WE are defined by many things, but what to do if one or more of the physical attributes that helps define our gender is removed? How about if what is taken away is perceived by society as an integral part of one’s sexuality? How to be “normal” in such circumstances, when society’s pressure suggests otherwise?

THE largest arts festival in Finland is once again being staged in the capital, with Helsinki Festival showcasing another wide-reaching programme that contains pretty much something for every taste. Here can be found various experiences ranging from classical to world music and pop, from drama to contemporary dance, and from visual art to film and children’s events scattered strategically about town.

Having been performing since the 1960s, soulful legend Stevie Wonder is coming to Finland this summer, taking the stage at Helsinki Classic Festival on Wednesday 9 July at Kaisaniemi Park.

Bringing with him a distinguished songbook collating classics plucked from various decades, over the years Wonder has been responsible for the likes of Superstition, I Just Called To Say I Love You, Isn’t She Lovely, You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, Pastime Paradise, As and many, many other classic tracks.

CHARTING his remarkable career, Flowers and Devils showcases the works of artist Heikki Marila from 1995–2014. A powerful twin exhibition by the 2012 Carnegie Art Award winner, the artist draws his inspiration from the history of art, and also from Lutheran Christianity in his more recent works.

HELD annually since 1959, this year Helsinki Day arrives on Thursday 12 June, bringing with it a programme bulging with a variety of opportunities to celebrate in the capital city.

Music is well represented in the programme. In the centre of town, Espa’s stage offers a range of live music and entertainment options, including the acrobatic show of Duo Saras and the tunes of Bad Ass Brass Band, Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha and Dalindèo.