of her work with the ILO, the African Development Bank, The European Commission and the World Food Programme. She lived in ten different countries before returning to Finland to run the Caisa Cultural Centre in Helsinki. SixDegrees caught up with her to talk about culture, aid and immigration. David Brown

You have spent a good deal of time in Africa. What first drew you there? When I was very young my parents were working at Viittakivi College, in Hauho, which was then one of the most international places in Finland due to an abundance of African students. And then my father was offered a teaching job at the university in Lagos, Nigeria, so I went to school there. Since then I’ve always been drawn to Africa – I so loved it, the warmth and friendliness of people, the colours. You have a good standard of life there. Since then I’ve lived altogether in ten countries, four of which are in Africa – Nigeria, Benin, Ethiopia and Tunisia, and also in many countries in Central Europe; Switzerland, France, Belgium and Italy. You have worked a lot with international aid projects. How would you rate the success of foreign aid in general? There is always the matter of governments and how clean they are. If they’re corrupt it is very difficult to do much. I worked with the World Food Programme in Ethiopia and so visited the very poorest places, and I really felt that the aid made a big difference. Some countries prefer to send food from their own country, when it would be much better if money was given to buy food locally, and then ship it to where it is needed. It is very easy to criticise aid. Sometimes if there is fighting, for instance, the food that should go to schools can be diverted to the army. But in most of the places I’ve visited in Ethiopia the system is very transparent. It is always monitored by the donors and the government together. My job was also to monitor from a gender perspective, to make sure women also got the food, since women are often more

likely to worry about the family eating first! I didn’t see much mismanagement in Ethiopia. And you really do see people who would die without this aid. How do you feel about the role of the International Monetary Fund in Africa? The role of the IMF in the structural adjustment programmes of the 1980s was necessary but sometimes also destructive. There was a lot of structural changes, and some of the changes were needed. The currency was so overvalued that a meal in Tanzania would in 1985 cost more than in Finland, and at the same time the parallel or black market exchange rate soared and there was hardly anything to buy in the shops. So the economy needed to be opened up, but it came at a high cost. But asking parents to pay to send kids to school, for instance, was very counterproductive, because parents couldn’t afford it. The World Bank has since then really changed a lot, they are now very professional. And the African Development Bank, where I worked, is very focused on participatory approach, rural development and community involvement. So I think the quality of involvement has improved a lot. I see a lot of hope among those workig in this field, but on the other hand if African countries had free access to world markets we wouldn’t need most of the aid to begin with. And if people could live where they wanted and find work they’d be able to send money home and help their own people. When you think of Africa, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? We don’t hear much about the promising things here in Finland. Asian countries are really investing a lot now in Africa, opening up businesses and tendering for big projects. Now we can see that many

M

any African countries are on the verge of breaking through like the Asian tiger economies did some years back. countries in Africa are on the verge of breaking through in the same way that the tiger economies in Asia broke through some decades ago. Countries like Angola have been seeing ten per cent growth every year for a decade. So I am optimistic for the long term, but in the short term of course there are big problems, both political and social. The solutions need to come from Africa, and Africans really are quite capable of finding solutions. Thirty years from now things will be completely different, and countries like Botswana, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Benin, Senegal and Angola should be doing quite well. Maybe also Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe, if the political situation stabilizes. The RDC, Somalia and Sudan are very problematic and great political and social changes are needed to guarantee their development. You have also worked a lot with gender-related issues, how do you feel about the role of women in Finland? As a women in Finland you can feel that there are no limits to what you can achieve. Many of these things are taken for granted. We have a generation of boys who have only seen a female president. But we see that there are not so many women as directors and in leading positions in the private sector. We have a very divided labour market, where in some jobs you only have women and in others only men. Violence

against women is still a big problem in Finland, often linked to excessive alcohol consumption. Then again, as a working woman, it’s sometimes easier to be a woman in Africa. Any professional person working in the developing world can afford home help, for instance, like here in the 1960s and 70s. Here in Finland as a working woman you usually have to do our own cleaning and cooking! There have been concerns raised about the crime rate among immigrants in Finland. What’s your view on this? With immigration you get all kinds of people, and relatively speaking young men are overrepresented. And of course young men generally commit most of the certain types of crimes anywhere. If you compare crimes committed by young immigrant men with the corresponding age group in Finland, the difference in crime rates isn’t so big. But on the other hand you can’t deny that there is also rootlessness amongst immigrants and a lack of social networks. In Africa or Asia they’d have extended families, uncles and grandmothers to turn to, but here they can be quite alone. Migration is never a simple thing. We should not forget that Finns were overrepresented in Swedish crimes statistics as recently as the 1980s, although they shared the skin colour, religion and to a large extent the culture of their host

country, and most even spoke some Swedish to start with. Many of those who are unemployed came here for humanitarian reasons, so they have a low level of education, and there are very few jobs that you can find here if you can not read or write, especially if employers insist on perfect language skills! Once they are educated and know the language, then of course they should have all the possibilities to manage here. There will be benefits from migration in the long run as has been the case everywhere. If you look at a country like England, if all of the people of immigrant background went on strike, the country would collapse; the busses wouldn’t run, the hospitals wouldn’t work, there would be no cleaners. Even now, it’s hard to imagine how Helsinki would function without immigrants. And then we have Barack Obama of course, the ultimate immigrant! Few Finns seem to have visited Africa or to know much about it. Should we be better informed? I think so, Finns are missing out. The UK recently doubled its support to the African Development Bank, for business reasons as well as humanitarian ones of course. Africa has such plentiful natu-

ral resources and the workforce is energetic, youthful and increasingly well educated, so there is so much potential for business collaboration. The Chinese have realised this and so have India , Japan and Korea. All these countries now invest heavily in Africa. But also, even though it is a cliché to say it Africa is the cradle of humanity. Ethiopia was once one of the great civilisations, with a fascinating history and mostly peacefully co-excisting religions. This is the history of the whole human race, really. What is the main role of Caisa Cultural Centre? Caisa began life as a meeting place in 1996, when it was felt there was a lot of xenophobia and racism in Finland. So it was felt a forum was needed where people could meet. It was very small then, with only one staff member. But now some years we’ve had 100,000 visitors. Half of our visitors are Finnish natives, and half of migrant background. It’s a meeting place. You can drop in, take part in events like seminars or debates or cooking courses, and come into contact with different languages. It’s also a place for people to celebrate their own culture, organise events for others and to feel proud of who they are and where they come from.

Johanna Maula Birth date and place: 22 February 1960, Helsinki Place of Residence: Helsinki Education: Doctorate in Social Sciences, University of Helsinki Family: Married with one son. As a child I wanted to be a… either a school principle in Africa or an ambassador. I love... to be with my friends and family, spend time in my summer cottage in Turku archipelago and to cook and read. I hope… people in Finland would start to appreciate the positive aspects of migration, and to be less afraid of employing people of different backgrounds. In one year I will be… either here or in some international organisation, maybe in Africa or US.


VANTAAN KAUPUNKI CITY OF VANTAA

WHERE

Vahva Vantaalainen Maryam Hamadon As part of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the National Consultative Committee of the year in Finland, together with the Book Publisher Teos, organized a short story competition on the theme ”What on Earth is a New Finn?” during the summer of 2008. The first prize was awarded to 17-year-old Maryam Hamadon from Vantaa. Janne Salovaara

TO GO IN

MUSIC I have seven aunts in Syria, for example. I also used their real names. I’ve noticed that if I try to come up with some great names myself the results are always sort of lame. I wrote the short story in four days, so I thought I’d save time by sticking with the original names.

What are your plans for the future?

Everything is completely open at this point. I know I want to go to university but I’m not yet sure what I want to study. I like languages, but I don’t want to close off any other options. Maybe if I have the time and the ideas I’ll continue writing, but I don’t think I’d want to make a full-time living out of it.

Is there any particular author you admire or genre you like?

I’ll read pretty much anything that’s placed in front of me from cover to cover. Every book contains something appealing, and of course you learn a lot from reading. I’ve always liked writing but the beginning is always a challenge. I don’t really have a favourite genre. I tend to write in different genres and switch between them.

Maryam Hamadon says she doesn’t choose her friends based on nationality but on who they are. Aija Salovaara

A PA NEL of judges selected the best

13 competition entries which were then published by Teos on 16 January in the form of an anthology which was named after the competition theme. Each of the judges were struck by both the language and the style of Maryam Hamadon’s piece ”Seurapiirihai” (”Social shark”). The story is an impressionistic, Dadaism-inspired depiction of a Finnish girl spending the summer with her Syrian relatives. Maryam was born in Poland into a Syrian-Romanian family. At the age of three, she and her family moved to Tampere and later to Vantaa.

Do you remember what it felt like to move to Finland?

Not really. I just remember that it was sometimes annoying not to be able to understand what people around me were saying. Luckily it’s much easier for kids to communicate without language, and in any case I picked that up at daycare.

How do you like it in Vantaa?

My school’s only a metro-ride away from Vantaa. It’s easy to get into the city from here too, but at the same time Vantaa is really peaceful and close to nature.

What do you feel your nationality to be?

I’m a Finn. Finnish is also my strongest language, which is no doubt due to the fact that all of my schooling has been through Finnish. Finns make up the majority of my friends, and I can express myself most easily in Finnish. With my mum I speak Romanian and with my dad I use Arabic, but in those languages I don’t have a command of the sort of scientific vocabulary which you absorb at school. My parents have also managed to settle down in Finland quite well. Their own values are such that they find they relate fairly easily to Finnish society. I could not imagine moving away from Finland. I’ve visited Syria many times, but only during the summer. I understand how things function here. Many things which are considered self-evident here work differently in Syria.

What features of your parents’ cultures do you think you have inherited?

My dad and I are probably more Finnish than anything else: kind of shy and a little pessimistic. But I can’t really say much more than that since I haven’t thought about it, to be honest. Our Syrian relatives always say that I’m more Syrian,

more like them. But then, the cultural differences between Syria and Finland are not so huge.

How does living in a multicultural family affect your everyday life?

When I was small it didn’t strike me as anything out of the ordinary that my parents spoke different languages. In Tampere there weren’t too many other foreigners, but that just meant there weren’t any preconceptions either. People related to me as an individual, not as some generic foreigner. In Vantaa there are quite a few foreigners, but I feel more Finnish than foreign. Of course, I do have some foreign friends, but I don’t really feel like I’m part of some foreigners’ group. I choose my friends based on who they are and how well we get along, not on their nationality. The fact that I live in a multi-cultural family doesn’t really come up as an issue in my everyday life. I guess the only thing I can think of is in summer when my friends head off to their summer cottages and we board a flight to Syria.

Your parents must be proud of your win!

Mum and dad are probably even more worked up about it than I am. Both of them come from families where reading is really important, and in Romania especially literature and authors are very highly valued. Mum is really excited about my win and when I told her about it she said that now I finally had to believe that I can write after all! My dad is also a major bookworm. My Finnish teachers at school have also tried to encourage me, telling me that I’m gifted and stuff, and that I really should continue writing. I think my sense of language is slightly different from other people’s since I have three native languages. I suppose that somehow helps me when I write.

Monikulttuurinen Vantaa www.vantaa.fi

Tue 3 March Argentinean Night Angelika Klas sings powerful Argentinean tango music by Astor Piazzolla and other composers. Martinus hall Martinlaaksontie 36 Tickets €10/15 www.vantaanviihdeorkesteri.fi Fri 27 to Sun 29 March Ääni ja Vimma Local final of the annual band competition for 15 to 20 year-olds. Semi-final and final in April at Gloria, Helsinki. Arkki Liesitori 1 A, Myyrmäki Free entry No age limit www.vantaa.fi/arkki http://nk.hel.fi/aanijavimma/

OTHER Sun 8 March International Women’s day celebration All the women in the world are welcome! Jokisali, 15:00 - 18:00 Tikkurilantie 44 Tickets €1 040 5241402 For more info, see www.vantaa.fi/kulttuuri Through 28 March 2010 Move and Play! This exhibition aims to inspire visitors to move and play and have fun together through shared activities. Science Centre Heureka Mon – Fri 10:00 – 17:00 Sat & Sun 10:00 – 18:00 Tickets €10.50 – 15.50 (Includes all exhibitions) www.heureka.fi www.moveandplay.net Through 20 September 2009 Sissit siivillä! Fascinating exhibition about Finnish patrol pilots during the war. Finnish Aviation Museum Tietotie 3 Tickets €6/3 www.ilmailumuseo.fi Mon 30 March to Mon 6 April Multicultural week in Vantaa libraries All the libraries in Vantaa offer various services and programme, for example guidance in computing in English and Russian and book reading for children in several languages. Vantaa City Libraries More info from www.vantaa.fi

Is your short story based on real-life experiences?

Not really. The basic facts are: the fact that I live in Finland and that

VANTAA

What on Earth is a New Finn? by Teos


Lifestyle



Issue 2 2009

a i s s ? u e R v o l m h t fro i w

HOLLYWOOD productions first came to Finland in the 1960s when David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago was filmed in Joensuu, in Eastern Finland. Helsinki for one, has often played the part of Moscow or St. Petersburg, whereas Lapland’s was portrayed as Siberia. Finns have always had mixed feelings about film crews coming to Finland and camouflaging the country as Russia or the Soviet Union. Film stars are exciting, Lenin posters are not. Only a Finn can feel a jolt of the heart when seeing a Russian red star atop the National History Museum. But in the 80s the streets of Helsinki were much grimmer than today and it’s neoclassical architecture was a perfect background for a Russian revolution. Even smoky Ladas were a part of the street scene back then. Misson possible Film researcher Outi Heiskanen recently published Tehtävä Suomessa (A Mission in Finland), a well-researched, funny book which is full of historical facts about how Finland has been represented in foreign films. Heiskanen is something of a walking guidebook to film trivia herself, happy to recount both facts and slightly less substantiated rumours. In the book an impressive bunch of

favourite from the “Finland genreâ€? Heiskanen singles out the 1967 film Million Dollar Brain which starred British actor Michael Caine. “The film is just preposterously funny!â€? Heiskanen laughs. “You’d be hard-pressed to find anything crazier; the delightfully anti-Bondlike, bespectacled Harry Palmer travels across Finland in icy conditions and, best of all, Finland is allowed to just be herself for once. Caine really enjoyed himself in Finland, and he came here to film the odd scene for other Peter Jansson films later on, too. In directors and producers share one scene he even put their memories of Finland. his life at risk jumping from Little anecdotes are sometimes one ice-breaker to another,â€? heart-warming, sometimes Heiskanen reminisces. downright insulting. Surely not all Finns are fat, ugly and All well on the western front grumpy vodka-sipping alco- After the collapse of the Soviet holics? Union and the iron curtain, The book plumbs the depths film cameras were aimed at of film’s cultural history and Finnish nature and the soulexamines works ranging from ful Finnishness. This time the most stale, vapid propa- Finland could breath easily ganda pieces on the value of and play itself. Finnish direcofficial friendship with the tor Aki Kaurismäki made a Soviet Union, to cinematic trend out of black humour, the renditions of the Kalevala. working man’s philosophy and Heiskanen covers everything even pure muteness. from films that use Finland as The latest input from fora scene for revolution to Renny eign filmmakers is Frenchman Harlin’s cinematic salutes to Christian Carion’s Farewell, his homeland and the use of parts of which were filmed in the Finnish language in for- Helsinki in December. In this eign films. Many Finns did massive production, Finland not even realise that the “secret plays once again Soviet Union, languageâ€? used by the girls in but this time also Austria and Charlie’s Angels was Finnish. Washington. The film is set in When pressed to choose one 1981, but Ladas were difficult

     

     

   

Espanjan Espanjan ainoa ainoa kansainvälinen kansainvälinenmuotoiluinstituutti, muotoiluinstituutti, jossa opiskeluun myÜnnetään jossa opiskeluun myÜnnetäänopintolainaa opintolainaa

HOW DO you take a dyed-in-the-wool Finn and make her look like she just stepped off the streets of Moscow circa 1981? In Christian Carion’s film Farewell, the Finnish extras fared uncannily well as Russians. The set’s skilful costumiers and make-up artists managed to turn their humble Finnish subjects into fabulous Matushkas, though this role was reserved for women of a certain age. Younger Finnish girls were cast as Muscovites in full bloom, their shawls somewhat more revealing. Some form of head-dress was worn by all the assisting actors, however, since modern haircuts had to be discretely tucked away under woollen beanies and all manner of furry caps, lest they compromise the aesthetic. A full range of sacks, bags and packs were also distributed; actors clutched potato sacks and plain, flat purses. The job of these makeshift Russians was to stalk the streets of Kruununhaka, burdens in tow, looking as morosely Soviet as possible. Clothing was a study in grey, and winter’s merciless sleet only added to the scene’s Iron Curtain ambience.

