Guest blogger Shannon G.
You've paid your debt to Uncle Sam all year, so if you get a little cash back as a tax refund, be sure to make the most of it. Thinking about planning your next big trip? Consider Finland as an option.
Finland is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east, and Estonia to the south across the Gulf of Finland. The Finnish landscape is covered with thick pine forests, rolling hills and an almost endless amount of lakes. Finland contains 37 national parks, which certainly makes it a desirable travel destination.
Commercial cruises between major coastal and port cities in the Baltic region play a significant role in the local tourism industry. Finland is regarded as the home of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, living in the northern region. Above the Arctic Circle, in midwinter, there is a polar night, a period when the sun does not rise for days or weeks, or even months, and correspondingly, midnight sun in the summer, with no sunset even at midnight. The Aurora Borealis is seen regularly in the fall, winter and spring here.
Finns have a self-conception and reputation for being reserved and sparing with words. Small talk is not valued. Accordingly, words and verbal promises are likely to be taken seriously. The rapid spread of mobile phones, computers, and other communications technology is creating a society that is highly interconnected, regardless of the nature of interpersonal interactions and demeanor. Finland has the highest per capita use of the Internet and cellular phones in the world.
Children´s culture in Finland is one of the most developed in the world. One of the three existing schools of architecture for children in the world is ARKKI in Helsinki. There are several children’s festivals focused in literature, movies, theatre and so on. Basic education in arts is very well developed and accessible all over the country, and it has proven its effectiveness in producing surprising number of world class musicians, singers and conductors compared to the small size of the nation.
Finland is also known as the land of weird championships. Most known of them are the wife carrying and swamp football but there’s also rubber boot throwing championships, mobile phone throwing championships, snow swimming championships and… stick horse racing championships.
So you’ve finished your taxes and unfortunately a trip to Finland isn’t in the works. Not to worry; the library has many interesting books, DVDs, and CDs about this northern country. And coincidentally, this month will be playing host to the Finnish Folk band Vellamo. In Finnish mythology, Vellamo is the goddess of the sea. Pia Leinonen, originally from the arctic region of Lapland, is Vellamo’s lead singer. Her exquisite voice combines her love and vast knowledge of Finnish folk music with the western singer–songwriter tradition in a unique and beautiful way. Joni Tiala, originally from the Finnish port of Kokkola, began playing guitar at the age of 11. He is now a master of several stringed instruments.
Vellamo combines the rich tradition of Finnish folksong with an appealing “retro” sensibility, creating an exotic and magical acoustic experience. Stop by and check out our book cart display providing more information about Finland whilst listening to a free show performed by Vellamo at the Yarborough branch library on Wednesday, February 18th from 7-7:45 p.m.