JANUARY

The first day of the year saw Finland cut the number of municipalities in the country from 336 to 320. Rumours of cutbacks in local services in many areas proved well-founded. Also, the country’s biggest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, changed its size from broadsheet to tabloid. In true Finnish fashion, no-one cared.

In 1703 tsar Petr I commanded to build a factory, and call it Petrovskii. Around this factory the city of Petrozavodsk was built and is the capital of Karelia. The city extends along the Onega Lake about 2,177 kilometres; the total area is 113 square kilometres. The population at this moment is 271,000 people, including more than 50 different nationalities, but for the most part Russians and Karelians.

A recent study has found that one in ten residents here between the ages of 25 and 34 are of foreign origin.

WHILE the inevitable movement of people around the globe is enough to make your average member of the Finns Party quiver in their boots, the fact of the matter is, either way you look at it, Finland is gradually becoming multicultural.

Local company brainstorming the way to global change.

A product of long-term co-operation between the City of Helsinki and Helsinki University, Helsinki Think Company is a meeting place for a new kind of international entrepreneurship and networking where students, researchers and entrepreneurial minds alike can gather to brainstorm, build networks and watch new ideas grow into groundbreaking, world changing innovative initiatives.

The annual international singing contest continues to grow in popularity.

WITH the Grande Finale staged back in early October, the Ourvision Song Context has proven once again that immigrants in Finland do have a voice, and it’s not a bad one to boot. Established by Caisa, Helsinki’s international cultural center, Ourvision is billed as “a Eurovision – but for everyone”. From humble beginnings the contest has evolved into a slick show with serious contenders that match their singing capabilities with a cultural diversity that is very much Helsinki today.