What do Warren Beatty, Helen Mirren and Isabella Rossellini have in common? They have all filmed in Finland and in all these films Finland played Russia.

Katarina Boijer

Russian for a day

Stardom was no walf in the park, however. The day of an extra is characterised by endless walking, waiting in the bitter cold and, in the case of Farewell, a steady diet of exhaust fumes from the terribly authentic Ladas which traversed the film set. Spirits remained high, though, and the cold was fought off with a combination of thick, Russian jackets and warm soup. Extras were paid ten euros for their troubles, but for many, the real prize will come when they recognise themselves on screen. That is if they can pick out their own faces from that sea of woolly hats!

to find in Finland and most of them had to be transported from Russia. Fi n n i sh produc er Claes Olsson’s company Kinoproduction managed the Finnish shootings on behalf of Farewell. According to Olsson filming ran extremely smoothly, even if the lack of snow in the capital did disappoint scriptwriters who had specified a snowy cityscape. “I had to take the crew up to Rovaniemi where the snowfall was a bit more reliable,� he recounts. “The snow featured in Helsinki was artificial and that foam became a mess pretty quickly, but it was better than nothing.� French filmmakers were soon besotted by Finland, for many of them their Finnish tour was the first of its kind. “They also brought their families along, so we had this massive French delegation, grandmothers included,� Olsson laughs. In his view, Finland is an easy place for foreign filmmakers to come and shoot in since work flows smoothly here. “Morale is really high among the Finnish crew, and there is a high standard of professionalism among everyone from the lighting crew to the make-up artists, who also run according to timetable. The only thing we can’t affect is the winter darkness, so every second of daylight on a winter day must be used for shooting. But all said, I think our visitors went away with some pretty good memories of Finland,� Olsson concludes. Finland seems to be less a place than a state of mind.

Selected filmography DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, 1965. Director: David Lean. Starring: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie. In Lean’s polished Hollywood melodrama the Russian revolution was just a backdrop for a love story. Omar Sharif loved the freezing weather and charmed everybody apart from the horse that had to play his noble war horse. A Finnish horse saved from a slaughter house proved to be very un-cooperative. REDS, 1981. Director: Warren Beatty. Starring: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson. The three and a half hour epic love story is the most successful of the “Russian� films, even if Helsinki was portrayed both as Moscow and St Petersburg. A film about anti-American intellectual socialists was nominated for 12 Oscars. Finns were quite horrified of Diane Keaton’s unfashionable clothes, maybe that’s why she was able to walk around in Helsinki un-noticed. GORKY PARK, 1983. Director Michael Apted. Starring William Hurt, Joanna Pacula, Lee Marvin.

This mediocre thriller looks a bit claustrophobic, due to the lack of panoramic views. Finnish film extras had to be able to speak English and skate. A driver’s licence and one’s own Lada were big plusses also. WHITE NIGHTS, 1985. Director Taylor Hackford. Starring: Mihail Barysnikov, Isabella Rossellini, Helen Mirren. The director solved a panoramic shot problem by sending a documentary film crew to Leningard. They got permission to film the Russian scenery and these shots were used in the film. Mihail Barysnikov, who defected to Canada in the 1970s, saw his old house completely unchanged in the documentary film clips, and was moved to tears. Taylor Hackford fell in love with Helen Mirren and Rossellini while Barysnikov also had a romance. It must have been something in the Finnish air! FAREWELL, starring Guillaume Canet, Emir Custurica and Willem Dafoe, is based on a true spy story. It premieres at Cannes in June 2009.

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ä l y k s ä v y J n i s t r o p s r e t - win Try the cross-country ski tracks in Laajavuori, experience the Ice Skating Tour on Lake Jyväsjärvi and grill a sausage in a traditional Lapp hut while you’re resting, or have a go on the slalom slopes. It’s all possible with a just a short trip from the Jyväskylä city centre.

• Around 70 kilometres of illuminated hiking paths and nature trails stretch out from several recreational parks located in the Jyväskylä area. • The online service ”latuinfo” features updated inforinfor mation about the ski tracks and their conditions: http://www.jyvaskyla.fi/liikunta • There are three popular ski centres in the Jyväskylä area: Laajavuori, Riihivuori and Häkärinteet. • There is a 2,4-kilometre-long popular ice skating track situated on centrally located Lake Jyväsjärvi.

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Lifestyle

11

Issue 2 2009

the

So you want to get a tattoo. But how do you make sure it’s not going to be a tragic mistake you’ll be warning your grandchildren of when you’re old and wrinkly? There are a few things to consider before having something carved on your skin for all time. Niina Mero

THE BEST person to tell you what not to do is a tattoo artist who’s done more than his fair share of cover-ups. Tomppa, the owner of Halo Tattoo Studio in Tampere has been in the industry long enough to have seen all kinds of tattoo getters, and quite a few of them he’s sent back home, ink-free, to think things through. “After a while in this business you get a certain knack for people, you’ll see if they’re

still undecided,” says Tomppa You need to be sure. Go and buy a biker jacket if you want to look like a badass. Getting a tattoo will backfire when you decide you’d rather be a banker than a biker and need to wear a diving suit to a job interview to hide your badass tats. “You need to protect people from themselves”, says Tomppa. “If the customer is uncertain, I don’t take the job. When they’re stuck with a shitty tattoo, they put the blame on the guy who did it, and never on

art of

o o t t a t e h t

themselves for wanting it in the first place.” Hate-inspired or vengeful tattoos are generally a bad idea, because feelings tend to change and having “die you cheating bastard” tattooed on your arm might not feel like such a great idea after a while. Tomppa also refuses to do racist tattoos. “It’s not my business to tell people how to think, but you have to think about your own portfolio and your reputation. If you carve a couple of white power -tats, there will be guys with chemotherapy haircuts swarming in front of the shop.” Running his own business has allowed Tomppa to make his own rules. He won’t do you if you’re underage, with or without parental consent. And he won’t give you a folder to choose a copy paste picture from. “I don’t do barbed wire. This is not a hardware store,” he smiles. Tomppa likes to do things his way, but with the customer in mind. “There are a lot of tattoo artists in this business who say they’ll only

do it their way and if someone doesn’t like it, they can go elsewhere. But you need to listen to the customer to some extent. And talk them out of it if what they want is crap,” Tomppa says. Tomppa has a brutally honest, Gregory House kind of attitude towards customer service, and his habit of saying first and thinking later makes even some of his regular customers a little wary. Some of them don’t even pretend to like him. “I get called an ass a lot. But we’re making tattoos here, not friends. I know a lot of tattooists who are really nice guys, but they couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler. You need to weigh up what’s really important,” says Tomppa. Tattooing is an art that requires more skill than just the ability to draw. No matter how stunning your artistic talents may be, they mean little when the pen you’re holding weighs about 250 grams and vibrates and the paper you use feels pain, twitches and needs to rest. Drawing skills aside,

you need to understand what it means to work on a person. “Drawing on paper is art, but on skin it’s science. There are so many things you need to know, the way skin reacts and what will and will not work.” This is part of the reason Tomppa is suspicious of tattooists who don’t have any images on their own skin. Their knowledge of the art is limited. “The roughest tattooists I have met have been ones with very little ink of their own.” The process of getting a large, custom-made image is very different from copying a flash image. People expect to see the exact image beforehand, but Tomppa likes to draw freehand, shaping the design to suit the body and draws only certain details in advance. “I always say that sure, I’ll design and plan ahead, and I never do. But that helps me maintain my interest in the job I’m working on. It demands a certain kind of customer-tattooist relationship though,” he says, implying that he makes sure the customer is fine with the idea before start-

ing to work on them freehand. There are people who need to see the exact picture beforehand, but those people are often reluctant to pay for the time it takes to design. “When I tell them I need to charge for the time I spend drawing their project, they slam an egg timer on the table and start harassing me to draw faster,” Tomppa says. So you still want to get a tattoo? Good for you. You’ve got your heart set on the design and you would trust your tattooist with your life. This is it. The buzzing of the machine. The faint smell of the disinfectant. The punk music blaring from the stereo. It only hurts in the beginning. The pain will subside after the first hour, I promise. Look at your tattooist. If he’s got ink, he knows how it feels. He’s not doing it to hurt you. He’s doing it to carve something better out of you. Helsinki Ink 2009, 15th International Tattoo Convention in Kaapelitehdas 13 to 15 March. See www.helsinki-ink.fi

Niina Mero

Eternal memories

Trends come and go

Niina Mero Kati Hurme

Marika, 37, had been intrigued by tattoos before but never really considered getting one until a personal tragedy struck. She was happily pregnant with twin girls but miscarried halfway through the pregnancy. In the haze of misery and loss a friend told her she now had angels of her own, and the thought felt very comforting. After the pain subsided, she started to think of a way to remember her girls forever. The idea of getting a tattoo to represent them seemed right.

IN GENERAL, the cheapest tattoos cost around 60 euros. The price is not directly related to the size of the tattoo, but the working hours, so simple ones are cheaper than detailed ones. “Various stylised text tattoos are especially popular at the moment, and the most popular language is Hebrew,” reports Wilma Schlizewski, who runs a tattoo parlour in the centre of Helsinki. “In terms of images, stars are currently in high demand. I do quite a few of them daily. Of course, there’s still solid demand for the classics – roses, butterflies, tribal tattoos,” she adds. “As for more extreme stuff, burned tattoos are quite popular, because they really show.” “As tattooing has become more popular, demand for corrections and removals, where people try to improve or cover poorly done or ill-considered tattoos, has also shot up,” Schlizewski says. “In my parlour the average customer these days is over 40, and sometimes even over 60!”

Marika took her time planning and eventually her husband gave her the tattoo as an anniversary present. The image she chose was a painting by Heljä Liukko-Sundström, of an angel reaching for a star. She got it done on her ankle, not the easiest place to get needled, but the pain of tattooing was nothing compared to the grief she had overcome. This was the only tattoo she was ever going to get, and she now has her girls, her angels forever on her skin. Tammela Ink. Tomppa working on a Phil Anselmo -armpiece.


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Society

13

Issue 2 2009

SOCIETY Column

Niina Mero

Can we be trusted? David Brown

Sami Makkonen

Sports, integration and racism

missing the

point.

“If one of us has a problem with the referee, we’re often punished for voicing it. If one of us is the referee, we’re punished for that. We can’t win.” Such is the Catch-22 situation facing many foreign-born sports players in Finland. Risto Haataja

IN THE beginning of February, a Facebook group was established ostensibly to supply funding to provide Somali refugees in Finland the opportunity to return back to Somalia. The idea was to collect 500,000 members who would each contribute 10 euros in order to raise 5 million euros to send 10,000 Somali’s back. This group uses deliberately calm language, which is nevertheless dripping in irony and can clearly be seen in that manner by anyone. Racist? Without a doubt! In spite of that, the site drew immediate and considerable support. Finns flocked to support the site and pledge money. In the first few weeks since publication the site attracted an incredible 17,000 supporters. Apart from some extremist individuals who write messages of support on this site, it is clear that a majority of members do not consider themselves racist. Nonetheless they are supporting a clearly racist principle. Mikko Joronen, an advisor working with the Finnish League for Human Rights says that this reflects a perfectly human instinct for self-justification. “Because racism and racists carry such a negative connotation most people don’t want to be tagged as such. After all, who wants to think of themselves as a bad person?” Joronen says. Racist ideology is of course not prohibited. It is in the nature of our democratic and free society that we tolerate such thoughts. However, “spreading and inciting hatred due to racism is prohibited, it is illegal,” points out Joronen. Integration and Sport In a country where sports is a national passion, the sporting

spirit is something many Finns hold dear. Numerous sports organisations exist at local council level and cater services ranging from socialising and forging friendships through to building athletic prowess and improving skills. Funding for sporting organisations is channelled through various bodies but ultimately controlled by the government. “Sports is a wonderful way to help integrate people into society,” says Christian Thibault, Managing Director of Liikkukaa [Move!] Ry. “Unfortunately, the concept of integrating migrants to Finland via sport is not one that receives much official support,” continues Thibault. The problem appears to be in fact a clear segregation of migrant sportsmen and women from the mainstream. “The powers that be are either not taking their responsibilities seriously, or there is a level of carelessness or lack of knowledge of what goes on at the field level,” says Thibault. According to him, this results in a game of buck-passing in which sporting organisations state that they are not appropriately resourced to supply any integration services, while the government agencies responsible for funding insist that it is the responsibility of the local bodies. “In the end, this results in segregated sporting events, teams and underfunded sporting associations being formed by the newcomers,” says Thibault. We quit! “There is empirical evidence that in football for instance foreign-born players are treated differently from locals,” says Thibault. On average, punishments are more severe and more common for nonFinnish players. While the jury

is still out on the true reasons for this, the mere fact that this is the case speaks to polarisation. However, Thibault hastens to add that “the referees are not necessarily at fault”. Using foreign-born referees can also cause more problems. Five out of six foreign-born referees have quit in football, due to racist and belligerent behaviour from players, coaches and fans. This behaviour is never tolerated by Finnish referees, and in fact they are not subjected to it. Slurs against dark-skinned players are an everyday occurrence in Finnish sport, according to Thibault. “Even today there is no way a black person can go to a sportsfield and not get called a “neekeri,” says Thibault. The Finnish term “neekeri” has not been in widespread use since the 1990s and is considered a racist slur, and it is often preceded by swear words which leave no doubt in the victim’s mind as to its intent. The football federation recently developed a zero tolerance policy towards verbal abuse. However, it has largely been ineffective in controlling the problems. In fact, according to Thibault, it has been somewhat counterproductive in terms of increasing penalties to players. The enforcement of such policies needs to be effectively controlled, as otherwise it is symbolic only. Integration is key Xenophobia is a thoroughly human weakness. According to Joronen, it can often be based on a misconception where the fear is that a person who is a different colour and who comes from an alien culture or religion is here to take something away from the locals. This concept is clearly displayed in the postings of the

Facebook group noted earlier. “This kind of classification is a sandbox attitude, prevalent in kindergarten. It is simply not based on facts,” says Joronen. Even the idea of the cost of flying these people back to Somalia is not accurate. Police sources confirm that the cost of extradition of one person to what is effectively a war zone is in the neighbourhood of 15,000 euros, assuming it can be done safely. Sport has always been a great way for people to get together. It also has the ability to bring out the most base of tribal instincts, and terrible group behaviour in people. “We are now at a point where it is time for each to take responsibility in their own field. Government, local councils and local clubs must show responsibility, otherwise no real or positive results will be seen,” says Thibault. Otherwise, it will remain another lost opportunity.

Anti-racism projects 21 March is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Finnish Red Cross is hosting a week-long campaign from the 14 March, culminating on the 21 entitled Help the Environment – Give up your Prejudices. The project aims to have as many people as possible promise to give up racist misconceptions by a physical act, involving writing down such misconceptions and throwing them away.

IN 1936, the fascist Spanish General Emilio Mola approached the city of Madrid, which was held by Republican forces. While Mola had only four columns of men, he insisted that within the city was “una quinta columna,” or fifth column, which would rise up and join him. In reality, of course, the city resisted him for months, and Mola died in a plane crash probably arranged by his friend and ally, General Franco. Since then, the concept of the “fifth column” has entered the language. Stalin feared groups such as the ethnic Finns in Karelia, resident within the USSR but with loyalties elsewhere, constituted one. During WWII the English imprisoned Germans on the Isle of Man, and the Americans the Japanese on the grounds that the loyalty of such groups could not be relied upon. But in contemporary society, when more and more of us live in a country not that of our birth, the term seems little used. Perhaps it is because the concept of loyalty to ones country is less likely to involve being shot at than it did fifty years ago, possibly because political correctness suggests all migrants simply belong wherever they are.

