NOW that the gloom of winter is finally behind us and the sun is promising to make up for lost time, there’s one thing that increasingly comes to mind this time of year: terassi. Suddenly, after months of life under snow, under the weather, under jackets and hats, the populace has already forgotten about the long cold months and can be found happily seated out in the open air, basking under even the smallest ray of sunshine.

So, with establishments around town eager to tap into this seasonal enthusiasm, it comes as little surprise to find that men are hard at work constructing a wooden terrace on the sidewalk in front when I arrive to Kamppi’s Sushibar + Wine in Fredrikinkatu.

The summer of 2011 is finally here and it’s packed with festivals taking place all over the country. The hard part won’t be to find one worth going to, but choosing between all that’s on offer. SixDegrees compiled a guide of the summer ahead to help navigate your way through the sea of festivals.

When did you first get into burlesque?

I have been involved in the burlesque scene since the late 1990s, starting in San Francisco with the Cantakerous Lollies and San Francisco’s Famous Burlesque Orchestra. I was the singer shaking my ruffles with the girls and played piano in the band that included some members of the Tubes, Dead Kennedys, and Flipper.

What made you decide to be a burlesque performer?

I love history, costumes, music, jewelry and the naughtier side of life.

All art requires a certain amount of courage, but what does it take to sashay, strut and strip in front of howling strangers – while your nipple tassels are on fire? That’s the performance forte of Petra Innanen, aka Bettie Blackheart, a “Queen of the Fire Tassels” and bringer of all things burlesque to Helsinki.

The art of burlesque, a colourful mélange of theatre, dance, comedy, striptease and cabaret grotesquery, has very old roots but has undergone a modern international renaissance in the past ten years, thanks in no small part to independent enthusiasts like Innanen and her husband Epe Tenhunen.

Quizzes may have lost their TV allure but stay strong in pubs.

EVERYONE loves impressing other people with their level of general knowledge. While playing Trivial Pursuit with a few friends is one way of doing so, albeit on a small scale, for those who seek larger audiences pub quizzes remain popular in Finland. On the other hand, the days of televised quiz shows have all but disappeared.

For many years quiz shows were ubiquitous on Finnish TV. Everything from domestic favourites like Kymppitonni to international successes like Who Wants to be a Millionaire were staples of prime-time weekend broadcasting. These days, the spread of reality shows...