Posted by jukkahoo
Nothing to do with the header. Just got back from the Finnish Cultural Foundation event at Finlandia House, to where I was invited due to Finncon 2006 being the recipient of a sizable grant from the said establishment. Namely the Maija and Lauri Niinioja fund, to which our most sincere and grateful thanks go to. Thank you!
A very nice pönötys occasion, as Ninni would say. Due to my extraordinarily relaxed idea of time-management, we (as in Sari and I) arrived there just in time, therefore surviving the pre-occasion chitchat and preposterously expensive buffet coffee and biscuits. First we were given a taste of Värttinä with three songs. Very good. I especially liked the first tune of Lumotar, with a nice north African vibe. Eerama and Riena weren't half bad either. Apparently I must get their albums.
This was followed by a speech byt the Great Satan (or so say some University students I know). I thought it was OK'ish, with good points, but then again he - as he is apparently customed to - mentioned only culture and hard sciences as worthy causes.
This was followed by short film from 1936 about building a haaparuuhi, haapio (aspen punt, sort of a flat-bottomed rowboat). Not to mention how strangely affecting this old piece of Finnish documentary was and how much we both thought this as extremely usable for a fantasy setting, it was also deliriously intriguing and informative. I seriously doubt my ability to perform this task, but I wouldn't put it behind someone with more ingenuiety and verve. And best of all, it is a part of a restoration program FCF is funding and the first DVD is out and every single person in the audince will get a complimentary copy later! Just like every single school and library in Finland will get one. Great stuff this.
Riitta Hari then poke about how our brain (funnily enough, Finnish word for brain is plural, just like the real thing) transforms information it receives, and how we react to different stimuli. Again, interesting.
After the complimentary sparkling wine and by feet being trampled by Pirkko Liinamaa, we were treated to some baroque music (Roman, Telemann) by the Helsingin Barokkiorkesterin yhtye . Swell music, with one seriously long banjo! Sari says it's a lute, but surely I recognise a banjo when I see one?
There were three recipients of special compensations, and the first one went to Kersti Juva for her wonderful work as a translator. €25 000 is a nice bonus for a work well done. LotR was prominently mentioned, even so that she was asked to step on the stage as the "wizard of words" and so forth.
Then the guy with the huge flute came back on the stage with one of the singers from Värttinä and everybody stood up and sang Maamme. Elegant, yet somewhat swellegant.
My feet hurt.