A

s foreigners, should we sing the Finnish national anthem, and if we do sing it, are we supposed to feel anything? As a migrant myself, this is something I think is worth considering. In the event of a clash, be it ideological, military or even sporting, which side would I choose to be on? If Finland were attacked, would I rush to defend it, or simply rush to the airport with my “other” passport? As Finland ponders the dilemma of whether or not to join the NATO alliance, the question of the position this places migrants in is rarely discussed. It is entirely likely that second generation migrants will serve in Finland’s armed services, and in doing so, face distant cousins across a front line. Has anyone considered how a Bosnian-Finn might feel about being asked to serve as a peacekeeper in Bosnia? For most of us, this is more a question of ideology than practical threat. As passport holders of other nations, should we sing the Finnish national anthem at sports events, and if we do sing it, are we supposed to feel anything? Should we tell people we are Finns, or always use some other adjective before the noun? English politician Norman Tebbit complained that Indian cricket fans in England supported the Indian team rather than the English, despite the fact that many of them had never been to India in their lives. And while this may not mean that Indians resident in England present any kind of threat to British society, is surely does suggest that they do not feel English. This seems less of an issue in the United States, where many first generation migrants swear an oath of allegiance without a hint of irony, and belt out the words to the Star-Spangled Banner regardless of whether they are entirely sure what it means to actually be “spangled.” As Finland becomes a more international society, this may become more of an issue. Will the children of migrants be forever loyal to a land they may never have seen, and be Finnish on paper, but never in their heart? Or will the concept of what it means to be a Finn expand until we migrants also feel that ei vettä, rantaa rakkampaa.* (*No sea, nor coast is more loved) David Brown runs Word Of Mouth Ltd, a language consultancy working with politicians and the media. He also works as a journalist, recently covering stories in Azerbaijan and Georgia. He has lived in Finland for seven years.


Photos LiveNation, EMI Finland

Madonna’s announced concert tops off a flurry of world-class stars with stopovers in Finland over the summer. Big names and big money circulate in the international live music industry. Veteran promoter Antti EiniÜ reveals what it takes to lure stars to Finland.


Feature

15

Issue 2 2009

Matti Koskinen

THE MUSIC industry might be in a slump, but the concert business seems to be doing better than ever. Finns, who used to complain that the country was too remote and small to attract big international tours, are now treated to abundant high-profile arena and stadium concerts. The coming summer’s lineup is particularly impressive: Tina Turner, AC/DC, Metallica and Bruce Springsteen are all dropping in. And as icing on the cake there’s Madonna, a star too big for a stadium. All January either U2 or Madonna were rumoured to play a giant concert at the emptied-out container docks at Helsinki’s West Harbour. By February it was confirmed: Madonna will be rolling her massive Sticky & Sweet tour into town. This not only marks the Queen of Pop’s first ever Finnish visit, but is also shaping up to be the largest show ever staged in Finland. Amid an economic downturn 80,000 tickets were sold in a matter of hours for a steep 99–119 euros a piece. As an undertaking, stadium gigs taking in crowds in excess of 30,000 are in a class of their own, well beyond the scope of the average arena concerts. While the number of event production companies importing artists to Finland has proliferated, there’s still practically only one firm that produces stadium-grade concerts: Live Nation Finland, previously Welldone, a local subsidiary of the multinational concert giant. Welldone was originally set up by one man: promoter Risto Juvonen, now the head of Live Nation Finland and the man responsible for all the wheeling and dealing it took to land Madonna at West Harbour. To find out more about the concert business in Finland, there’s one other man to talk to. With a career spanning six decades, Antti Einiö is a true pioneer of the trade. Einiö got started in the 1950s, bringing in big jazz art-

ists with his brother Paavo. The first major star he booked was Louis Armstrong in 1955. By the 70s Einiö was reeling in massive rock tours such as the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Abba. In the 90s Einiö produced concerts in Finland and neighbouring countries with Dire Straits, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and many, many others. Now retired, Einiö works as a consultant. He negotiates artist bookings for Eastway, the second-largest event producers in Finland. He appears about as far removed from the usual showbiz types as can be. An amiable (if opinionated) man in his seventies, Einiö has long since grown out of any romanticised notion of the live music racket. He talks about his star-studded line of work with little bravado and drops names like other people drop verbs or nouns. “I gave up doing anything for prestige a long time ago,” he says. “It’s just a job like any other.” Risky business A lot has changed since the 1950s. Concerts have become larger, more money is involved and lawyers and legal jargon are now everywhere. These days it’s common for the first 10–20 pages of the artist’s rider to be written by lawyers. “A Danish promoter friend of mine went to the States to meet with Michael Jackson’s people. He felt pretty lonely facing the row of a dozen lawyers sitting with Jackson’s agent.” The live music business is now a huge and highly specialised sub-segment of the entertainment industry. The trade publication Pollstar Magazine tracks the touring schedules and box office performance of over 11,000 artists worldwide. It’s a ruthless racket, ruled by cold hard numbers. Millions of euros are changing hands and for the local promoter the risk is often disproportionate to the prospective pay off. “It’s harder to make 10,000 euros than it is to lose 100,000,” says Einiö. When a band is booked they

M

ick Jagger, having studied some economics at Cambridge, decided that promoters don’t deserve a penny. ‘Let them make money on beer sales and car parking,’ he said. call for a guaranteed advance, a lump sum they walk away with no matter how many tickets are sold. Madonna is said to demand upwards of a million dollars per performance. For that you get the act, delivered to the venue of your choice. Then there are local costs: venue rent, construction crews, advertising etc. What’s left of total ticket sales after the artist advance and local costs is divided between the two parties. Nowadays a 90/10 split is common, the local promoter walking away with a mere ten per cent of the profit. “Ever since AC/DC got themselves a contract to collect 95 per cent of ticket sales after local expenses, now everyone wants the same deal. No self-respecting artist will go for 90/10 any more,” Einiö says. As an exception, the Rolling Stones demand a 97,5 per cent cut of all revenue but no advance. On their 1995 Voodoo Lounge tour American promoters had to settle for a 100/0 deal. “Mick Jagger, having studied some economics at Cambridge, decided that promoters don’t deserve a penny. ‘Let them make money on beer sales and car parking,’ he said.” No cheap thrills Unfortunately for the consumer, expensive artist fees translate to expensive tickets. Ten years ago a ticket to see U2 at the Olympic stadium cost 250 Finnish marks (roughly 42 euros). Now the average ticket price for a stadium concert is creeping up towards the 100 euro mark. Tickets to the Eagles, reportedly the most expensive performer ever brought to Finland, are selling at 120 euros and upwards.

Yet demand for the most popular concerts remains solid. Consumers seem to think they’re getting their money’s worth. “Before, you couldn’t imagine prices like these for anything less than Pavarotti or some other opera star,” Einiö says. He pins the surge in ticket prices on the bands and their agents, who push for higher and higher advances and set off bidding wars between local promoters, “who are dumb enough to go along with it.” With Eastern Europe and the Balkans joining the game there’s more than enough promoters competing to bag a big artist. Upstart promoter Kalle Keskinen started out with festivals, and soon skipped straight to the big guns by booking rapper 50 Cent to Hartwall Arena. Last year his company, Speed Promotion, graduated to stadium-grade productions by selling 40,000 tickets to Bon Jovi at the Olympic stadium. He tells SixDegrees via email that the competition has only brought more business for everyone. “Before we got into the game, the old guards were used to having a monopoly – they would only do the surefire concerts and let the more difficult artists go straight to Sweden,” says Keskinen. Since his firm entered the field the entire industry has grown by 35 per cent. “It’s clear that the increased supply has been met with rising demand.” His flamboyant antics have made Keskinen a celebrity, but some in the trade consider his head-first approach foolhardy and pernicious. “If we had entered the market by bringing [Swedish pop-jazz band] Bo Kasper’s Orchestra to the Savoy Theatre we would

certainly have avoided a lot of the publicity. But then, we would still be working our way to the arena-level,” Keskinen counters. It’s the rockonomy, stupid Many of the most sought-after artists are now on the rosters of international concert conglomerates, the largest of which is Live Nation. For example, Live Nation owns Madonna, body and soul, merchandising and recording rights and all for ten years. The Material Girl herself pocketed a cool US$120 million from the deal. Coldplay recently made a similar deal for five years. On a global scale, a power struggle is underway between Live Nation and its leading competitor, AEG Live. When news first broke of Madonna’s Live Nation contract it was considered unusually inclusive, but businesswise it makes perfect sense for the artist to align herself with a concert producer. Already after its first leg, the Sticky & Sweet tour was the most lucrative venture ever undertaken by a solo artist. For most top-tier performers royalties garnered from record sales are dwarfed by touring revenue, their primary source of income. According to some theories the situation has been aggravated in the 21st century by the loss of royalties due to illegal downloading, which has turned the system upside down. Before the internet and file-sharing, touring was a way to promote records. Now records serve to promote the tours. Settling for lower ticket prices was worth it because larger audiences translated into increased record sales. With that incentive gone there is now more pressure to make money on concerts. Princeton University economist Alan Krueger, an expert in the economics of popular music or “rockonomics” (his term), calls this the “Bowie theory”. In 2002 rock legend David Bowie told the New York Times that “music itself is going to become like running water or electricity.”

Intellectual property would lose value and royalties would nosedive. Seeing the writing on the wall, he told his fellow performers to be ready to do plenty of touring, as “that’s really the only unique situation that’s going to be left.” Touring for a pension plan Although the concert industry appears robust enough, some dark clouds are gathering. Aside from the economic downturn, which may well curb people’s enthusiasm to buy tickets at exuberant prices, another problem facing the live music business is future talent supply. In its current state the big international live music business is a superstar industry, where a few mustsee performers make up a large chunk of all revenue. Right now the top grossing performers – Madonna, Springsteen, AC/DC, even U2 – are all greying celebrities whose careers are hardly risk-free investments. The Police admittedly labelled their reunion tour a pension plan. So where are the next set of international superstars to be found? “Managers and agents are no longer interested in longterm career building,” groans Antti Einiö. He says agents keep fitting their clients with boots they can’t possibly fill. They push bands to play larger venues than they should. When they fail to sell out the promoters take a beating and lose interest. Many of the current superstars were hardly finished products on their first few albums. The trick is to diversify and expand, say industry insiders. Several mid-sized concerts can make more money with a smaller risk than one stadium gig. The current top-heavy model might turn out to be a transitional solution. Better go see Madonna’s colossal oncein-a-lifetime show while you can. Her kind might be extinct before long. Continues on the next page.


SIXDegrees

16

Issue 2 2009

the BIGGEST BANGS... WITH 80,000 tickets sold, Madonna is slated to obliterate all earlier attendance records. The record audience is made possible by staging the concert in the vast open space left empty by relocation of the container dock from Helsinki’s West Harbour.

The show

MUST GO ON

Eastway

Earlier records have all been set at the Olympic stadium. Attendance figures are always imprecise, as only the number of tickets sold is known with accuracy. In fact, the figures reported in the 1990s were quite possibly understated because of maximum capacity restrictions. Over the past decade or so safety restrictions have become even more strict, and crowds over 50,000 are now practically impossible. Michael Jackson presently holds the record for amassing the largest ever audience in a single concert in Finland, according to numbers from the Olympic stadium foundation. On their first visits both Michael Jackson, in 1997, and Bruce Springsteen, in 2003, sold out two concerts in a row. The Boss was reported to have set a new attendance record based on combined ticket sales of 89,000 for the two shows, surpassing Michael’s total of 87,000 tickets sold. Michael Jackson HIStory tour, 24 August 1997 54,500

Tina Turner Wildest Dreams tour, 7 August 1996 51,500

Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge tour, 6 June 1995 53,500

Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band The Rising tour, 17 June 2003 45,500

U2 PopMart tour, 9 August 1997 52,500

(Source: Olympic stadium foundation)

...and the MOST MOMENTOUS STRIKE-OUTS

SHORT FILM COMPETITIONS VIETNAM. NOW. WHATTA HELVETIA? SÁMI FILBMA A BITE OF INDIA BY RAJESH S. JALA TERRA FEMINA MIRANDA PENNELL EIJA-LIISA AHTILA BRAZILIAN UG PAVEL KOUTSKÝ PLYMPTON: IDIOTS AND ANGELS CANON OF SHORT FILM: UNREST 60’S RAKE SPECIAL: IN THE YER OF THE PIG CARTE BLANCHE BY MARJA PALLASSALO BASSWEIGHT FINNISH MUSIC VIDEOS JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON

JIMI TENOR PLAYS ANDY WARHOL LA FOXE | METALKING MAGYAR POSSE & ALDEBARAN RISING TAGS’N’BEATS NIGHT | BASSFAITH PARTY

ADVANCE TICKET SALES UNTIL MARCH, 3RD online box office www.tamperefilmfestival.fi Tullikamari 2nd floor, Tullikamarin aukio 2, at 10–18, tel: (03) 223 1066

If you book them, they will come. Then again, maybe not. Some of the greatest shows never quite made it to Finland. U2

The band were slated to return to Finland for their 2005 Vertigo tour, but according to press the city of Helsinki would not allow them at the Olympic Stadium for fear of damage to the grass. The pitch was to be kept flawless for the upcoming Athletics World Championships. The proposed substitute, Ratina stadium in Tampere, was deemed too small as it could only hold around 30,000 people.

Prince

Minnesota’s minuscule funk-eccentric has yet to perform in Finland, despite zealous efforts to bring him in. He’s been booked twice and once already sold out the entire arena, and has cancelled both times without so much as an excuse. “After he cancelled for the second time [concert producer] Tumppi Haaranen and I said to each other, if he ever comes here again we’ll get a machete and cut the damn platform heels off his shoes,” says promoter legend Antti Einiö.

Björk

Jerry Lee Lewis and Antti Einiö in August 2007, when the prehistoric rock legend visited Finland.

DEMANDING divas and unexpected difficulties are common in the concert production business. Over his six decades in the game, veteran promoter Antti Einiö has seen a lot of them. Well in to the 1960s, Jazz was all the rage in Finland and one of the biggest stars Antti and Paavo Einiö booked was Miles Davis. While the old Jazz musicians were generally a laidback lot, Davis had a special rider request when he came to Helsinki in 1967. “For some reason he wanted a boxing ring built for him in the basement of Kulttuuritalo, where he was playing. Well, of course we obliged!” Einiö recalls. “I guess he sparred with someone down there.” When Alice Cooper performed at the Helsinki Ice hall he was eager to see a live reindeer and wanted one delivered to his trailer. Luckily one was found just across town in Korkeasaari Zoo. Promptly, Einiö had the unwitting animal brought in to meet the shock-rock legend in person. One of the more peculiar rider demands was made by Frank Sinatra, who performed at the Helsinki Ice hall in 1989 with Sammy Davis Jr. (Liza Minelli was also on the tour but cancelled her performance in Finland.) “Sinatra wanted his dressing room walls painted black,” Einiö says. “Well, we

SUMMER

2009

In 2008 the Icelandic pixie was all set to perform for a sold-out crowd of 10,000 people in Helsinki’s Finlandia park, on a stage specially built for her. First opening act Santogold pulled out, and just one day before the show Björk cancelled the whole deal, pleading voice trouble.

