Today is a national holiday: it's Finland's 99th birthday. Sun rises at 10.30 am, stays up three hours 15 minutes and goes back down at 1.45 pm. If we're lucky, everything will be pink for a while before the blue hour.
Finland will celebrate it's 100 years of independence next year. That's cool, but I try not to get too nostalgic – things were worse in the past, and I think it's ok now to keep the eye on future and concentrate on making it a good one.
However, this is a good day to be thankful for everything I've gotten from the state. I'd be nothing without our best ever libraries and book mobiles that delivered books next to my house in 1990's. Books made me. Also, there aren't words enough to tell how happy I'm about being able to educate myself not only one, but two times through our university system. That's a lot for a working class girl not only in my case, but also statistically. Education usually still run in families, or then it doesn't.
This is a great country to be. I don't think we always understand it as well as the rest of the world. Maybe underestimation and negative feedback that we constantly give to ourselves are just our national characteristics and a way to communicate. Maybe it keeps someone trying. Maybe this all is to change soon. Go figure. However, during the past year there has been one place of many good news in Finland, and that's of course Lapland and it's amazing success with tourism. Tourists have made this Europe's dark corner international and vivid, and we're totally enjoying it!
So, next year will be a big celebration and we wanted to contribute. We tried to think of what are the things that make us intrigued by this country. The answer was obvious: Lapland and the very special boarders that it has in west. We couldn't think of any other place where you can this easily travel in between three countries. It's wonderful opportunity to acknowledge how stupidly man-made all the boundaries are.
People in the northernmost corners of Norway, Finland and Sweden don't share the same language, but they share similar living conditions, which, I think, connect us more that language.
Therefore we decided not only to occupy Lapland, but the whole Arctic Region of the Nordic Countries next year. That's our contribution to SuomiFinland100-campaign that's theme is "together". We wish to discover as many corners as we can, and we'd like to invite you to occupy the area with us. Let's make this the place to be in 2017, so it can function as an example how things should be handled between countries.
Will you join us?
Suom: Hyvää syntymäpäivää 99-vuotias Suomi. Ensi vuonna bileet tunturissa.