Finnish expats celebrate Finland’s centenary in Helsinki
There are more than 1.6 million expatriate Finns in the world. This year, Finland celebrates its 100th birthday and the Finnish expatriate organisation, the Finland Society is turning 90 years old.
On top of the Finland Society’s 90th anniversary, the Expatriate Parliament is also turning 20 years. This week Helsinki has welcomed more than 300 Finnish expats from over 21 different countries to take part in the ninth general meeting of the Expatriate Parliament on 16-17 June.
A week full of events
President of the Republic, Sauli Niinistö and Mrs. Jenni Haukio met the representatives of the Finnish Expatriate Parliament and the Finland Society in Kultaranta on 15 June. Mrs. Haukio also announced the Finnish Expatriate of the Year. This year the recognition went to the Finnish schools around the world. There are altogether 140 Finnish schools in 45 different countries, which have more than 4,000 pupils.
To mark Finland’s centenary, The Finland Society also arranged the Suomi 100 Maailmalla – Finland 100 Worldwide concert on 15 June in Helsinki. The concert brought a bunch of outstanding Finnish expatriate musicians on stage.
Celebratory parliament session brings expats together
The Finnish Expatriate Parliament’s celebratory session is held on 16–17 June in the Festival Hall of the University of Helsinki. The opening speech of the Finnish Expatriate Parliament’s session was given by the Speaker of the Parliament, Maria Lohela, and the second day’s session will be opened with a festive speech by the Minister of Education, Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.
During the session, 55 resolution proposals are presented, debated and adopted. Things relating to expats’ voting possibilities, passport issues and streaming Finnish TV abroad are also on the table. Also, this year Brexit and its effects to Finnish expats living in the UK get people talking.
The Finnish Expatriate Parliament’s celebratory session gathers together more than 300 participants from 21 different countries.
To end the celebratory week, on Saturday 17 June at 9:30 am, more than 300 expats gather on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral to sing Finnish classics.