Thu 23 & Fri 24 April Tina Turner (US) Hartwall Areena Tickets €109/119/139

Rod Stewart

Tue 2 June Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (US) Ratina stadium, Tampere Tickets €80.5/74.5

In 1976 Stewart cancelled a performance in Turku only hours before showtime. The hard-living rocker had punished his raspy voice with too much whiskey and was told to rest, lest the following night’s concert in Helsinki be jeopardised as well. A rare example of a truly dedicated entertainer, the next day Stewart offered bus transportation for everyone who had bough tickets to the Turku show to see him in Helsinki as compensation.

wouldn’t do that, but we did cover them with black fabric instead. It was good enough.” Not all surprises had to do with the stars and their whims. When the Rolling Stones came to town in 1995 the concert was close to being cancelled over an embarrassing logistical quandary. “One of the trucks transporting giant video screens wouldn’t fit through the gate to the Olympic stadium,” remembers Einiö. “With audience seating built over the gate, raising it was not an option. So we had to bring in a construction company to dig the ground underneath into a slope so the truck could pass through.” In 1989 Pink Floyd’s concert in Lahti ran into border trouble. “The band was coming from Moscow overnight and in those days the border closed up at night, there was nobody there,” Einiö tells us. “Luckily I had some contacts at the police department and customs.” Later, after some late-night phone calls, it was down to border officials to let the band through. “I called some colonel at the Border Guard and told him I’ve already got the police and customs to go along, all I need is for you to sign off on it. I consider it my crowning achievement, opening the Finnish border myself for Pink Floyd.”

Thu 4 June The Eagles (US) Hartwall Areena Tickets €120.5/140.5/170.5

Sun 14 & Mon 15 June Metallica (US) Support: Lamb of God (US), Mastodon (US) Hartwall Areena Tickets €69/59 Wed 17 June AC/DC (AUS) Olympic stadium Tickets €80.5/70.5 Thu 6 August Madonna (US) Support: Paul Oakenfold (UK) West harbour, Helsinki Tickets €99/109/119


WEMet Cultitude

17

Issue 2 2009

Tomas Whitehouse

Chef recommends il Duetto

Authentic tastes from Italy

APPETIZER Column Dining à la Japonaise Siru Valleala

IN JAPAN, food is everything. Or if it’s not food, it’s shopping. Or it’s food shopping. In a country where everyone is so thin that they’re almost transparent, it’s simply amazing how much you are confronted with an abundance of food. People eat almost anywher, except on the street that considered inappropriate. Restaurants are always packed and the best ones have metre-long queues winding their way into them. The Japanese don’t mind having to queue to get into restaurants because a queue is usually a good sign that the food is going to be oishii, delicious.

CHEF’S TIP The perfect pizza dough Il Duetto’s Fabrizio Velardi and Dario Alessi use only Italian ingredients.

James O’Sullivan

LOCATED in the newer section of Helsinki’s Kamppi shopping centre in the Sähkötalo, Il Duetto represents a modern era for the Italian dining experience in the capital area. The restaurant ignores the stereotypes inherent in some Italian restaurants of dining areas littered with chequered tablecloths, Canzone Napoletana playing gently in the background, and the national flag and photos of Italian greats plastered over the walls. Uncomplicated, bright and cheerful with tables and chairs set against a backdrop of larger than life photos of pizza menu items adorning the walls, Il Duetto’s all-Italian staff seek to combine the homeliness of good Italian food with a relaxed, family-friendly environment. The atmosphere is straight-forward, casual and without fuss. Devoid of any pretence, the open kitchen reveals some of the chefs’ food preparation techniques as smatterings of Italian conversation waft out into the dining area accompanying the aroma of freshly-baked pizza. Established in February 2008 by Italians Dario Alessi and Fabrizio Velardi, Il Duetto (the duet) has quickly emerged with the reputation as a place to enjoy some of the best pizzas in Helsinki. Originally studying in Finland under the Erasmus international student exchange program, both Dario and Fabrizio happened by chance to become roommates in Helsinki after they had graduated. Living together and both enjoying a passion for Italian cooking, they searched for a way to establish themselves in Finland. Deciding that “here in Helsinki we couldn’t find real Italian food” the duo strove to develop a restaurant

concept that incorporates the use of ingredients that “must be Italian - no compromise!” With some assistance from Fabrizio’s mother back home in Calabria and also from different Italian suppliers, Il Duetto is able to import allItalian produce into Finland in order to create the genuine flavours of its dishes. The one exception is that of the Il Duetto sausage which is made by Finnish manufacturer Chef Wotkins, keeping to a strict recipe provided by the chefs of Il Duetto. With some of his mother’s own recipes incorporated into the menu, Fabrizio now has the opportunity to pass on to his customers the unique flavours he enjoyed whilst growing up in southern Italy. The €9 lunch buffet on offer allows customers the choice between a range of dishes and antipasto between 11:00-15:00 weekdays. A small selection of pastas and pizzas are available à la carte as well with the menu changing each week. The duo’s initial concerns about creating such an exclusively Italian environment without many Finnish gastronomic references in Helsinki have proved to be baseless with an average of 120 customers enjoying lunch each weekday. Available after lunch, the complete à la Carte menu offers the curious a wide variety of modestly priced pastas and meat dishes. The wine list is exclusively Italian with choices available between various wine-producing regions of Italy. With over twenty pizzas to choose from the menu offers diverse combinations of its imported produce. Echoing Jarmo Valtari’s prize-winning Pizza Berlosconi at The America’s Plate Pizza competition in New York last year with his inventive use of typical

Too thick! Too thin! Too dry! Too soggy! It seems that lovers of pizza just can’t make up their mind as to what makes the perfect pizza base. So how do you create the perfect pizza dough? Well, Il Duetto believes that a combination of Italian soft wheat flour, oil, water, salt and fresh yeast come together perfectly when firmly rolled upon a black marble granite bench! The bench cannot be made of plastic or wood. Only black marble granite will give the perfect texture. The rest is up to you. Be firm with the dough, but don’t over-handle it or it’ll become too tough. Depending on individual taste, one can produce a pizza base that leans more towards the Naples school (thick and rubbery) or the Rome school (thin and crunchy).

Finnish ingredients, Il Duetto serves their salmon-oriented Pizza Finlande. The Regina is the restaurant’s most popular pizza with lashings of cured ham, mozzarella, rucola, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan flakes resting upon a traditional Italian base covered with or without tomato sauce. After being fortunate enough to enjoy this house favourite, it truly is difficult to recommend a better pizza in Helsinki. Absolutely superb! It is said that the perfect Italian meal can last many hours, sometimes days as each flavour is savoured with good company. With Il Duetto gathering increased popularity and expansion plans on the horizon it would seem that for both Dario and Fabrizio, their belief that food is a reason for coming together is shared by many in Northern Europe as in the South. Buon appetito!

ONE of the most interesting things to do in Japan is window shopping, especially at restaurant windows. The Japanese have their own unique way of arranging those odd plastic plates full of even odder plastic food in their shop windows. Aesthetics mean a great deal to them and meals must look gorgeous, even plastic ones. Their garnishes are sometimes so beautiful it feels positively criminal to eat them. Not to mention the bento boxes – lunch boxes that housewives fill for their husbands for work, or for their children for school. Many Japanese people make these look like pieces of art, too. Department stores are full of different-shaped moulds for rice balls or vegetables: fancy a lunch looking like a bunch of cats, bears or bunnies? Standards may be dropping a bit though, since it was recently reported that an alarming number of Japanese mums are no longer able to cut the slices of apple to look like bunny ears. BAKERIES are another aspect of Japanese food culture. There isn’t usually an oven in the Japanese kitchen so home baking is ruled out. Instead they visit bakeries, which are incredibly popular all over the country and often have Scandinavian names for some reason. Normally they won’t stock much more than the same white toast bread you’ll find everywhere else, but the buns, pastries and pies are often very good. And of course they look great! Once I ate a sweet pastry looking like a cute pig. Its head tasted very much like Finnish pulla. The body was cream-filled pastry dough with butter, while its bottom was made of chocolate cake. Quite an interesting combination, I thought. FOOD is a part of all aspects of life in Japan and most of the TV programmes are dedicated to it. One popular format consists of a famous pop group or other stars who are invited into the studio to taste different sorts of foods. Studio audiences wait anxiously for the the taster’s reaction. Does she like it or not? When the actress or pop singer yells oishii! everyone is relieved and starts applauding. I have always wondered what happens when the food isn’t that tasty after all. Do they lie? I usually believe them though, since the portions look really good. At the other end of the spectrum, there are shows that are designed to make people feel sick. The guests are made to eat something less than appetising and then they are put in a carousel in a studio. After a few rounds they eat more. The last one left in the carousel -that is, the last one not to vomit - is declared the winner! BUT how is it that although they live in a country enthralled by culinary delicacies the Japanese remain so slim? And why am I losing weight as well even if I eat all the time? I guess I still have some Japanese culinary secrets to reveal!

Il Duetto Malminrinne 6, Helsinki Kamppi Shopping Centre (Helsingin Sähkötalo) 045 1269815 www.ilduetto.fi Open Mon-Fri 11:00-22:00 Sat 12:00-22:00 Sun 13:00-21:00

Siru Valleala, 33, is a freelance journalist living in Tokyo, Japan. She spends her days at home writing articles for Finnish magazines and experiencing culture shock on a daily basis every time she steps out her front door and realises where she lives. Once she’s over it she wanders the malls, explores the hidden secret alleys, stares at people, feels acrophobic and, most of all, eats.


SIXDegrees

18

Issue 2 2009 Vuokko Salo

What in the World Column A breath of fresh air Robin DeWan

THE NEXT time you get all bent out of shape about living in Finland, relax and take a deep breath. The air in this country is exceptional. When asked what it is I like about Finland, I usually recite a few standard responses, but the one that baffles people most concerns the quality of the environment. The explanation, “I like to breathe clean air and drink fresh water,” just doesn’t cut it. I’m usually met with a puzzled look that seems to say, “Is that really enough to get you to pull up stakes and relocate to this remote, frozen berg?” I try to clarify that I’m not exactly an environmental refugee, but nothing beats a deep inhalation of low-density-particle breeze. Right about then my friends usually excuse themselves and wander off toward the punch bowl.

Kristiina Wheeler is all about soul

Yasmine Zein

ON A RAINY afternoon I met for a chat with the sunny singer and songwriter Kristiina Wheeler. Born in England, Kristiina moved to Tampere when she was six. Her breakthrough in music came when she got the opportunity to make music for the movie Tyttö sinä olet tähti (Beauty and the Bastard, 2005). Soon after she met musician Christel “Chisu” Sundberg. Together they put together her debut album, Hitchin’ to Helsinki, which was released in November 2008. Her sound is pop, or rather “lollipop”, with a taste of sweet sugary soul. What are your musical influences? There’s so many. I’m inspired by life, people, places and emotions. But musically I get quite a lot of ideas from music I haven’t listened to before. Strong female voices like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and above all Alanis Morissette; she’s the reason I started writing. How do you think your British background has influenced your music? I think just the fact that I

have some British in me has had an inf luence. I’ve never really been into the melancholic Finnish music that seems to be traditional here. I’ve always loved pop, funk, and soul music. Have you considered ever going back to England to live? I’ve thought about it. I visit quite a lot, and every time I go back I remember how much I love it and how at home I feel there. So yes, I would love to go back. But I’m not a person who plans things too much. I try to live in the moment. Would you continue your music career there? If I did go back I would have no idea what I would do there. It would be great to continue my music, but you never know. What are you currently working on? Well, last November I released the album. Now, I’m just planning on rehearsing with the guys, so the live shows are as good as possible. I had the Battle of the Choirs which I was busy with. I’ve already started gathering new ideas for the next album, although a new

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album is not so topical yet. What are your plans for the year? Keep it together I guess. More live experiences with the band, and maybe by the end of the year I will get to start on my next album, I’m really looking forward to that. Those are my plans… although, I don’t do plans. You recently appeared on the TV show Battle of the Choirs. Tell us about the experience. The guys I had [in my choir] were fantastic, they worked so hard and I really bonded with them. I wanted it to be something that was fun and not too serious, and I wanted people to see the energy. It was a good opportunity for me, and I’m glad the show took me on. It was a risk for them because I’m not as well known as the others in the show. You have a very positive outlook on life, where do you get all your energy from? It’s just the way I am. It’s normal to me. My mom is a very positive person, and she’s full of life. So, I think I’ve inherited it from her. I guess it’s just the British side of me, compared

to the Finns who are more reserved. I just get so much adrenaline from jumping into new things. You have been nominated for an Emma award for the best Finnish hip-hop/dance/R&B album. What are your feelings on that? I’m over the moon about it, but I was a bit surprised. I wasn’t expecting it, and the least to be put in that category as I see my music to be more pop. But I’m very honored and overwhelmed. I’m very proud of it, as we did the album on our own, and for Chisu to be in the producer category is brilliant as well. What do you think the Finnish music scene is missing and do you think you can offer it? If you would have asked me 2 years ago, I would have said strong female vocals. But it’s nice to see that nowadays there is girl power in this country. I think radio airplay is controlled by format music which is a compromise to the music itself. What we have offered is something that Chisu and I have done completely on our own terms. We’ve been very honest about what we’ve done. Music doesn’t have to be perfect. Often it’s good for it to be a little rough around the edges.

info Birth date and place: 8 July 1983, Hitchin, England Place of residence: Helsinki Education: high school Family: mother and brother As a child I wanted to be… a secretary, an actress, and an entertainer. I love… my family and friends, and singing. I hope… good health for me and my family. In one year’s time… I wish to be fortunate enough to still be working with music, and that I’ll be one year wiser. Annual Emma awards for best Finnish music are presented on 14 March at the Helsinki House of Culture. See www.emmagaala.fi

PEOPLE tend to take their natural surroundings for granted, until things change and the quality of life begins to suffer. Then what happens? In today’s world clean air is a luxury. Just ask residents of Tokyo, for example, where the air is so polluted some frequently visit oxygen bars and lay down cold hard cash for healthy hits of aroma-tinged O. In the Japanese capital there are now even oxygen bars for dogs so that Fido can get his too. I spent my childhood growing up in the city with the second worst level of air pollution in the US. When I was a teenager we upgraded to Los Angeles, number one on the list.

While clean drinking water has been turned into a commodity for affluent consumers these past 30 years, the element of air will always remain one step removed from the marketplace.”

A RECENT study found that cleaner air has added nearly five months to average life expectancy in the United States. But it’s not just the long term health benefits that attract me. Finnish air has a certain electrifying quality. It’s no surprise that the Air Guitar World Championships are held each year in Oulu. Even when I travel a bit south to the Baltic countries or west to Sweden I notice a difference. The air in Finland energizes me to a greater extent. Too bad the lack of winter sunlight and consequent loss of vitamin D mitigates that effect and I end up as lethargic here as I would be anywhere else. IMAGINE the world 30 or 40 years down the line. Will it be a kinder, cleaner planet or will there be a mad scramble for life’s most essential resources? While clean drinking water has been turned into a commodity for affluent consumers these past 30 years, the element of air will always remain one step removed from the marketplace. They would sell it if they could but pure, fresh air is something you just can’t get if you’re not immersed in it and once you get exposed to it, you start to love it. In Finland there is plenty to go around; As my dad used to say, “breathe deep, there’s enough for everybody.” Robin DeWan is a musician, writer and conceptual artist living on Suomenlinna. He holds a degree in literature from the University of California.


