World Interfaith Harmony Week in Finland
1-7 February

The World Interfaith Harmony Week is being celebrated in Finland.

The first week of February is being observed as a World Interfaith Harmony Week both globally and here in Finland. Having been celebrated on a small scale from 2011, the event seeks to become a permanent fixture on the Finnish calendar.

Organised by the Forum for Culture and Religion (FOKUS)things tee off on Saturday 1 February at Helsinki’s Cultural Centre Caisa, with an Interfaith ‘market place’. Capping off the day is a Sacred Music Concert, featuring Medieval Iberian songs, an Eastern European Jewish Klezmer folk performance from Sheine Ite and Marouf Majidi, performing sufi music from Western Iran.

Elsewhere, if Gregorian chanting is more your thing, then Thursday 6 February at Helsinki’s Kallio Church offers Liturgical music of the Middle Ages.

Monday 3 February sees a seminar, Peace Forum: Arab Spring, Israeli Autumn, Palestinian Winter?, at the University of Helsinki.

Friday 7 February sees Buddhist Union, FOKUS and The Islamic Council of Finland SINE coming together in A Gathering of Cultures. Here one can find a calligraphy workshop, ethnofood, Vietnamese dance and Bhajan music.

Meanwhile, events are not only being staged in the Capital Region, with FOKUS organising a number which can also be found in Joensuu and Turku.

For those more proficient in Finnish, a range of interesting interfaith and intercultural events are being staged in the local language, touching on aspects of comedy and God, business and religion. Furthermore, the Baha’i and Christian perspectives will also be shared through a number of events held in Finnish.

Things round up with a free soup and dialogue event being held at Kolmen Sepän patsas in Helsinki.

Events are free and are open to all.

James O’Sullivan