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)

Finland – A country that seeks to create

Having an interest in a country and following a country’s progress from a remote location is one thing, but getting the chance to explore it from the ground is an experience that opens one to possibilities that one would have never imagined.

My first few days in Finland have essentially been of this nature. That Finland topped the list of the world’s happiest country is something that most of ...  (continue reading)

First impressions of a Finnish summer

The beautiful sunrise seen from the plane, a sort of small town atmosphere at the airport, the tall trees on the way to Töölö Towers, the nice view from the hotel corridor… And silence.

The silence was probably the most distinctive feature that caught my attention in Helsinki during my first 36 hours in the city. At first, it didn’t seem that extraordinary for it to be so quiet. I had ...  (continue reading)

What do YOU want to know about Finland?

“Who are the main contemporary Finnish writers?”, “How can foreigners pursue higher education in Finland?”, “What is there to see around there besides from beautiful lakes and forests?”, “How did they deal with the economic depression?”, “What’s up with this sauna thing?”.

These were a few of the questions I got when I asked the readers and followers of my travel ...  (continue reading)

Finland’s solution to an aging population

My interesting fourth day with FCP really helped me to understand some important aspects of Finnish society. But not only this: I also had a great opportunity to taste Finnish food and to see how a true Finnish cook prepared it. It was a great experience to participate in the Finnish food workshop by Flavour Studio in Teurastamo: raw fish, reindeer meat and berry cakes give you a taste of Finnish ...  (continue reading)

Four things you should know about the Finnish way of life (that are not necessarily true)

It is general knowledge that Finns are quiet, nature loving people who are passionate about the sauna and foraging. Or are they really? My yet another trip to Finland this last week confirmed what I had already known before — there is much more to the stereotypes we usually have about five million Finns and their way of life. Here are four things you should know about the Finnish way of life that ...  (continue reading)

Return to Rovaniemi

One of the things I was most excited about in the FCP alumni program was a return to Rovaniemi and a reintroduction to the Arctic Circle. I have long been fascinated with Arctic issues. Since my last trip to Finland in 2013 the Arctic has resurfaced as a big topic in geopolitics – and, according to Timo Koivurova, Director of the University of Lapland’s Arctic Centre, not always with the nuance ...  (continue reading)

Different faces of Lapland

There are always different versions of the story for every place we have been to. And for Lapland, each visitor has his or her own interpretations.

My first impression of the place is familiarity with the unfamiliar stuff.

Lapland is not a new place to me. There are always, however, something new to explore every time I am here. It is about fun and insights as well.

I was here for the first time in ...  (continue reading)

Experiences of conducting interviews in Helsinki

What a day was yesterday! During the FCP every day something new and unexpected happens. The programme is so dense that it feels as if we arrived here many days ago already, but in fact Wednesday was only the third day of our stay here.

In addition to the common meetings, we also started to work on our individual assignments. I remember in 1998 one of the several striking moments was to interview ...  (continue reading)

Reinventing the news with Finland’s public broadcaster Yle

“Welcome to Yle, I am Miss World!” That is how we were greeted at Yleisradio Oy, Finland’s national public-broadcasting company. Miss World is called Elina Ravantti in real life. The nickname derives from her position as Head of World News and Current Affairs at Yle, where she oversees the production of 220 radio and TV news bulletins per day. Her editors work in Finnish, Swedish, Sami, English, ...  (continue reading)