Cultitude

19

Issue 2 2009

A New Frontier for theatre in Tampere Voice of an angel Robin DeWan

Tampereen Työväen Teatteri offers extremely black humour in English. Kathleen Grant

CAN A PLAY have more meaning than just the story itself? In this case, it can. The TTT-Theatre of Tampere brings murder, humour and deception to the stage with The Pillowman, written by the Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh. With the help of this dark comedy, TTT could influence the international side of Tampere. TTT is piloting a new option for the public, offering The Pillowman in English and Finnish. Could this mark the start of a new acceptance of multiculturalism in Finland? Riku Suokas, TTT’s artistic

director, and acting as an interrogator in The Pillowman, explains that many of the actors at TTT have learned to act in different languages. This is a method that Tiina Syrjä uses in the acting department at the University of Tampere, and even sends the actors to different countries to test their skills. “Since Tampere is becoming more and more international, it is important to provide plays in English as well. This isn’t just an opportunity for the foreigners, but for Finns too,” Suokas says. The Pillowman is a dark, clever play that deals with horrible things. “You could compare the story to the

World kitchens

Robin DeWan

A GOOD cook never has enough good recipes. If you have been looking for some new ideas to spice up your repertoire then look no further. Elina Huhta and Anna Talasniemi’s new cookbook Sieltä missä pippuri kasvaa is sure to get you inspired with favorite recipes culled from five different cooks of ethnic background living in Finland. The participants for the book were selected from various immigrant associations and through the authors’ own networks. Huhta’s connections through her workplace, Caisa Cultural Centre, helped

a great deal in locating potential candidates. The reasons each home-chef ended up in Finland are as varied as the recipes themselves. In addition to the exotic dishes, background information about each featured individual’s culture and life story is presented, making this indeed no ordinary cookbook. The basic ingredients for each dish are thoroughly explained and a list of ethnic food shops in the 10 biggest cities in Finland is also included to help you find those special items the recipes call for. The book includes detailed instruction on how to prepare appetizers, main courses, desserts and even drinks from each of the five different kitchens: Chilean, Russian, Vietnamese, Somalian and Kurdish. Not only is the book sure to get your mouth watering but it is also a treat for the eyes with a smart design by Sasha Huber Saarikko and photos by Uzi Varon. Nowadays, “where the pepper grows” is no longer as far away from Finland as it once was, so get hold of this handbook of culinary secrets and get cooking!

dark comedies of Quentin Tarantino,” Suokas suggests. In The Pillowman, a writer becomes the prime suspect of child murders which are done in the exact same way as in his stories. Since this has a very twisted storyline, children under 16 should not attend. Certain scenes can make a person feel nauseous, although it is portrayed in a comedic style. “The play has a two-layered dream-like sequence, and explores what people can handle. Although the violence is not shown much, it can affect people,” Suokas says, when asked what makes this play special. This is a story that questions how far

artists can express themselves when living in a controlling, totalitarian government. This is an opportunity to enhance life for English speakers in Tampere. The Pillowman will only be shown in English three times. However, there is a glimmer of hope for more viewings. “If enough people show interest in the English version, we will add more dates,” Suokas says. TTT Theatre of Tampere Hämeenpuisto 28 - 32 www.ttt-teatteri.fi 03 2178 111 English premiere on 26 March Tickets €15/22, see www.lippu.fi

Gloria unites cultures in Jyväskylä Mari Kaislaniemi

JYVÄSKYLÄ finally saw the opening of a multicultural centre when Gloria opened its doors in in January. Gloria is located in a former flat in downtown Jyväskylä on a pedestrian street and seeks to be an international gathering spot. “The doors are open for all citizens, whether they are Finns or immigrants, everyone is welcome,” says Arja Seppälä, project manager of Gloria. Official opening ceremonies were held on 18 February, but activities have been held at the centre since the beginning of the year. Activities are organized by different associations, includeing groups like Zonta Club and Fenix ry. Zonta International is a global organization that works to advance the status of women worldwide. At Gloria, Zonta Club members teach Finnish to immigrant women. Zonta Club is also part of Luetaan yhdessä, a nationwide campaign that helps women and

girls to read. “This is one of our most popular activities, there’s a great demand for learning Finnish”, says Seppälä. Fenix ry is an association of Russian immigrants in Jyväskylä. At Gloria they offer English teaching for Russians. Other activities at the centre include a Chinese language and culture club for children and Monimessi, a multicultural family event for parents and their children. Last year the multicultural centre organized a summer camp for immigrants and since it was such a hit Gloria will also arrange a summer camp this year. Gloria’s operations are funded by RAY (Finnish Slot Machine Association), which raises funds to support Finnish health and welfare organizations. The centre currently employs two people full-time and most of the activities are organized and run by volunteers. “We wouldn’t be able to operate without the help of volunteers,” Seppälä states. www.kyt.fi/monikulttuurikeskus

CELESTIAL beings are not always easy to spot but in the case of Antony Hegarty, they can sometimes be heard. Such a chance occurs on March 21 when Antony and The Johnsons return to Helsinki. The band is currently touring in support of their recently released album The Crying Light which according to front-man Antony is “about landscape and the future.” Long darlings of New York’s art scene, Antony’s brand of dark, transgender cabaret was slow to cross over into the mainstream. That all changed after the band’s second fulllength album I am a Bird Now took critics by storm in 2005. In no time at all their richly orchestrated, ethereal music – and particularly Antony’s striking voice – were celebrated worldwide. The album won the

UK’s prestigious Mercury Music Prize paving the wafor even greater attention and acclaim. By the time Antony had conquered the pop music world, he was already well known to a host of supporters and collaborators such as Lou Reed, Boy George, Björk and Rufus Wainwright. People were struggling to find expression for Hegarty’s richly expressive voice, some saying it reminded them of Nina Simone, others merely proclaiming it to be “the Voice of the new century.” While some of Antony’s songs conform to what could be considered pop, much of his music incorporates complex arrangements and blurs barriers between genres and musical eras. His recent concert in London, supported by the London Symphony Orchestra, showcased some new compositions and revealed a more experimental direction. There is a great deal of agony as well as euphoric rapture in his music as exemplified in songs such as Another World from the new album. Antony and the Johnsons’ live performances are often emotionally charged affairs. Hegarty sees performing as, “a meeting of the song’s historical context, my feelings, the audience and the environment.” Make sure to bring plenty of handkerchiefs. Antony and the Johnsons 21 March Kulttuuritalo, 19:00 Sturenkatu 4, Helsinki For tickets see www.lippupalvelu.fi or www.tiketti.fi


TVGuide

Previews

20

Issue 2 2009 FS-Film Ayush Mahesh Khedekar plays young Jamal in Slumdog Millionaire.

By Ville Ukkola

What to watch this month

Monday 2 March Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Sub at 21:00 The eccentric candy magnate Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) allows five children access to his mysterious chocolate factory. Is Wonka just being nice or does he have an agenda? Based on the popular 1964 children’s novel by Roald Dahl and directed by Tim Burton, nothing is as it seems in this movie.

Movie premieres Compiled by Kati Hurme

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Slumdog Millionaire

Sophie Kinsella’s super popular Shopaholic books finally hit the silver screen. This film is based on the first two books, in which Rebecca Bloomwood (portrayed in the film by rising star Isla Fisher) shops till she drops, and – ironic enough – ends up working as financial journalist giving savings tips, to cover her enormous cost of living. While doing this, she also falls for a handsome colleague (Hugh Dancy). The film is colourful and packed with fashion, so it’s the perfect substitute for shopping. Renowned cameos, such as John Goodman, Kristin Scott Thomas and John Lithgow complement the refreshingly new leading couple. Finnish speaking viewers will probably appreciate the Finnish one-liner in the film. Premiere 6 March

Jamal (Dev Patel, TV’s Skins) is an 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai. He gets to participate in the show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and comes close to winning the grand prize of 20 million rupees. Everyone from host to audience is amazed at his knowledge, including the police, who suspect fraud. While arrested, Jamal share’s his life and reveals an amazing story behind every right answer. Director Danny Boyle (Traispotting, The Beach) widens his repertoire with this colourful, finely woven drama, that reflects the changes in Mumbai and Indian society. The film won Academy Award in eight categories, including best film and best original music (by A.R. Rahman). The dialogue is in English and Hindi. Premiere 13 March

New on DVD

Singstar 3 (PS3)

Kati Hurme

Nick Barlow

Tropa de Elite

The third stand-alone Singstar game for the PS3, and it’s getting harder to work out what the point of each instalment actually is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun party karaoke game, best played with a group of tipsy friends, but there’s just nothing new here. Cardinal sin number one is that there are still no wireless mics, and we all know having cables lying around the place is so passé these days (wireless mics due to be released this spring). The 30 tracks on offer aren’t that inspiring - although you can download plenty more - and the game play is identical to previous versions. There are other tools available online as well. However, even if you’re not connected to the internet, and particularly like the songs on this disc, then it might be worth a look. 6.5/10

Gears of War 2 (360)

Mari Kaislaniemi Nick Barlow

Set in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Tropa de Elite shows the violent war going on between drug lords and police. The movie follows Captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura) of the elite BOPE (Special Police Operation Battalion) troops who is searching for someone suitable to become his follower. Nascimento is going to be a father soon and is determined that one of two new young recruits will step into his shoes. Action-packed with an intense gripping plot, the film has become one of Brazil’s most popular movies. The film has received several awards, most notably the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2008.

Thursday 5 March Lost Nelonen at 21:00 Season five of Lost begins on Nelonen. The end of season four was riddled with cliffhangers on two time planes. What happened to the island? What did Locke do and what drove Kate and Jack to despair after their rescue? Answers await – along with new questions and mysteries. (CERT15) Friday 6 March Jill Rips Nelonen at 00:45 Dolph Lundgren plays Matt Sorenson, a former San Francisco police officer, who returns to Boston

The original Gears of War was one of the 360’s premier titles, and part 2 steps up to the plate armed with bad language, wiseass attitude, and chainsaws…lots of chainsaws. In this visually resplendent title, you play Marcus Feenix, a major badass in a squad full of badasses, tasked with rescuing humanity from the alien scourge of the Locust. Possessed of an easy-to-use cover system, GoW2 also enjoys an immersive storyline and some pretty funny dialogue which contributes to the feeling that your actions do have an effect on a wider war. Oh, and there’s some really cool boss battles too plus a solid multiplayer component. If you have any interest in shooting stuff up, get this game. 9/10

Wednesday 11 March Hors De Prix Sub at 21:00 Audrey Tautou plays Irène, whose hobby it is to pick up wealthy men, have them pay her bills and then ditch them. What happens when Irène meets a bartender (Gad Elmaleh) and falls in love with him, oblivious to the fact the man doesn’t have a penny to his name? Dialogue in French. Thursday 12 March Night on Earth Yle Teema at 21:50 Taxies drive in the night in this classic flick directed by Jim Jarmusch. Set in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rome and Helsinki, Night on Earth concentrates on the strange relationship between cabbie and customer. Magnificient soundtrack serves as icing on the cake. Saturday 14 March Night of the Living Dead Nelonen at 01:00 Dead rise from their graves craving human flesh. A small group of survivors barricade themselves inside a small house to survive the onslaught. This excellent flick is a remake of the original classic from 1968. (CERT18) Monday 16 March Chronicles of Riddick Sub at 21:00 Wanted criminal Richard

B.

Riddick, played by non-actor Vin Diesel, escapes bounty hunters to the planet known as Helion Prime and comes face-to-face with the vicious and evil Lord Marshal (Colm Feore), who is planning to take over the whole universe using his unholy army of Necromongers. (CERT15) Friday 20 March Kike Like Me Yle Teema at 23:55 Documentary about Judaism by critically acclaimed director Jamie Kastner. How do people react upon hearing the other person is Jewish? Why do they even ask? Kastner himself calls this very personal documentary ‘a black comic road movie about identity’. Sunday 22 March The Bitter Tea of General Yen Yle Teema at 18:00 Megan Davis, played by Barbara Stanwyck, comes to China to marry a missionary. The pair get separated at a railway station and Davis ends up being rescued by a Chinese warlord, who takes a liking to her. The Chinese Civil War serves as a backdrop in this Frank Capra movie released before the Hays Code. Monday 23 March Red Dragon Sub at 21:00 Based on Thomas Harris’ excellent bestseller, Red Dragon rotates around one of movie history’s most memorable villains: Hannibal Lecter, the mad doctor with a peculiar diet. This time the good doctor is needed to help a former FBI agent catch a serial killer. It takes one to know one, eh? (CERT15)

TV column

What to play

Smiley Face Jane F. (Anna Farina, Scary Movie 1-4), who is a bit stoned to begin with, unwittingly scoffs her roommate’s hash muffins. Consequently, she’s in no condition to even pay the electricity bill, let alone to leave the house for an audition. But that doesn’t stop her from trying! The film itself is as light and air headed as Jane’s absurd quest of running her simple errands. Both are clearly done with good intentions, but the outcome just isn’t very convincing at times. Lack of proper plot is a minus, but it’s worth a laugh, though, seeing the completely baked Jane lecturing about the laws of economics.

Wednesday 4 March La Moustache Sub at 21:00 Marc Thiriez, played by Vincent Lindon, shaves off his moustache after fifteen years, but no one notices the difference, not even his friends and least of all his wife. Quickly he drifts into an existential crisis and begins to question his own identity. How well do any of us really know the people around us? Dialogue in French.

to investigate the mysterious slaying of his brother. Sorenson rips into the sordid underbelly of the city to find the killer and set the records straight. (CERT15)

Manne is one Sub’s hosts.

Trading places, lifting faces Matti Koskinen

USUALLY a TV channel is measured by its flagship program-

ming, not by the vapid filler daily schedules are packed with. The beginning of the new year is a good time to freshen things up and do some reshuffling of well-known flagship brands, like they did in the MTV3 family, TV’s foremost purveyors of pap. The matronly mother-channel gave up the Monday night hit movie slot to its bratty offspring, Sub. Thus left in Finland’s leading commercial broadcaster’s showcase is an assortment of the safest American series and domestic reality and game shows. Meanwhile said wayward spawn launched its own daily news broadcast, finally maturing to a full-service television

channel. Though as a sign of grown-up responsibility the five-minute newsflash is about the equivalent of wearing a “Vote or die!” T-shirt. Why exactly is Sub so desperate for a droplet of respectability? Thus far the channel has remained charmingly insolent by sticking to glorious entertainment sludge. Is the network worried about modern young TV-addicts’ daily diet of supermodels, dating shows, celebrity news and reruns of decades-old series? A full five minutes of news footage might be a bitter pill for the cathode junkies to swallow, even if it is sandwiched between two German soaps. News on Sub weekdays at 18:00

SECOND HAND TREASURES for a better future

Available in Helsinki I Espoo I Joensuu I Jyväskylä I Järvenpää I Kerava I Kotka I Lahti I Mikkeli I Tampere I Turku I Vaasa I Vantaa and in many more places www.lahetystorit.fi

FIDA – MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE.


