'Everyday Happiness' is Finland's Theme for EU Open House 2022
What is Finnish everyday happiness made of? At this year’s EU Open House event, on Saturday May 14, the Finnish Embassy will display the building blocks of an ordinary but happy day in Finland, whether they include good food, music, nature or culture.
Arki is the Finnish word for ordinary, non-special days or everyday life. As boring as it may sound, there is a consensus among Finnish people that the best things come from the simple joys of life. Finns seem to be less concerned with extreme expressions of joy and more focused on a calm contentment with ordinary life.
That contentment may have much to do with closeness to nature. Konsta Punkka, a nature photographer famous for his Instagram account, began his career by documenting the life of squirrels in Helsinki’s leafy Seurasaari district, not far from the city center. Punkka’s work, which captures the expressiveness of wild animals such as squirrels, foxes, wolves and bears, will be on display at the Embassy.
At the Embassy’s Kids’ Corner, we present creatures of a more exotic kind: the Moomins. The joys of a simple life are epitomized by Finnish author-painter Tove Jansson’s white, roundish and large-snouted characters who live in the Moominhouse, a welcoming home in the middle of a peaceful valley. Gutsy Animations has reimagined Jansson’s classic tales as an internationally acclaimed animation TV series, episodes of which will be screened at the Open House event.
The effort to bring joy through simplicity is apparent in many Finnish products that prioritize functional design, pure and fresh ingredients and an emphasis on sustainability. Sample portions of Noodelist’s premium instant noodles, which use plant-based and trans fat free ingredients, will be doled out at the Embassy.
Everyday satisfaction may even flow straight from the tap. While tap water is drinkable in many parts of the world, in Finland it is excellent and outright delicious. This pureness extends to brands such as Vellamo, whose water bottles will also be distributed at the event. Vellamo’s spring waters flow from the fine groundwaters of the Salpausselkä Ridges, harnessing the country’s reputation for clean water.
The appreciation for pureness, nature and tradition combine in the most well-known Finnish export product: the sauna. Recently added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the sauna is an inseparable element of Finnish everyday life. Sauna from Finland, a Finnish expertise association and company network, will be at the Embassy to spread the gospel.
Marimekko, the quintessential Finnish fashion brand that touts the principles of timeless design, inclusivity and a push for compliance with a circular economy, will decorate the Embassy with its print fabrics. Lumene, a beauty brand with a strongly Nordic ethos that strives for sustainability, will offer samples of its many products.
The Embassy itself, nestled in a wooded area next to a park, provides its visitors with a small glimpse into Finnish everyday happiness. Punkka’s exhibit can be found inside the building, while all other activities – including a wheel of fortune – are located outside, good weather provided. There will even be a chance to meet and chat with Ambassador Mikko Hautala.
For those craving a more immersive experience, Visit Finland will be on site to provide travel tips and information about Finland.
Welcome to the Embassy of Finland on Saturday May 14, 10 am - 4 pm!