queenOn Valentine’s Day, POWWER organises the fourth annual Queen of Hearts, a beauty contest in which inner beauty counts. “This year we received dozens of applications from very different yet fabulous women who come from different parts of the world. In fact, we received more applications than ever before. The event has grown year by year and this year it’s going to be more festive than ever,” says POWWER spokesperson Kaisa Kolari.

The winner of the competition will be representing international women in Finland and act as an intercultural goodwill ambassador. According to Kolari, the tasks and responsibilities are modified to suit the winner’s personality and interests. “The competition includes a talent show, which often highlights their strengths and interests.”

Last year’s Queen of Hearts, Lilian Opondo, was encouraged by friends to take part in the competition and she has not regretted her decision. Throughout the year, Opondo has attended various events from festivals to fashion shows, performed with her dance group and given lectures and interviews about the status of immigrant women.

“The best thing about being the Queen of Hearts was that I was able to help so many people,” she says. “For example, the lady who made my dress for the competition was newly arrived from Ghana. I was able to present her work and get her career started in Finland.” The competition itself was good fun, Opondo states. ”I was a bit nervous at some point, but it was a great evening. I heartily recommend this event to everyone!”

The competition is part of the Valentine’s Day celebration at the Cultural Centre Caisa. It includes a Valentine’s Day dinner with flavours from Cambodia and fresh talent in stage performances. Musical stars of the evening are hip hop artist Baby Joe, a native Ugandan living in Finland who has been on the top of the charts in Africa, and Raggaremi, a reggae/afrobeat artist from London.

Queen of Hearts

Sat 14 February 19:00 - 22:00

Cultural Centre Caisa

Mikonkatu 17, Helsinki

Free entry