Out&See Greater Helsinki where to go what to see

Issue 2 2009

Sat 7 Mar Ensemble Norma A vocal group offering a wide selection of captivating new Finnish A cappella music. Kanneltalo Cultural Centre, 16:00 Klaneettitie 5 Tickets €10/6 www.kanneltalo.fi 09 31032416

Music_Clubs Fri 27 Feb Tuomo Soul-singer Tuomo’s record release party. Tavastia Club, 21:00 Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6 Tickets €12 www.tavastiaklubi.fi 09 77467423 Fri 27 Feb Femma Gala A shadow gala for the Emma awards. Nosturi, 20:00 Telakkakatu 8 Tickets €12 www.femmagaala.fi 09 6811880

Tuomo

7/9/13/19/26 Mar The Hunt of King Charles Premiered in 1852, The Hunt of King Charles is the first Finnish opera ever. Finnish National Opera Helsinginkatu 58 Tickets €14-56 www.operafin.fi 09 403021

Sat 28 Feb Risto A club organized by Image magazine. Restaurant Belly, 22:00 Uudenmaankatu 16 Tickets €9 www.belly.fi 09 644981 Sat 28 Feb Let’s Have a Jolly Children’s concert with Satu Sopanen and members of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Finlandia Hall, 15:00 Mannerheimintie 13 E Tickets €20/13/6 www.hel.fi/filharmonia 09 4024211

Regina

Ensemble Norma

Circus Helium

Fri 13 Mar Egotrippi One of the most popular Finnish pop-rock bands performs in Vantaa’s hottest party bar. Tulisuudelma Sokos Hotel Vantaa Hertaksentie 2 Tickets €16 www.tulisuudelma.fi 020 1234 618 Fri 13 Mar Ourvision Semifinals America-, Middle Eastand Afrovision. International Cultural Centre Caisa, 19:00 Mikonkatu 17 C Tickets €15/10 www.ourvision.fi 09 31037500

Wed 4 Mar Danko Jones (CAN) A Canadian hard rock band who have attained genuine rock hero status in Europe over the past five years. Helsinki Hall of Culture, 19:00 Sturenkatu 4 Tickets €30 www.kulttuuritalo.fi 09 7740274 Thu 5 Mar Billy Cobham & Orrenmaa Band Orrenmaa Band will support legendary American drummer Billy Cobham during his visit to Finland. Virgin Oil Co., 21:30 Mannerheimintie 5 Tickets €32 www.virginoil.fi 010 7664000

Thu 12 Mar Grand Piano Month Pianist Emil Holmström takes a journey to the edge of German tradition from romanticism to jugend and modernism. Vuosaari House, 18:00 Mosaiikkitori 2 Free entrance www.vuotalo.fi 09 31012000 Fri 13 Mar Asa & Jätkäjätkät A well respected rap artist and his tough band. Tavastia Club, 21:00 Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6 Tickets €14 www.tavstiaklubi.fi 09 77467423

Tue 3 Mar Hullut Hattuset Winning songs and funny stories for children. Sello Hall, 9:15 & 10:30 Soittoniekanaukio 1 A, Vantaa Tickets €3 www.sellosali.fi 09 8165011 Wed 4 Mar Regina A distinguished blend of electronic beats, folk and world music, female vocals and some wild percussion. Tavastia Club, 20:00 Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6 Tickets €12 www.tavastiaklubi.fi 09 77467423

Mon 9 Mar Reel Big Fish (USA), The Capital Beat Joyful ska music. Nosturi, 19:00 Telakkakatu 8 Tickets €18 www.elmu.fi 09 6811880 Wed 11 Mar Ari Hoenig Quartet Jazz band Ari Hoenig Quartet is on tour in Europe. Malmitalo, 19:00 Ala-Malmin tori 1 Tickets €10 www.malmitalo.fi 09 31012000

Sun 1 Mar New Old Music Mikko Korhonen improvises on the organ. Sibelius Academy’s Organ Hall, 16:00 Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 9 Free entrance www.siba.fi 040 710 4319 Mon 2 Mar Vincente Amigo Group An award-winning flamenco guitarist with five other musicians and a dancer. Espoo Cultural Centre, 19:30 Kaupinkalliontie 10 Tickets €35/25 www.espoo.fi/kulttuurikeskus 09 8165051

7/8/10/11/13/14 Mar Ariodante Handel’s significant baroque opera. Alexander Theatre, 19:00 Bulevardi 23-27 Tickets €15-30 www.siba.fi 09 676980

Marita Liulia

Sat 14 Mar Profane Omen, The Black League, Killer Wolves, Temples Rock and heavy music all night long. Tavastia Club, 21:00 Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6 Tickets €17 www.tavastiaklubi.fi 09 77467423 Sun 15 Mar The Arctic Hysteria The Arctic Hysteria wind quintet is one of Finland’s leading chamber music ensembles. Sello Hall, 15:00 Soittoniekanaukio 1 A Tickets €12/6 www.sellosali.fi 09 8165011

Sat 7 Mar Joose Keskitalo & Muuan mies Two folky gigs by interesting and topical artists. Korjaamo Culture Factory, 22:00 Töölönkatu 51 Tickets €8.50 www.korjaamo.fi 0207417000 Behind the Scenes

Mon 16 Mar 100 Gypsy Violins from Budapest (HUN)

21

By Miissa Rantanen

Fine Romany musicians from Hungary. Finlandia Hall, 19:30 Mannerheimintie 13 E Tickets €54/48 www.finlandiatalo.fi 09 4024211

THIS

MONTH’S PICK Musée d’Orsay

Tue 17 Mar Jethro Tull (UK) Jethro Tull has been playing blues rock with an experimental flavour since the 60’s. Helsinki Hall of Culture, 21:00 Sturenkatu 4 Tickets €56.50 www.kulttuuritalo.fi 09 7740274 Tue 17 Mar St. Patrick’s Day at Molly Malone’s A Hell of a Band offers live music. Molly Malone’s Irish Bar Kaisaniemenkatu 1 C www.mollymalones.fi 09 57667500 Wed 18 Mar Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra Miklos Rózsa’s charming Sinfonia concertante for violin, cello and orchestra. The soloists are Emma and Jussi Vähälä. Finlandia Hall, 19:00 Mannerheimintie 13 E Tickets €20/13/6 www.hel.fi/filharmonia 09 4024211 Thu 19 Mar Shallow Sense (SWE) Club Säpinää presents fresh Swedish indie rock music. Kuudes linja, 21:00 Kaikukatu 4 Tickets €5 www.kuudeslinja.com Thu 19 Mar The Hard-Ons (AUS) A punk rock band from Sydney will have a mini tour in Finland. Tavastia Club, 20:00 Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6 Tickets €15 www.tavastiaklubi.fi 09 77467423 Sat 21 Mar Emmon (SWE) Emmon is a solo project of Emma Nylén whose computer based music lays on the border between pop, synth, electro and disco music. Korjaamo Culture Factory, 20:00 Töölönkatu 51 Tickets €10.50 www.korjaamo.fi 0207417000 Sat 21 Mar Antony and the Johnsons (USA) Experimental and ethereal pop music. Helsinki Hall of Culture, 19:00 Sturenkatu 4 Tickets €49.50 www.kulttuuritalo.fi 09 77402744 Tue 24 Mar Antti Sarpila Swing Band Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Benny Goodman. Finlandia Hall, 19:30 Mannerheimintie 13 E Tickets €28/25 www.finlandiatalo.fi 09 4024211 Tue 24 Mar Fever Ray (SWE) Fever Ray is the solo project of Karin Dreijer Andersson, who is one half of the Swedish electro act The Knife. Tavastia Club, 20:00 Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6 Tickets €28 www.tavastiaklubi.fi 09 77467423 Wed 25 Mar Jukkis Uotila Band Pianist Jukkis Uotila palying jazz with his friends. Sibelius Academy’s Chamber Music Hall, 19:00 Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 9 Tickets €7/4 www.siba.fi 040 710 4319

Theatre_Dance Sat 28 Feb Dance Theatre Hurjaruuth Circus Helium Circus Helium is oneman performance that is

Henri Rousseau’s Snake Charmer is one of the works that had an influence on Disney animations.

Walt Disney and European Art Tennis Palace Art Museum’s new exhibition titled Walt Disney and European Art portrays the European roots of the animation movie classics. The parallels between the works of the artists at Walt Disney’s Studios and the art of the most famous European masters are drawn on the basis of the exhibition shown in Paris and Montreal between 2006 and 2007. Through the original drawings, paintings, miniature models and movie samples, the exhibition shows that all the well-loved Disney animations such as Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia and The Jungle Book are founded on Western art that inspired them, from the Gothic Middle Ages to Surrealism. Breaking the borders between high culture and popular culture, the exhibition attempts to shed light on phenomenal richness of Walt Disney’s sources and inspiration. After all, Disney belongs alongside the most important figures of cinema and twentiethcentury art as one of the greatest of storytellers.

Until Sun 31 May Tennis Palace Art Museum Salomonkatu 15 Tue - Sun 11:00–20:30 Tickets €8/6/0 www.taidemuseo.hel.fi 09 31087001 as light as helium. Cable Factory, 15:00 Tallberginkatu 1 Tickets €10 www.hurjaruuth.fi 09 5657250 Sat 28 Feb & Sun 1 Mar The Adventures of SamMacho A joyful fairy tale for all audiences. Zodiak Tallberginkatu 1 Tickets €10/6 www.zodiak.fi 09 6944948 28 Feb & 2/5/10/11/14/21 Mar Lost Symphony An international smorgasbord of top contemporary dance. Finnish National Ballet, 19:00 Helsinginkatu 58 Tickets €18-42 www.operafin.fi 09 40302211 1/4/5/7/11/12/15 Mar Sanna Kekäläinen Onni-Bonheur-Happiness In her new solo performance Sanna Kekäläinen explores different aspects of happiness. Kiasma Theatre, 19:00 Mannerheiminaukio 2 Tickets €12/8 www.kekalainencompany.net 09 17336501 11/13/15/18/19/20/22 Mar Circo Aero Camping A contemporary circus group takes distance to hustle and bustle of the city. Ateneum Hall

Kaivokatu 2 Tickets €12/8 www.ateneum.fi 09 17336401 12/14/15/18 Mar Whispering Cosmos The new creation by dancerchoreographer Joona Halonen asks questions of the body and its experiences. Zodiak Tallberginkatu 1 Tickets €17/10 www.zodiak.fi 09 6944948 Thu 19 Mar Devil of a Fox: The Story of the Radiant Crown A colourful shadow play, in which small children’s capacity to perceive the world around them is taken into account. Stoa Cultural Centre of Eastern Helsinki, 10:30 Turunlinnantie 1 Tickets €4 www.stoa.fi 09 31088405 24/25/27/28/29 Mar Karttunen Kollektiv Situation Room The ingredients of Jyrki Karttunen’s latest production are six dancers, pig Latin, photo studio spotlights, outfit changes – and a lot of dancing. Stoa Cultural Centre of Eastern Helsinki, 18:00 Turunlinnantie 1 Tickets €17/10 www.karttunenkollektiv.fi 09 31088405


Out&See Greater Helsinki

22

Until Sun 1 Mar Henna Aaltonen My Life as a Tourist In her photographs, Aaltonen deals with the feelings of outsiderness when travelling. Napa Gallery Eerikinkatu 18 Thu - Fri 12:00–18:00 Sat - Sun 12:00–16:00 Free entrance www.napagalleria.com Until Sun 8 Mar Shoji Kato My Marks: First Movement, Echoes Painting and photograph installation. Gallery Huuto Uudenmaankatu 35 Tue - Fri 12:00–18:00 Sat - Sun 12:00–16:00 Free entrance www.galleriahuuto.net Until Sun 8 Mar Jussi Puikkonen On Vacation On Vacation portrays Finland during the nine months that the country is closed. Korjaamo Gallery Töölönkatu 51 Mon - Sun 11:00–17:00 Free entrance www.korjaamo.fi 0400 499396 Thu 19 Mar to Mon 4 May Czech Cubism Amos Anderson Art Museum Yrjönkatu 27 Mon, Thu, Fri 10:00–18:00 Wed 10:00–20:00 Sat - Sun 11:00–17:00 Tickets €8/6/4 www.amosanderson.fi 09 68444634 Until Sun 22 Mar Aletheia – Positions in Contemporary Photographies The exhibition concentrates on questions regarding photographic practices and the photographic medium and their roles within contemporary culture. Meilahti Art Museum Tamminiementie 6 Tue - Sun 11:00–18:30 Tickets €7/5/0 www.hpf.fi 09 31087031 Until Sun 29 Mar Sonja Suominen Photographs Thematic starting points for the photographic exhibition are motherhood and childhood. Gallery Jangva Uudenmaankatu 4-6 Tue - Fri 11:00–19:00 Sat - Sun 11:00–17:00 Free entrance www.jangva.fi 09 6123743

Tickets €10/8/0 www.emma.museum Until Sun 17 May Head First The exhibition explores design and culture related to the human head. Design Museum of Finland Korkeavuorenkatu 23 Tue 11:00–20:00 Wed - Sun 11:00–18:00 Tickets €7/6/3/0 www.designmuseo.fi 09 6220540 Until Sun 17 May Daughters of Sun Goddess – Japanese Feminity The exhibition presents the life and image of Japanese women Sinebrychoff Art Museum Tue, Fri 10:00–18:00 Wed - Thu 10:00–20:00 Sat - Sun 11:00–17:00 Tickets €7.5/6/0 www.sinebrychoffintaidemuseo.fi 09 173361 Until Sun 24 May Tensions of Space Mohamed Bourouissa’s, Sini Pelkki’s, Carrie Schneider’s and Sauli Sirviö’s solo exhibitions. The Finnish Museum of Photography Tallberginkatu 1 G Tue - Sun 11:00–18:00 Tickets €6/4/0 www.fmp.fi 09 68663622 Fri 13 Mar to Sun 31 May Sense of Architecture Some sixty filmic narratives can be experienced in an exhibition of contemporary architecture originated

in the Austrian state Styria. Museum of Finnish Architecture Kasarmikatu 24 Tue & Thu - Fri 10:00–16:00 Wed 10:00–20:00 Sat - Sun 11:00–16:00 Tickets €3.50/1.70 www.mfa.fi 09 85675100 Until Sun 30 Aug Watch Out, Gypsies! The History of a Misunderstanding A guest exhibition about the history and culture of the European Roma. Hakasalmi Villa Mannerheimintie 13 D Wed - Sun 11:00–17:00 Thu 11:00–19:00 Free entrance www.helsinginkaupunginmuseo.fi 09 31078519

Sports Fridays Hatha yoga Start your morning with gentle hatha yoga. Joogahuone, 9:30 – 11:00 Hämeentie 19 Price €9 www.jooganuone.fi Sat 28 to Tue 2 Mar Finnish Championships in Boxing Töölö Sports Hall Paavo Nurmen kuja 1 C Tickets €10 www.nyrkkeilyliitto.com Fri 6 to Sat 7 Mar Finnish Championships in

Did you know that...

Sat 28 Feb to Sun 17 May Enzo Cucchi The work of Enzo Cucchi, considered one of the major Italian contemporary artists, is rich in symbolic and metaphoric allusions. Espoo Museum of Modern Art Ahertajantie 5, Espoo Tue 11:00–18:00 Wed - Thu 11:00–20:00 Fri - Sun 11:00–18:00

THIS

MONTH’S PICK Jyri Pitkänen

Others Sat 28 Feb Comics Flea Market Comics Centre, 17:00 Kolmas linja 17 Free entrance www.sarjakuvakeskus.fi 09 685610 4/11/25 March The 4 Elements Poetry and jazz presented by Finn-BritPlayers, Helsinki’s English language theatre group. Arkadia International Bookshop, 19:00 Pohjoinen Hesperiankatu 9 Free entrance www.finnbritplayers.com www.arkadiabookshop.fi Wed 11 Mar Kino Carusel A nice movie evening with Kieœlowski’s The Double Life of Véronique Café Carusel, 19:00 Merisatamanranta 10 Free entrance www.carusel.fi 09 6224522 Sat 14 Mar The Best of Tampere The Best of Tampere screening collects together awarded international and Finnish short films from the Tampere Film Festival. Kiasma Theatre, 18:00 Mannerheiminaukio 2 Tickets €7/5 www.kiasma.fi 09 17336501

Sami Kukka is part of the old school of Finnish folk musicians.

Sami Kukka & Omfalos Renaissance TWO NICE gigs will be performed at Kanneltalo on the same night in March. The first of the evening’s artists is Sami Kukka, a singer and songwriter, who writes delicate and minimalistic Finnish folk music. His texts are strongly and heavily stormy underneath the externally peaceful and calm expression. Having released his debut album 20 years ago, Kukka gives witness to the new coming of expressive folk with the musicians of the young generation. The other live act will performed by Omfalos Renaissance, a modern art music band, whose debut album Miekka ja kirsikankukka (The Sword and the Cherry Blossom) was released in September 2008. The group consists of the singer and multiinstrumentalist Mika Rättö, the composer and conductor Harri Kerko and the lyricist Jussi K. Niemelä who are all known from such fine groups as 22-Pistepirkko and Kuusumun Profeetta.

