ON THE LAST weekend of June tourists arriving to Helsinki must have looked twice at the capital’s population of which at least 25 000 were clad in mostly black and at times very expressive and unusual oufits – a clear sign that it was Tuska Open Air Festival weekend once again! The Friday could not have started under better circumstances: the sun was shining, the sky was blue and with the air having lost some of its sticky humidity from the days before Finnish summer showed itself from its best side. The sound of bands playing on one of the outdoor stages could be heard already from a far when walking towards Suvilahti where Tuska took place also this year. On Friday, Finnish death metal band Abhorrence was gathering the first crowd and kicked this festival weekend off with a blast (beat).


While waiting in line to pick up my ticket for the first instalment of the Rock the Beach music festival at Hietaniemi beach in Helsinki, a light drizzle that did away with the sun for a little while threatened to dampen the day. But, as I walked into the festival premises, the sprinkling shower stopped, and the masses of people who had gathered to the festival went right back to what they were doing.

All the single households, where do they all come from?

Statistics Finland recently reported that the number of one-person households went up by 17,000 last year, accounting for more than one million of the total of 2,580,000 Finnish households, as the most common category.

What’s behind the trend? Probably there are various reasons. Firstly, as pointed out by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, single dwellers are a diverse lot, who could be young or old, studying, working or unemployed and residing by themselves either for a short while or through life.

Two gulfs, the Baltic Sea, a hundred rivers and thousands of lakes ensure that Finland is a very popular destination among fishermen.

BECAUSE of its clean and pure waters, Finland is a very popular country for fishermen looking for the catch of their lives in the Baltic Sea, or in one of the thousands of lakes and hundreds of rivers throughout the country. Locals are very active fishermen too, as about 40 per cent of Finns take part in fishing trips or events at least once a year.

WHILE the rise in popularity of such US-based ‘icons’ Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian in recent years represents a dearth in the genuine nature of celebrity culture, whereby one can now be admired and lauded for doing pretty much nothing at all, this global phenomenon coincides with an increase in a fascination for pets. Once seen as a humble member of the family, and often required to sleep outside in a kennel, domestic pets such as dogs have enjoyed a prominent increase in status of late. Having become the ultimate fashion accessory for the elite, pets now enjoy a situation whereby many people are often taking the same care of them to the same degree that they would their own children.