MORE THAN just cool air drifts in from the Baltic Sea through Helsinki’s harbour during the summer months. After the Caribbean and Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea is the most popular cruise destination in the world.

As one of the capitals of the Baltic Sea, the City of Helsinki will be expecting to dock 256 international cruise ships with more than 350,000 passengers flocking the city by the end of the cruise season in September.

The cruises ship in a mixed crowd of international visitors from retirees to gays to characters from Disney World. “Mickey Mouse is one particular visitor who will be visiting Helsinki for the first time,” declared Deputy Tourist Director...

WITH an abundance of social networking websites, emails, mobile phones and other technologies further dragging us away from face-to-face contact with our fellow man, even the most shy of Finns might despair at the newest product guaranteed to keep you safely indoors on a Saturday night: 3D television.

That’s correct: the format that is currently reigniting squillion dollar profits for movie companies is coming soon to our living rooms, with Welho commencing testing of the format last year. As the number of television licenses here in Finland continues to wane, rest assured that the upcoming fourth annual 3D TV-CON being held in Tampere 7 – 9 June seeks to stem the tide.

The Ministry of Interior provides a unique - and positive - view of immigration

MIGRANTS and migration have become a burning issue in Finland during the past year, but for those who have found the debate almost entirely negative, events have now taken a new turn. The Ministry of Interior has launched a website called puhetta maahanmuutosta (talk about immigration) which manages to be at once informative, entertaining and unusual in proving that the authorities do not wish to censor the discussion on immigration, of which they are often accused by the immigration sceptics. Those commenting also do so using their own names, a point the so-called immigration sceptics have often claimed was impossible without being called racists or kukkahattutäti.

IN CONTRAST to the thronged streets of vappu, Midsummer, aka juhannus, sees Finland’s towns and cities deserted. Signalling the start to many summer holidays and the opening of the season of fresh Finnish vegetables, fruits and berries, juhannus is probably Finland’s greatest festival of the year.

The celebration of the summer solstice dates back to pre-Christian times when Finns celebrated Ukon juhla, the feast of Ukko, the pagan Finnish god of weather, fertility and growth. After Christianity entered Finland, the festival became known as juhannus after Johannes Kastaja (St. John the Baptist) and was traditionally celebrated on his commemoration day, 24 June. After labour organisations’ efforts in 1955, juhannus ...

Ethnic product 
of the 
month

I’VE COME to understand that for those of you who’ve grown up in the US, the UK, or possibly one of the Commonwealth countries, the very mention of condensed milk transports you straight back to your childhood days. The evocative sound of a can clattering away as it is being boiled into sticky caramel, the anticipation of the final product that took hours to take shape and the burnt tongue ‘cos you just couldn’t wait any longer – or am I wrong?

Although extremely popular in the above-mentioned corners of the world, this sweet treat is not the exclusive delight of the English-speaking nation.