Original and authentic cuisine from the Far East.

IT’S hard to imagine a time in Helsinki when there was nary a Chinese restaurant on offer, but this was the case in the years preceding 1973, before the establishment of Ravintola China. Serving customers for almost 40 years, the span of the restaurant’s existence parallels the evolution of the modern Finnish kitchen, transforming from the conservative norms of humble kotiruoka back in the ‘70s, to the increasingly diverse tastes on offer today.

Running is quickly gaining momentum. Some say it has even replaced golf as the businessman’s ultimate status sport. Whilst this is still debatable there is no denying that participating in marathons, half marathons and other runs is a growing trend. Running in your home country may take considerable effort, but travelling abroad to run takes the hobby to a whole new level. SixDegrees took a closer look at the phenomenon.

Vin-Vin offers its visitors a place to truly treat themselves.

Wine bars have a bad rap in Helsinki simply because they can never remain open. A winemaker friend of mine once told me a joke: There are three ways of losing money – the most pleasurable way is spending it on women (he was a man, no doubt!), the fastest way is betting on the horses and the surest way is farming. It could be argued for wine bars to be added to that list, seemingly doomed to fail before they even see the light of day in Helsinki.

The current economic situation seems to have had an unexpected positive effect in promoting the sales of second-hand goods. Be it established charities or regular flea markets, the trade of second-hand items has many positives that come with every transaction.

While the economic downturn is damping the trade of clothing retailers, with the sales of businesses such as the iconic “fashion for all” company H&M going steadily downhill, charity shops selling second-hand items are enjoying steady, or in some cases even rocketing, growth.

A foreign possibility?

While the pathway into Finnish society for a foreigner is one that is beset with challenges, one option for immigrants that receives very little in the way of support in the capital region is that of integrating in Swedish.

Being as it is a smaller community with a closer network of contacts, coupled with the fact that Swedish is traditionally seen as a much easier language to learn than Finnish for immigrants from many countries, on paper one could say that integration into the Finland-Swedish community in the Uusimaa region might provide a swift option to settle into life here. But at this stage, it seems, this potential pathway has yet to be comprehensively paved.