By Nikolai Meinert
Journalists from WTMG met the Ambassador of Finland 100, Mr. Pekka Huhtaniemi, in Helsinki in early 2017. He informed the international journalists of the centenary of one of most significant jubilees for Finland abroad:
“Finland became an independent state on 6 December 1917. The newly born state was willed into being by the Finns after a long struggle. In spite of hard times, the Finnish people have for almost a hundred years engaged in the building of their country and making decisions together.
“The centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 will be the most significant commemorative year for this generation of Finns. The centenary emphasizes Finland’s strengths, such as equality and democracy by offering Finns and friends of Finland diverse and international centenary program in Finland and abroad. The centenary year provides opportunities to better understand the past, experience the jubilee together and set the course for Finland’s future success,” he said. (http://suomifinland100.fi/?lang=en)
According to Mr. Huhtaniemi, who is responsible for the international coordination of Finland 100 celebration, there will be a wide range of festive actions all around the world. The events will not only celebrate the history of Finland, but also national traditions, culture and workmanship – even needlework – al of which have became an integral part of anniversary Finnish promotion.
Knitting was mentioned by Mr. Huhtaniemi among others typical local crafts, which deserve to be known as one of the many ways that Finns spend their time. “Oh, you intent to use knitting in the promotional campaign of the Finnish 100 anniversary?” asked a number of journalists in surprise. “Why not?” replied Mr. Huhtaniemi. “Let’s look at it!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGCeFl_Dh-8). Actually, the Finns have already arranged some knitting festivals. Finland’s first Summer Knit Festival took place in Jyväskylä in July of 2016 (http://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/finlands_first_summer_knit_festival_takes_place_in_jyvaskyla/9031409) – The next step brings them to international knitting level.
Whatever happens on such a marginal field, Finnish international activity in connection with Finland 100 celebration is gaining speed. There are plans for events in about 100 countries and WTMG journalists confirmed during the meeting that they will watch it closely.
Meeting was arranged by Foreign Ministry of Finland.