Wed 18 March Kanneltalo Cultural Centre, 19:00 Klaneettitie 5

Tickets €7/5 www.kanneltalo.fi 09 31032416

If you are on a low income, you can apply for free legal aid when appealing against a residence permit decision. Contact: Attorney-At-Law Asianajotoimisto Streng Ky Linnankatu 11C 00160 Helsinki, Tel (09) 7269 6730 (New address as of 1 April: Lapinlahdenkatu 27, 00180 Helsinki) Fax (09) 6227 6228, GSM 040 565 8146, joonia.streng@icon.fi, www.strenglaki.fi

Until Sun 5 Apr Behind the Scenes Design Museum’s new exhibition is introducing rarely seen prototypes of Finnish furniture design. Design Museum Korkeavuorenkatu 23 Tue 11:00–20:00 Wed - Sun 11:00–18:00 Tickets €8/6/3/0 www.designmuseum.fi 09 6220540 Until Sun 26 Apr Ola Kolehmainen A Building Is Not a Building Architecture is the subject matter of Berlin-based photographer Ola Kolehmainen’s art. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Mannerheiminaukio 2 Tue 10:00–17:00 Wed - Fri 10:00–20:30 Sat - Sun 10:00–18:00 Tickets €7/5/0 www.kiasma.fi 09 17336501

Synchronized Skating The Helsinki Ice Hall Nordenskiöldinkatu 11-13 Tickets €10.70-30.70 www.helsinginjaahalli.fi 09 4777110

TIME FREEZE

THU 26.3. 7 PM

4TH COMPOSITION CONCERT OF SID HILLE

Theme: jazz and string instruments. European modern chamber jazz, strong melodicity, colourful instrumentations, counterpoint and freedom with Proton String Quartet, Platypus Ensemble and string orchestra, Sid Hille as orchestra conductor. Soloist Manuel Dunkel, saxophone.

Tickets € 10/8

Reservations tel. (09) 310 12000 or www.lippupalvelu.fi

Kanneltalo, Klaneettitie 5 www.kanneltalo.fi

E.Cucchi, Fini Mondo, 2004. Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zürich

Exhibitions

28.2.-17.5.2009 ENZO CUCCHI SANTERI TUORI: FOREST Tue, Fri-Sun 11-18, Wed-Thurs 11-20 Ahertajantie 5, Tapiola, Espoo, Tel: 09-8165 7512 Busses from Kamppi, Helsinki: 106, 110 www.emma.museum


Out&See Jyväskylä

St. Patrick’s Day in Parnell’s

where to go what to see

Music_Clubs

Sparkling wine – nearly for free – Starting from 12th of March 2009

Codorníu Clasico Brut 12 cl

2

50 € 300

with YkkösBonus card

Thu 19 Mar Antti Sarpila Swing th Band Celebrating the 100 anniversary of Benny Goodman. Featuring internationally acclaimed artist Antti Sarpila, clarinet, Marian Petrescu, piano, Mihai Petrescu, bass and Keith Hall, drums. University of Jyväskylä, 19:00 Seminaarinkatu 15 Tickets €28/25 www.anttisarpila.com Mon 23 Mar 100 Gypsy Violins A fusion of Hungarian music styles with classical music as well as traditional Hungarian folk music. Presenting the Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra which consists of 50 violins, 9 clarinets and lots more! The entire concert is played with no notes! International Congress and Trade Fair Center, 19:30 Messukatu 10 Tickets €48 www.livenation.fi

€ normal

price

Theatre_Dance

THIS .

23

By Amira Elbanna

MONTH’S PICK Hans Lehtinen

Erja Lyytinen doing what she does best at the Rauma Blues in 2007.

GTR Tour 2009 Put three extremely talented guitarists in a room and what

www.parnells.fi

Ten hilarious Irishmen all over Finland Imatra • Helsinki: Hämeentie, Läntinen Brahenkatu • Jyväskylä: Gummeruksenkatu, Väinönkatu • Kuusankoski • Mikkeli • Pori • Rauma • Riihimäki

Fri 27 Feb and 7/20/21 Mar Blood Brothers A Finnish take on the musical by the multi-talented playwright Willy Russell. We follow the lives of Mickey and Eddie, twins who were separated at birth but whose paths eventually meet-- with fateful consequences. The play is in Finnish and lasts for 2h 50mins. City Theatre, 19:00 Vapaudenkatu 36 Tickets €15 www.veriveljetmusikaali.com 014 624200 Wed 11 Mar Sinfonia Finlandia: James Bond Forever Themes from James Bond films, such as For Your Eyes Only, Gold Finger and You Only Live Twice. Presenting Petri Juutilainen as the conductor. Featuring Sonja Lumme, Heini Ikonen and Sakari Heikkilä. Jyväskylä City Theatre, 13:00 and 19:00 Vapaudenkatu 36 Tickets €20/18/10 www.jyvaskylansinfonia.fi 014 624211

Exhibitions Until Sat 28 Mar F.E.Sillanpää: The First Nobelist in Finland Celebrating the excellence of the first Finnish Nobel Laureate. Frans Emil Sillanpää was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1939. The exhibition is open during the library’s normal opening hours. Until Sat 28 Mar University Main Library Seminaarinkatu 15 Free entry www.kirjasto.jyu.fi/yleista/nayttelyt/ 014 2603428

Sports

You'll love the way we print it The bigger printing house gives you more possibllities

www.iprint.fi

Sat 7 Mar Snow Rugby Another year has gone by and now it is once again time for the 7’s snow rugby tournament played in the snow pitches in Laajavuori. Taking part are both men’s and women’s teams from Finland and abroad and featuring our very own JRC ladies! Laajavuori, 09:00–17:00 Laajavuorentie 30 Free entry www.jrc-rugby.com/snow Sat 7 Mar Moonlight Skiing Event Choose your distance and ski under the moonlight. The routes are marked and lit, and there is an opportunity to grill and to sauna. Children under the age of 10 can take part for free. Price includes juice, map and certificate of participation. Jyväsjärvi and Päijänne, 18:00 Tickets €5 www.kesli.fi/tapahtumat/kuutamohiihto 044 0544350

do you get? GTR Tour 2009, of course! Each guitarist will get around 30 minutes to perform alone, followed by a lively jam session. The event will last for approximately 3 hours. Also featuring Anssi Nykänen on drums, Juuso Nordlund on bass and Pekka Siistonen on keyboards. The three guitarists of the evening are Heikki Silvennoinen, Erja Lyytinen and Jartse Tuominen. Silvennoinen is a noted blues guitarist and singer and has done some occasional acting as well. He gained international fame with his blues rock band Q.Stone. Lyytinen is a young and talented singer and guitarist who mixes blues with other genres. She has enjoyed international success around Europe as well as the United States. Her latest album, entitled Grip of the Blues, was released in 2008. Tuominen is a guitarist from Tampere whose name and talent is also well known in the USA. A solo album of his entitled Time of Change was released in 2005.

Poppari, 21:00 Puistokatu 2-4 Tickets €20/15 www.jazz-bar.com 014 621398

Sat 14 Mar Jyväskylä Winter Rally FCup Competition Fast cars competing in wintery conditions. Featuring some legendary stages from the annual Neste Oil Rally as well as new challenging routes and roads. Many great spots for spectators. Times, locations and fees to be announced on the event’s website www.talviralli.fi

Others Thu 5 to Sat 7 Mar The 4 th Tourism Industry and Education Symposium The theme of this year’s symposium is “Innovative and sustainable products in the tourism and hospitality business.” Featuring representatives from the industry as well as academic experts from a variety of fields, times and fees can be found from the event’s website. IT-Dynamo Piippukatu 2 www.jamk.fi/tie2009 040 5399185 Tue 10 Mar Kampus Kino: Night Visions Presenting yet again the biggest, oldest and boldest film festival in Finland that focuses on fantasy, horror, science fiction and cult cinema. Featuring both new and old films. Doors open 30 minutes before screening. KampusKino, 19:00 Keskussairaalantie 2 www.jyy.fi/kampuskino 014 2603356 Fri 13 to Sat 14 Mar Art festival in Suolahti Wide selection of various art forms and artist from central Finland area are presented in this 2-day

event, which is part of the 50 th anniversary of Central Finland’s Cultural Foundation. Event presents for example visual arts andfolk music show and ends with a rock concert on Saturday 21:00- 01:00. Suolahti-sali Keski-Suomen opisto Sirkanpolku 1, Äänekoski Free entry Mon 16 to Sun 22 Mar Jyväskylä Days Join us in celebrating the birthday of our wonderful city by taking part in the many fun activities and events that will be available. For all age groups; music, theatre and much more. A schedule will be available online from Mon 9 Feb. Various times and locations www.jyvaskyla.fi/paiva 014 624798 Tue 17 Mar The Darjeeling Limited Three American brothers who have not spoken to one another in a year travel across India together with the hope of finding themselves and each other. USA 2007. Bar opens before screening. Subtitles in Finnish. KampusKino, 19:00 Keskussairaalantie 2 Tickets €4/5 www.jyy.fi/kampuskino 014 2603356 Tue 24 Mar Happy-Go-Lucky A comedy drama about Poppy (Sally Hawkins), a positive and cheerful person whose extreme optimism exasperates others around her. Directed by Mike Leigh. UK 2008. Bar opens before screening. Subtitles in Finnish. KampusKino, 19:00 Keskussairaalantie 2 Tickets €4/5 www.jyy.fi/kampuskino 014 2603356


Out&See Tampere

24

where to go what to see

Music_Clubs Sat 28 Feb Live music at Vastavirta Live on stage: Distress (Russia), Arrestum, Black Cloud. Age limit 18. Vastavirta Pispalan valtatie 39 Tickets €5/4 www.vastavirta.net Sat 7 Mar I Walk The Line This punk band is known for it’s energetic live performances. Telakka, 22:00 Tullikamarinaukio 3 Tickets €6 www.telakka.eu Sun 8 Mar Johanna Iivanainen & Marian Petrescu Trio An evening with Ella Fitgerald and Oscar Peterson’s music. The performers are Johanna Iivanainen (vocals), Marian Petrescu (piano), Mihai Petrescu (bass) and Mikko Iivanainen (guitar). Tampere Hall, Small Auditorium, 19:00 Yliopistonkatu 55 Tickets €25/21 0600 94 500

by Jutta Vetter

Others Wed 4 – Sun 8 Mar Tampere Film Festival This event is the biggest short film festival in the whole of Finland, and has also gained international recognition. This festival has been annually arranged since 1970, and nowadays gathers more than 30.000 spectators each year. One of this year’s main themes is animated film. Tampere Short Film Festival shows both Finnish and international films. Different venues and prices www.tamperefilmfestival.fi 03 223 5681

THIS

City of Tampere

Wed 11 – Mon 23 Mar French Film week Both contemporary and classic french films with English subtitles in a cosy Art House cinema. Cinema Niagara Kehräsaari Tickets €4 www.elokuvakeskus.com 03 214 1144

The event listings in the Out&See section are based on the available information at the time of printing the issue. SixDegrees is not responsible for possible changes, mistakes, cancellations or lack of information concerning the events mentioned.

MONTH’S PICK

Tampere week against racism 19-26.3.2009

Minna Jalovaara

Sun 15 Mar Children’s Concert: Jytäjyrsijät Children’s rock music by Jytäjyrsijät – all Mums and Dads also welcome! Tampere Hall, Small Auditorium, 15:00 Yliopistonkatu 55 Tickets €15/10 0600 94 500 Wed 18 Mar Eläkeläiset One of the most original bands in Finland plays humppaadaptations of rock classics Yo-Talo Kauppakatu 10 Tickets €15 www.yo-talo.com www.humppa.com Sun 15 Mar Children’s Concert: Jytäjyrsijät Children’s rock music by Jytäjyrsijät – all Mums and Dads also welcome! Tampere Hall, Small Auditorium, 15:00 Yliopistonkatu 55 Tickets €15/10 0600 94 500 Fri 20 Mar Sans Additiff and Benimodo Directly from France - a concert of the Tampere French Week. Tullikamarin Pakkahuone 19:00 Tullikamarinaukio 2 Free entrance Wed 25 Mar Uniklubi + Bloodpit Pure Finnish rock energy: the main performer Uniklubi performs rock music in Finnish, the supporting Bloodpit in English. Yo-Talo Kauppakatu 10, 22:00 Tickets €10 www.yo-talo.com www.uniklubi.net www.bloodpitband.com

Sports Sun 1 Mar Pirkka Ski Race The Pirkka Ski Race is arranged for the 55th time now. The track is 90 kilometres long, and thus makes the event the longest oneday ski race in the whole country. www.pirkankierros.fi 0207 482 620 Tue 3 Mar Trotting races Trotting races at the Teivo track. Teivo trotting track, 18:00 Free entrance www.teivonravit.fi (03) 315 481 Tue 5 Mar Ice hockey: Tappara – Kalpa A national league game between Tappara (Tampere) and Kalpa (Kuopio). Hakametsä Ice Arena, 18.30 Keltinkatu 2 www.tappara.fi www.kalpa-hockey.fi

Theme “Talk to each other” winning poster by Nea Leppänen More posters can be seen in the poster exhibition at Tampereen kaupungin virastotalo, Puutarhakatu 6 Finns love tango, be it summer or winter!

Snow Tango World Championships Dance Club Hurmio organises this dancing event with wintery atmosphere for the 5th time this year. The event is open for anybody to participate and depending on the number of participants, there are qualification rounds and semifinals before the final. The organisers recommend dressing accordingly, but warmly. The chairman of dance club Hurmio, Kirsi Suoniemi, will open the competition and J-P Koskinen hosts the event. Elina Vettenranta and Aki Mäki will perform as singing soloists Competition registration should be done in advance on Friday 6 March until by 18:00, but can also be done at competition area on 7 March 11:00 to 11:30. Advance registration can be sent to Jari Kangasmäki (firstname.lastname@hurmio.fi)

19 March

”Our and your children being bullied at school” –seminar. Registration by 12 March (call 050 56 35 482) City Council meeting hall, Aleksis Kivenkatu 14, 5th floor, 12:15-15:30

21 March

Multicultural Concert TYWCA and Tampere Lutheran Parishes Old Church Keskustori, 19:00–20:30

22 March

ICCK English Service Tampere Lutheran Parishes & The Anglican Church in Finland Old Church Keskustori, 16:00

24 March

”Young people and racism in Tampere 2009, perspectives and discussion” The Green Youth in Tampere – Virnu ry Main Library Metso, 18:00-20:00

25 March

Sat 7 March Tampere Central Square, 12:00 - 14:30 Participation fee €10/couple www.hurmio.fi/lumitango2009 045 129 7497

SARA HILDÉN ART MUSEUM

ALEX KATZ

”Socialwork and rasism” – seminar Global social work ry and Heshu ry University of Tampere LS A 2, 17:00–18.30

26 March

”Violence faced by immigrant women” -seminar Registration: Virpi Tolonen (040 801 6354) or Päivi Sinkkonen (040 801 25 66) ALMA-project and the project to prevent domestic violence and violence in intimate relationships City Council meeting hall, Aleksis Kivenkatu 14, 5th floor, 8:30–15:30

26 March

”Different Together” – Living library – event First year students of Pirkanmaa University of Applied Sciences Pirkanmaa University of Applied Sciences, Pyynikintie 2, 12:00–14:00

26 March

An American Way of Seeing

Cultural Bazar in Hervanta Hervannan vapaa-aikakeskus, Lindforsinkatu 5, 2 nd floor, 13:30–17:30

21.2.– 31.5.2009

Kölvi Talent Saukkola, Vainionkatu 2, lk 5, 12:00–15:00

Särkänniemi, Tampere, tel. +358 (0)3 5654 3500 www.tampere.fi/sarahilden

See the full program at www.rasmus.fi/tampere

29 March

Blue Coat, 1990


Out&See Turku

Out&See Oulu

where to go what to see By Dunja Myllylä

Music_Clubs

THIS

where to go what to see

MONTH’S PICK

Sat 28 Feb Tuomo One of last year’s most praised Finnish musicians, Tuomo Prättälä comes to Turku. This soul singer, songwriter, producer, jazz pianist/keyboard player is going to make you groove. Klubi, 21:00 Humalistonkatu 8 Tickets €12 www.klubi.net

Lotta Estman-Wennström

Sat 7 Mar Maija Vilkkumaa Rock and pop singer Maija Vilkkumaa has been among the most popular Finnish female artists for a decade already. Kooma Nightclub, 21:00 Aurakatu 6 Tickets €15 www.koomanightclub.fi

Zarkus Poussa is one of the performers at Turku Jazz 2009.

