Finns are justifiably proud of their history in gender equality. Few countries around the world have voted in female presidents, prime ministers, or cabinet ministers in the numbers that Finland has. France has never had a female president, and neither have the US, Italy, or Spain.

But in the business sector the record is dismal. Women make up a tiny minority of directorships, and are almost exclusively in under-valued fields like HR. A list of Finnish companies in which women lead production, sales or marketing would fit on the head of a pin.

Many companies genuinely care about greenhouse gases and slavery, but it is hypocritical for any company to claim to do so without looking at how their own staff are treated.

Never in the history of capitalism have companies cared so much or so vocally about social issues as they do today. Almost every major corporation promotes its vision of environmental awareness; reducing their carbon footprint, recycling raw materials and building a more sustainable business model. Major brands promote equal opportunity employment, support everything from local sports to new children’s’ hospitals, and generally do a fine job of appearing to care.

Jamaican restaurant helps to keep things relaxed and tasty in Helsinki.

PHOTOGRAHPHER Valérie and I find our way to Jamaican Mamas on a brilliant spring afternoon. The sun is blazing down and highlights all the Rastafarian colours of the little café that founder and proprietor Mama Hazel has established on Hameentie. Occupying the corner of an Asian store, the café/restaurant has just enough tables and comfy chairs to give it a spacious ambience but still keep the cosy vibes going.

The weird and wonderful tastes of your local Asian grocery store.

Entering an Asian grocery store can be a nerve wracking experience. The shelves pack the walls, and more often than not block the windows, casting a gloom not aided by the fluorescent lighting that paints everything grey. Packaged food with garish text and faintly alarming text do not beguile the buyer – ‘Fast express mouse tail noodle!’ says one, and the freezer section looks even more distressing. But fear not, gentle reader, for here is 6D’s complete survival guide to Asian / Afro-Caribbean / Indian / African grocery shopping. Prepare to have your taste buds blown.

Authentic Chinese tea in downtown Helsinki.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Aikatalo on Mikonkatu is the quiet and unpretentious Natural Flavor Tea House. The ever smiling and serene Mr. Wong bids myself and 6D photographer Kai welcome to Helsinki’s first and only Chinese tea house and invites us to take our places at a low table carved out of wood. “Would you like to try some special Red Tea – China Golden Monkey?” It seems like a rhetorical question. Of course! As we watch Mr. Wong set out the tiny teapot and almost thimble sized tea cups he tells us his story.