Finland Through My Kenyan Eyes

For a country that was ranked the happiest in the world (though there have been mixed reactions about this) I was curious to know what makes them happy. I must say being in Finland has exposed me to the typical Finnish way of life, one that combines a serene environment albeit thanks to the beautiful summer around here, appreciating the little things, freedom of speech and respect for one another. How ...  (continue reading)

Finland and it’s kind way to prove me wrong

Finland is not as cold as I thought it was, and I don’t mean it only in centigrades.

First thing that I learned about this country is that feeling safe is one of the most important things Finns value, and it is noticed in the fact that contrary to what might be thought, seeing a lot of law enforcement officers does not make you feel safe but the opposite. In my ...  (continue reading)

Education in Finland: Like Winning the Lottery

A young lady in a pink running suit jogged down the street towards the group of journalists gathered on the sidewalk. She stopped right in front of me, and asked: “You are the FCP participants?” We all mumbled, yes, wondering who she was and why she was asking. She must have noticed the looks on our faces because she rushed to introduce herself, “My name is Sanni, I’m the Education ...  (continue reading)

Finland: a country of re-invention

Like many young people, I grew up with a piece of Finland in my pocket in the form of a Nokia mobile phone. So what happened after other companies like Apple and Google surged ahead?

We had the opportunity to hear from Lauri Oksanen, vice-president of research & technology at Nokia about where the company is now in its new phase of re-invention after it sold its business to Microsoft. Nokia is ...  (continue reading)

Lappeenranta and its lake of silence and peace

Funded in 1649, the city of Lappeenranta is beside one of the biggest and most beautiful lakes in Europe, and worldwide also. The lake Saimaa, the biggest in Finland, and the fifth in Europe, is a complex system of channels, little lakes, rivers, and islands in the south-east of Finland. The water of the lake is so clean that the people usually drink its water directly.

Surrounded by a beautiful ...  (continue reading)

Finland: A Sisu Society

What is sisu? I don’t really know. I have heard this term for the first time last week when I and my journalist friends were lectured about the history of Finland. Professor Maiju Wuokko from the University of Helsinki told us that ‘sisu’ represents the character of Finnish people. To put it in English vocabularies, the closest meaning to this term might be grit or gut.

It was also last week ...  (continue reading)

Helsinki: a (paradise) city that allows you to be… just you

A weekend in the capital of Finland, Helsinki, is a synonym of experimentation. The wide variety of activities that the city has to offer let you play with the different facets of your personality. And during the summer, one activity stands out: the Flow Festival.

Helsinki sharpens all your senses. The capital of Finland has the capacity to widen your pupils, make your inhalations deeper and your ...  (continue reading)

Beyond the “Nordic style” –– how Finland makes good design available to all

In my years of hearing “Nordic design” frequently thrown around outside of Nordic countries, often in fields like product design and interior decor, the term refers to the kind of simplicity in forms, with an emphasis on function and quality materials.

That is not that far off based on what I heard and saw in Finland. Tuija Aalto-Setälä, Brand Manager of Fiskars Corporation, Finland’s largest ...  (continue reading)

Porvoo reminded me of the importance of my own history as a South African

Jamaican-born black nationalist, Marcus Garvey, puts it this way, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

The fresh breeze from the long trees, the wooden and colourful houses made me feel like I was in touch with the history, the past, origin and the culture of the Wooden-city of Porvoo, Finland, as I walked through the streets ...  (continue reading)

Basic but complete: maternity and child care in Helsinki

Let’s suppose that you can turn the time back to the year you came out into this world and you can choose a city where you would be born. Which country comes to your mind?

If someone asks me this question, I will definitely answer “Helsinki” just in a second. The reason is simple: I believe that only the happy parents can raise their kids happy.

In most countries, including my home ...  (continue reading)