Fri 13 Mar Superschlager DJs Esko Routamaa, Lemmenjoe and Piitu play Finnish schlager, soul and jazz. Pikku-Torre, 21:30 Yliopistonkatu 30 Tickets €3 www.pikkutorre.fi

ebrate its 40th season with a five-day format. Performers at the city centre celebration will be leading Finnish jazz musicians like Zarkus Poussa and Jukka Perko, and special international guests. Which concerts does the festival’s Artistic Director Kimmo Hyyppä recommend? “The whole festival is full of great performers. I’m particurally excited about the Nomy Rosenberg Trio from the Netherlands. They have played in the biggest jazz festivals of the world and in Turku they are going to be the leading star of the ”Django Reinhardt Night” in Linna Theatre. Also the concert of the unique Danish piano player Heine Hansen and his talented friend, singer Mette Juul combined with Alex Riel, one of Europe’s most celebrated and widely performing drummers, is an experience definitely worth waiting for.”

Thu 19 & Fri 20 Mar Pictures at an Exhibition Russian Dmitri Slobodeniouk conducts Musorgski’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The program includes also Lidholm’s Kontakio and Shostakovitsh’s cello concerto 2. Turku Concert Hall, 19:00 Aninkaistenkatu 9 Tickets €7/15/19 www.tfo.fi

Theatre_Dance Thu 5 Mar The Complete History of Oppressed People – Everywhere Sh*tty Deal The British Sh*tty Deal Puppet Theatre Company is an anarchist puppet theatre group for adults. Their show is a mixture of Sesame Street and South Park. Critics have described them as hilariously funny, must-see stuff and gloriously silly. In English! Monk, 21:00 Humalistonkatu 3 Tickets €12 www.monk.fi Sat 7 Mar Fluxee Experimental Arts Club Argumentative art and experimental entertainment: theatre, poetry, sound art, video and media art, film, circus, music and visual arts. Plus DJs and a bar. TEHDAS Theatre, 21:00 Itäinen Rantakatu 64 Tickets €7/5 www.tehdasteatteri.com Thu 5 to Sat 21 Mar Under the Red Three Estonian choreographer Urmas Poolamets has built a performance based on four dancers and four seasons. Each dancer interprets different memories of seasons and months. Aurinkobaletti Itäinen Rantakatu 64 5/7/12/13/14/19/20/21 March Tickets €10/15/17 www.aurinkobaletti.com

Fri 6 Mar Metal Concert Presenting Finnish metal band Amorphis. Also featuring Finnish metal band Charon and melodic death metal band Before the Dawn. Age limit of the concert is 18. Club Teatria, 21:00 Härkätie 1 Tickets €25/22 www.teatria.fi

THIS

By Amira Elbanna

MONTH’S PICK

Fri 13 Mar Klamydia Finnish punk rock band Klamydia will take the stage. The band has been around since the late 80’s and have even been touring in Germany. Age limit for the concert is 18. Nightclub Tähti, 21:00 Pakkahuoneenkatu 19 Ticket prices TBA www.nightclubtahti.fi 020 7412420

Sat 7 & Sun 8 Mar Up’n’L1ve Reggae Weekend Poutasoundi, Dancehall Terrorists and Black Bear perform on Saturday and South Rakkas Crew (US) and Black Bear on Sunday. Klubi Humalistonkatu 8 Tickets €8/5 www.klubinet

Tue 17 Mar 100 Gypsy Violins An orchestra of 100 of the best gypsy violinists of Hungary play czardas, traditional folk music, as well as classical music from Liszt, Brahms and Strauss. Caribia 994 Hall, 19:30 Kongressikuja 1 Tickets €48 www.holidayclubhotels.fi/caribia

Music_Clubs

25

Turku Jazz 40th Anniversary Festival Finland’s second longest-running regular jazz festival will cel-

Wed 11 to Sun 15 March For tickets, venues and further information visit

www.turkujazz.fi

Exhibitions Until Sun 1 Mar Paintings Merja Ylitalo’s abstract paintings are inspired by yoga, her longterm interest. They are meant to make the viewer find a moment and a space for contemplating, stopping and calming. Galleria Just Great Old Square 5 Tue - Fri 12:00–19:00 Sat - Sun 11:00–17:00 Free entrance 044 274 1178 Until 26 Apr Drawings English John Court’s pencil drawings reflect the artist’s own experiences on dyslexia. Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Itäinen Rantakatu 4 Tue - Sun 11:00–19:00 Tickets €5.5-8 www.aboavetusarsnova.fi Until 24 May Dazzling! Mirror images, mirroring and reflections have fascinated artists for generations. This exhibition brings together mirror-themed works, ranging from old Finnish masters to the production of today’s modern artists. Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art Itäinen Rantakatu 38 Tue - Fri 11:00–19:00 Tickets €4.5/7 www.wam.fi

Sports Until 16 May Joyful Tapping Tap dance association Step-iT encourages everyone to find the

joys of tap-dancing! Warming up, traditional dances, various rhythms and freestyle. You don’t have to have tap shoes to try it. Aurala Folk High School Satakunnantie 10 Sat 16:00–18:00 Small fee, first time free www.steppiyhdistys.net 0400 524537

Family Sat 21 Mar The Bremen Town Musicians The Brothers Grimm fairytale comes alive with music played by musicians of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and Turku Conservatory. After the play there is a guided theme tour around the castle. Turku Castle, 14:00 Linnankatu 80 Tickets €9/12 02 2620300

Others Sat 21 Mar Band date Do you have a band without a base player? Are you a guitarist without a band? Vimma gathers all the seekers under the same roof – will you hit the nail? Vimma – Art and Activity Centre for Youth, 14:00–16:00 Aurakatu 16 Free event Enrollment: vimma@turku.fi www.vimma.info The event listings in the Out&See section are based on the available information at the time of printing the issue. SixDegrees is not responsible for possible changes, mistakes, cancellations or lack of information concerning the events mentioned.

Fri 20 Mar 100 Gypsy Violins from Budapest The fusion of Hungarian music styles with classical music as well as traditional Hungarian folk music. Presenting the Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra which consists of 50 violins, 9 clarinets and lots more! The entire concert is played with no notes! Madetoja Concert Hall, 19:30 Lintulammentie 1-3 Tickets €48 www.livenation.fi Wed 25 Mar Ari Hoenig Quartet (USA) New York modern jazz brought to you! The quartet are on their European tour. Featuring Ari Hoenig on drums, Will Vinson on saxophone, Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar and Danton Boller on contrabass. 45 Special, 22:00 Saaristonkatu 12 Tickets €10 www.45special.com 08 8811845 Thu 26 Mar Eläkeläiset You’ll either love them or hate them. Eläkeläiset is a Finnish humppa band that plays cover versions of well-known pop and rock songs in fast humppa or slow jenkka style with Finnish lyrics. They’re actually quite big in Germany too. 45 Special, 22:00 Saaristonkatu 12 Tickets €10 www.45special.com 08 8811845

Theatre_Dance 27/28 Feb and 7/13/14/25/27 Mar The Taming of the Shrew A Finnish version of the classic by William Shakespeare; translated by Leena Tamminen. Directed by Kari Paukkanen. Suitable for adults. The performance lasts for two and a half hours and includes an intermission. The play is in Finnish. City Theatre, 13:00 or 19:00 Kaarlenväylä 2 Tickets €22/17/10 www.teatteri.ouka.fi 08 55847000 13/15/19/20/21/22 Mar The Pastor’s Family A play by Finnish writer Minna Canth (Papin Perhe) which deals with conflicts between young and older generations. A performance on the actual Minna Canth day (Thu 19 Mar). Oulunsalo Theatre, various times Neuvolsenkuja 2 Tickets €10/7 http://www.oulunsalonkulttuuriinstituutti.fi/teatteri/ 040 4135255 20/21/26/28 Mar Stockholm At some point in every athlete’s life he or she will hit a wall; speed will slow down and speech will become impossible. A small firm decides to take part in a Stockholm marathon and in fact, the fate of its bonuses lie in the marathon! Directed by Samuli Reunanen. Includes intermission. City Theatre, Various times Kaarlenväylä 2

Marzi Nyman is one of the many talented artists performing in this year’s Oulu Music Festival.

Oulu Music Festival It might stilll be winter, but that can’t stop us from having the time of our llives at this year’s Oulu Music Festival! The festival features leading Finnish and international artists representing various genres of music from jazz to rock to pop to folk. In addition to Argentinian tango and Brazilian beats. you’ll hear acts such as Tekijä Tuntematon, a band that draws inspiration from Finnish poetry. Their show features Finnish poets Tommy Tabermann and Tomi Kontio, both of whom will be reciting their work at the Festival. Also featuring is sensational Finnish guitarist Marzi Nyman, who has played in a number of bands including Nylon Beat from 1999-2001. And as we all know, Miles Davis opened many doors in the world of jazz. Now, Oulu All Star Big Band take on the best and biggest Miles Davis hits!

Wed 11 to Sat 21 March Various locations and times, for more details please check event website Various ticket prices www.oulunmusiikkijuhlat.fi 044 3663818

Tickets €20/17/10 www.ouka.fi/teatteri Sat 21 Mar Young Culture An event for those interested in theatre and performing arts and born between 1984-1999. This is not a competition but a chance to perform and receive feedback. Performances should be between 15-60 minutes and can be stand up, non verbal, street theatre or puppet theatre. Oulu Art School Kansankatu 54 Free admission www.ouka.fi/nuoriso 044 7038233

Exhibitions Thu 26 Mar to Thu 16 Apr Art Exhibition Presenting the work of Olli Joki. Neliö-Galleria is one of the oldest private art galleries in Northern Finland. Come and admire the talent. Neliö-Galleria, Tue-Fri 11:00–17:00, Sat 11:00–15:00, Sun 12:00–16:00 Asemakatu 37 Free admission www.neliogalleria.com 040 5108680

Sports Tue 3 Mar Ice Hockey Match A match for the male Finnish championships. Teams Kärpät and

HPK battle it out. Tickets can be bought from places such as R-Kioski, Prisma and Stockmann and ticket sales offices open one and a half hours before the game begins. Ice Hall, 17:00 Teuvo Pakkalan katu 11 Tickets €21/19/17/10,50/7,50 www.oulunkarpat.fi Sat 7 Mar 120th Oulu Tervahiihto Skiing Competition The oldest annual long distance skiing competition is here once again! Distances are between 30-60 km. Includes both traditional and skating style skiing. Record time is under 3 hours; can you beat that? Hiukkavaara, 10:00 Tickets €40/50/60/80 www.tervahiihto.fi 08 5317446

Others Thu 12 and Sat 14 Mar Galant Illusium Finnish magician Joni Pakanen takes the stage along with talented dancers and musicians to bring you an unforgettable magic show. Show includes a live band. For people over the age of 10. On Thursday there is also a performance at 17:00. Pohjankartano, 19:00 Suvantokatu 1 Tickets €15/12 www.jonipakanen.com 044 3280563


SIXDegrees

26

Issue 2 2009

FakeNews Ben Hughes

Finns finally end fickle relationship with the sun HELSINKI – After centuries of on and off dating, the sun and the Finnish people have finally ended their relationship once and for all. The population of about five million stated that the burning gaseous ball in space was simply too unreliable and moody to consider a serious relationship with. “It was like, half the time we barely saw him at all. The summer was usually fine, when he lavished us with warm rays of light all day and all night, but come winter he wouldn’t even return our calls. I just know he was seeing someone else”, said Arttu Kaisla, a truck driver from Vantaa. “He totally blew us off starting about September. It was so frustrating, we gave that astral object everything, but all he could give us was a broken heart”, echoed Saila Kinnunen in Oulu. Sentiments across the country were bittersweet, as the relationship had dragged on for hundreds of thousands of years. “Yeah, we’re definitely better off without that pompous asshole, but… it still hurts” summed up Niina Tori in Tampere. Meanwhile, sources close to the sun say it is devastated by the end of the relationship, but has exchanged some promising text messages with the people of Ghana, who the sun always seems to have time for, that cheating sack of shit.

ing the morning hours of Monday, the chairman came forth with a prepared statement: ”Indeed it seems plausible that someone may have indeed won something to do with skiing. I am, however, at this time uncertain what Arvinen is referring to as I myself was watching a program on oriental quilt weaving.” By Monday evening, several countries had issued statements that one of their athletes had won something, but as yet the international community remains skeptical. To address the issue, the UN Security Council has scheduled a meeting with Arvinen for next week. As time of press it remains unclear as to who won what, and where.

COMMENTARY Column In Defence of the Much-Maligned Male Sarah Hudson

Someone won something, apparently.

Someone won something involving skis HYRYNSALMI – Around noon on Sunday, Pentti Arvinen announced that whilst browsing through the channels he had shortly seen someone on a podium wearing a medal and carrying skis. ”It all happened very fast. I was flipping through the channels as I usually do, when all of a sudden I saw a figure clad in a tight neoprene outfit beaming at me from the telly. He or she seemed to be carrying skis of some kind and had a gold medal draped around his or her neck,” stated Arvinen in a press conference held later in the day. ”I also think I saw some snow and spectators in the background, but it could have been a reflection”, he added. In a more somber tone, he continued: ”Unfortunately, after having channel-surfed through the 12000 programs available via satellite, I instinctively changed the channel despite the discovery. Before I could gain any more information regarding the time, location, sporting event, nationality or sex of the competitor, I was watching Hungarian national dances on HungDance4.” Spirits around the world soared at the prospect of someone having won something, but as yet details are murky. After an emergency meeting of the International Ski Federation dur-

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COLUMNISTS have a right to be provocative. Indeed, David Brown’s column of last month ‘(Finnish) Men are from Mars’ was just that. Compelled by the view that all derisively humorous provocations deserve a response, I write to boldly do the unthinkable, to defend that much put -upon species, the Finnish Male. So is it fair, constructive or even accurate to paint an image of Finland as being filled with graceless, wifebeating, socially retarded men and perpetually dignified, eloquent and ‘normal’ women? Firstly, it must be pointed out that late on a Friday night, in no pub, in no city of the world, should one ever expect to find one’s articulate, charismatic and dignified Romeo. As should also be mentioned, nor is a man likely to find his graceful Juliet on such occasions. As one of my students put it, ‘all the real men are behaving so well they’re not at the pub’. Secondly, Finnish women are known for their independence, strong will and unwillingness to suffer (male) fools. This means that when it comes to telling their men the error of their depressive, alcoholic, non-communicative ways to their faces, there is often very little hesitation to remind Finnish men of exactly where they stand, and ought to remain - firmly under the feminine thumb. True, men still receive higher salaries, but Finnish women are catching up faster and more aggressively than their other Western counterparts, and no man is ever let forget the inequalities for which he and his evil kind are responsible. The true picture is that Finns as a whole are not known to be the most communicative of types and hence alcohol, depression and workplace stress are problems. But this it true not only of men. Young women are among the heaviest drinkers in this country, a problem that is on the rise. Lastly, I cannot help but mention that despite all these stereotypes, my own experiences of Finnish men and women is an overwhelmingly positive one. My friends, students and acquaintances range in age from 18-87 and have proved to be warm, funny, articulate, open, and above all, kind – a trait which is less valued than it should be. Perhaps it is this kindness and modesty in many Finns which make them more susceptible to harsh criticism. So for men, the constant and bitter reminders from every quarter of the eminent failings of their gender doesn’t seem either fair or constructive. It might even be enough to drive anyone to the bottle. Someone once said to me that getting to know a Finn was like swimming in an Olympic pool. The shallow end goes on for ages, then all of a sudden it drops off and you’re in really deep. Maybe this holds true even more profoundly for Finnish men. Yet getting to know them doesn’t require a trip to Mars, just a lot of patience and an open mind. Once you’ve made the effort, you’ve got a friend for life. At least if the worst comes to the worst, you won’t end up in the metro tunnel cackling and drinking your fruit wine alone. Sarah Hudson has taught English, public speaking and debating in and around Helsinki for the past two and a half years and is in her final year of a Masters Degree in World Politics at the University of Helsinki. She draws inspiration from her wonderful students for spirited and highly enjoyable coffeeside discussions with David Brown. In their honour, she finally decided to go public!

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19.2.2009 15:55:15


Ensure Success with an Excellent Education

EFMD

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23.2.2009 15.21


SixDegrees issue 2