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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Newsletter June 2009 - Embassy of Finland, London : News & Current Affairs : Newsletters


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Newsletters, 12/06/2009
The festival´s success lies in combining the superb acoustics of the Olavinlinna castle with the surroundings of the Finnish lake scene (photo: Savonlinna Opera Festival).The festival's success lies in combining the superb acoustics of the Olavinlinna castle with the surroundings of the Finnish lake scene (photo: Savonlinna Opera Festival).

Savonlinna Opera Festival – Unique cultural experience in the midst of Finnish nature

This summer Finland’s Savonlinna Opera Festival will celebrate Italian opera in honour of Maria Callas. Some 60 000 festival visitors to the annual opera fest will be able to enjoy Puccini's Madama Butterfly, directed by Henry Akina and productions by visiting opera group Teatro Massimo from Palermo who will perform Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci and Bellini'sI Puritani in its first ever production in Finland. Savonlinna Opera Festival is arranged this year from the 3rd of July to the 1st of August. Read more

Noor Al-Bazzaz (photo: Mikko Keltanen)Despite her young age Noor has already worked in several different newspapers and as a trainee at the British Embassy in Amman, Jordan (photo: Mikko Keltanen).

Noor Al-Bazzaz chosen for the Foreign Correspondents' Programme

Londoner Noor Al-Bazzaz has been chosen to represent Britain on the Foreign Correspondents' Programme (FCP) arranged by Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This programme introduces young journalists to Finland – its government, society, history and culture. Newly graduated Noor, 21, who has studied social and political science at Cambridge University's King's College is drawn to Finland because of its gender equality. Read more

Photo: Visitfinland ImagebankA Tango Festival is held annually in the Western Finnish town of Seinäjöki, this year on 8–12 July (photo: Visitfinland Imagebank).

Finnish Tango Friday at the City of London Festival

On Friday 3 July the City of London Festival interrupts London's love affair with Argentine tango to introduce its intriguing, lesser known Finnish cousin for an afternoon and evening direct from Helsinki. Two 45 minute taster tango classes will be held at 11:30 and 16:45, led by Finnish dancer Krista Vuori and her dance partner. Duo Milla Viljamaa &Johanna Juhola perform at 12:15 and the Unto Tango Orchestra at 17:30. The Finnish tango is one of the few genuinely original things in Finnish music and popular entertainment.
Finnish Tango Friday
Seinäjoki Tango Festival

Helsinki CardWith the Helsinki Card you save time, money and energy.

Create Your Own Helsinki Experience

Going to Helsinki for the first time? Interested in art and design, nature or history? Whether you are planning a weekend break with your family, want to explore Helsinki's design scene or are looking for a taste of Finnish lake and forest landscape, the Helsinki Card portal can help you build a programme, quickly and easily, to suit your interests. Site users can also print out their programmes to take with them on their travels. The Helsinki Card is the key to a unique Helsinki experience for the individual traveller. It gives you free entry to all main sights, museums, and public transport and offers a wide variety of discounts and bonuses.

Photo: Visitfinland ImagebankFinn-Guild organises and promotes participation in cultural, social and educational events in the UK and Finland (photo: Visitfinland Imagebank).

Finn-Guild – Join the Finnish-British community!

Finn-Guild brings together Finns and friends of Finland all over Britain. Finn-Guild has been educating the great British public about the Finnish language and Finland’s culture since 1965. The organisation gives scholarships for student exchanges, runs Finnish language courses, supports the Finnish schools in the UK and publishes Horisontti magazine. Finn-Guild offers its members a library service of Finnish books and DVDs in order to give a taste of Nordic culture ranging from novels to the new films. Read more

Picture © Aino Havukainen, Sami Toivonen & OtavaWhy do forests need to be taken care of? Answer to this and many more questions can be found in Kidzone Finland (picture © Aino Havukainen, Sami Toivonen & Otava).

Reminder: Kidzone Finland forest competition still open!

Kidzone Finland's new competition encourages British school pupils to explore nature and find out about the forests of Finland. By entering an online competition, one lucky child can win a trip to a village school in Finland and a wilderness course and camping adventure in the school's own forest. Deadline for entries is noon on Friday 17 July 2009. 

Photo: Visitfinland ImagebankLearning Finnish is not exactly a piece of cake, says Ian Bowie (photo: Visitfinland Imagebank).

Fun Finland: Learning the Language

Many try but few succeed in mastering this member of Finno-ugric language family. Living in the country, marrying a native and attending a Finnish course are no guarantee of success in your quest. If you get frustrated find yourself a quiet corner and drown your sorrows with a bottle of "kossu", a liquor distilled from Finnish barley; some form of fluency is virtually guaranteed to follow. Alternatively visit the website

Text from Ian Bowie's book Fun Finland (Island Media 2007)

Photo: Visitfinland ImagebankMidsummer bonfire (photo: Visitfinland Imagebank)

The Embassy is closed on 19 June 2009

The Finnish Embassy is closed for a Finnish holiday (Midsummer Eve) on Friday, 19th June 2009. Happy Midsummer!

Upcoming culture events

20.6. Traditional midsummer celebrations at the Finnish Church in London with music, BBQ and plenty more: Finnish Church

22.6.-9.7. City of London Festival featuring Finnish tango, works of Sibelius, Kaija Saariaho and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and the performance of the fine young Finnish string quartet Meta4: Read more

25.6. Susanna Mälkki conducts the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in Suffolk with Pierre-Laurent Armand, violin: Read more

For more events and further information see the Embassy's Culture Calendar.

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Updated 14/11/2013

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