Finland's Independence Day 2020

Finland's Independence Day 2020

Today, we celebrate Finland’s 103rd Independence Day. This year the celebrations are very different from normal due to the corona pandemic. Nevertheless, we can celebrate this special day virtually, light our candles and be thankful for our independence and country.

Shalom LeKulam, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Finns in Israel,

Today, we celebrate Finland’s 103rd Independence Day. This year the celebrations are very different from normal due to the corona pandemic. Nevertheless, we can celebrate this special day virtually, light our candles and be thankful for our independence and country.

I would like to thank Minister Yuval Steinitz for his warm wishes for our Independence Day on behalf of the Government of the State of Israel. Toda Raba!

Finland has many qualities and strengths. We have evolved from a poor agricultural country to one of the most successful countries in the world. We are high in international rankings, such as in education, gender equality, good governance, innovation and environmental protection. For the third time in a row, Finland was named the happiest country in the world according to the UN World Happiness Report 2020. 

I would like to raise one of key factors of the Finnish success story - Gender equality. Finnish women were first to receive full political rights already in 1906, years before our independence. Since then, women have had an active role in decision-making and working life in our society. Today, almost half of Finnish parliament members are women. The majority of the current government ministers are women, including Prime Minister Sanna Marin who has received a lot of attention in Israel, too.

We see gender equality as a social innovation. Early on, we realized that the contribution of the whole population is needed to succeed. Now Finland is one of the world’s leading countries in fostering gender equality. The work continues. Also Finland’s foreign policy aims to promote gender equality and support the full realization of women’s and girls’ rights globally. 

This year, as you know, we mark the 70 years of diplomatic relations between Finland and Israel. Anniversary celebrations will continue for another week virtually in our social media and website, please enjoy them too. The National Hymns will be performed in the end of the anniversary campaign. Stay tuned.

To conclude, I would like wish you a very Happy Independence day, Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää, Trevlig självständighetsdag! Stay safe and healthy!

Kirsikka Lehto-Asikainen

Ambassador of Finland to Israel

Greeting of Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Energy, Israel