Wednesday, 6 of August 2008
Young Journalists’ blog (FCP 2008)
…the city of Seinäjoki – which is about 350km North West of Helsinki in South Ostrobothnia…
Minutes after the train leaves Helsinki’s bustling station, the landscape dissolves into forest: an apt illustration of the great contrasts between Finland’s small, organised capital, and the vast expanse of its exterior.
Here, settlements sit back-to-back with the natural landscape, and the people are said to interact more closely and spiritually with the natural landscape.
It is also said of our destination, the city of Seinäjoki – which is about 350km North West of Helsinki in South Ostrobothnia – that Nature is its mother, and the railway its father, as it would not exist without either one.
The city is dominated by the austere, functionalist architecture of Alvar Aalto, which was built during the 1960s.
All aspects of community life are covered by these striking buildings – from the library to the Lutheran Church to the theatre. And all share one characteristic: the belief that buildings must first be practical, but that practicality can be beautiful, all the same.
At the Sibelius Academy we were treated to art of a different kind. Here, we were taught about many aspects of Finnish musical culture, from folk music, dance and summer festivals, to the tuition of concert-grade musicians.
Our hosts in Seinäjoki also took time to tell us about the economic and political culture of the city over a buffet meal at Tornava Mansion that evening.
Sauna, swimming and sitting in front of a roaring fire…
But it was with thoroughly more simple Finnish pleasures that we ended our day: sauna, swimming and sitting in front of a roaring fire after at the farm in Vanha Loukasmäki…