Part one of a two-part episode, I undertake a tour of the Kulttuurikeskus ‘Vanha Paukku’ with two expert guides; Susanna Oversteyns, Cultural Director and Sakari Hanhimäki, Museum Director. HUGE thanks also to Anu Haavisto, Leena Sarjola and Anniina Kivimäki for the impromptu, live performance of some haunting Finnish folk music. Mahtava!
I speak to Marjo Matikainen-Källström, Satu Hallonberg and Markku Pulli about Karjalaisetkesäjuhlat; the commemoration of the evacuation of 430,000 people from Karelia after World War 2 and a celebration of continuing Karelian culture. I then speak to Satu (now Mrs Wiltshear) who shares some of her family’s memories as evacuees from Karjala.
I visit Sankta Maria church in Närpes/Närpiö, and speak to town guide, Marianne Winter. I learn why the church is surrounded by over 100 stables, about the unique Swedish dialect in Närpes and why the Vietnamese name, Nguyen, is the most common surname in Närpes.
I discuss the traditional Finnish Puukko knife with Ethnologist and Bushcraft champion, Marcus Lepola. We talk about it’s importance in the history of violence, love & marriage, and everyday life in Finland.
I learn why swimming in ice-cold water after taking a sauna is better than sex or morphine! Journalist Jussi Mustikkamaa explains ALL the benefits of Avantouinti, before taking me swimming in the hole in the ice on a frozen pond. Yep, that’s right…
Brewmaster Jyri Ojaluoma takes me back in time to the re-birth of Mallskoski and their Kuohu beer. We discuss brewing techniques and tricks and review the 1st Lakeuden Panimojuhlat (Beer Festival) in Seinäjoki.
Season 2 Episode 30 Student Film-makers Tytti & Onni tell me about the origins and history of the Jussi paita, plus what they learned while
Mari Keskinen welcomes me to the ‘Filmiä- ja valoa elokuvafestivaali’ at Matin-Tupa Cinema. She introduces me to the past, present and future of the cinema that’s been in her family for 70 years.
This week I get to sit down with Miia Keski-Nikkola and talk food, which is no hardship for me; busting some myths, discussing Mother Nature’s offerings and looking at traditional Xmas Food.
Episode 26 Tella takes us on a walk through history at the World of Trails in Peräseinäjoki. A collection of buildings, previously owned by Finnish
Juha talks about more Finnish festivals. From the Heavy Metal Midsummer through the invasion of camper vans for Seinäjoen Tangomarkkinat and on to newer, urban events for HipHop and EDM.
Juha talks about the history of the Provinssirock Festival, and the popularity of domestic music making it possible for Finnish-only events to sell-out.
Päivi explains how ice cream is made at Wirtalan Jäätelö and gives a surprising answer to the question ‘What is South Ostrobothnia’s favourite flavour?’ You’ll never guess.
Emilia explains the basics of Jokamiehenluoka/Jokkis/Finnish Folk Racing, before getting behind the wheel on race day.
A short introduction to traditional Finnish music from Piia & Mika, including Iskelmä, Choral, Rautalanka, Folk… and Rap.
Tella tells about Finland’s historical emigration, where people came from, where they eventually settled and some that made their fortune and came back again.
Summer 2015 barely deserves that name, but as August starts and the school holidays draw to a close, of course, the weather takes a turn for the
Easter traditions in Finland Easter in Finalnd involves as much chocolate as my Easters growing up in the UK, but here they work a lot
Join me as I visit the Koskenkorva Museo and learn about the history of distilling in Koskenkorva, as well as the distinctive local clocks, Könnikello, and we take another, brief tour around the saunas at Koskenkorva Trahteeri, until we end up at the ‘vodka tap’! Intrigued?
Part 2 of 2 – I continue my guided tour of the Alvar Aalto centre in Seinäjoki, by visiting Aalto’s theatre (with it’s collection of glass and porcelain by Alvar & Aino Aalto) and the new Apila library next door to Aalto’s original.
Part 1 of 2 – Marianne takes me on a guided tour of the Alvar Aalto centre, in Seinäjoki, a cluster of six, civic buildings that form its iconic centrepiece. Alvar and Aino Aalto are arguably Finland’s greatest designers and, in part 1, you can hear Marianne describe the Town Hall and Lakeuden Risti Church.
I speak to Jaakko and Martti Koskenkorva about the most recognisable Finnish word in the world, Sauna. I visited them at Koskenkorva Trahteeri to talk about the history, the traditions and why the sauna is so important to the Finns.
I speak to Henna about the significance of the Kirppis in Finland. We attend an event to sell some clothes and I then visit a few other types of Kirpputorit in Seinäjoki to compare & contrast.
Many of you outside of Europe may not fully understand the Eurovision Song Contest, not everyone inside Europe takes it that seriously, and the recent balkanisation
Restaurant Day (Ravintolapäivä) originated in Helsinki, so I travel to nearby Vaasa, with my daughter Evie, to visit some of the pop-up restaurants and speak to some of the restaurant organisers about their experiences.
I don’t know how Christmas is celebrated in your country, but in Finland it is a peaceful, reflective time. People send greetings like “Rentoa ja