Following the passing of the Equal Marriage Act, a wedding is held at the Kapsäkki music theater in Helsinki on March 1, 2017. This month a man identified as Ziryan celebrated becoming the first Kurd to hold a same-sex marriage ceremony in Finland.


Arriving in Nebraska by chance 25 years ago, a Finnish photojournalist has now won an international award for his photos capturing rural America. Staying with the US, a Midwest museum is celebrating the art of Finnish immigrants in Michigan. Other international news from this week focused on Scotland’s admiration for Finnish schooling, an Arctic wind park investment and the same-sex marriage of a Kurd in Helsinki.

Finnish journalist’s remarkable photos of small-town America
Omaha World-Herald

Finnish photojournalist Markus Jokela discovered Table Rock in 1992 “at the end of an index finger.”

“He and his writing partner, Ilkka Malmberg, had been assigned by the largest newspaper in Finland to do a story about small-town life in America during the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of the New World.”

“So Malmberg closed his eyes and pointed at a map of the US. His finger landed on southeast Nebraska.”

“”Table Rock. 308 inhabitants” was the headline on their first story, published in 1992.”

““By the end of their first day here, everyone knew who they were and what they were up to. Word gets around pretty quick,” said Missy Freeman, a local hairstylist.”

“Now, 25 years later, the Table Rock photos have won an international award, and may soon be compiled in a book.”

Original article was published by on 20/03/2017 and can be found here.

Scottish schools shouldn’t chase Finnish standard
The Scotsman

“Scotland should look at ending its “love affair” with Nordic education and deal with what is actually happening in this country, the leader of Scotland’s largest teaching union has said.”

“Larry Flanagan, general secretary of EIS Scotland, said while countries such as Finland are fêted for their innovations and international league table results, Scottish teachers have to work within a financially stretched education system.”

“Finland’s education ambassador Pasi Sahlberg has warned Scots against “chasing the Northern Lights”. “I don’t think that education alone can ever close the gap. It can never deliver complete equity or equality. A part of me says no matter how great the national curriculum, it can only do so much. There are always things that the curriculum cannot do,” said Sahlberg.”

Original article was published by on 18/03/2017 and can be found here.

Finnish billionaire invests in Arctic wind parks
The Independent Barents Observer

“The two wind parks to be built in Finnmark, Norway are located some tens of kilometers from the border to Finland.”

“St1 Nordic Oy, where billionaire Mika Anttonen has a 87% ownership, teams up with two wind power companies to develop the two wind park projects, Davvi and Borealis, in northernmost Norway.”

“Located in the municipalities of Lebesby and Tana, the wind parks could be connected to both the Norwegian and Finnish grids. A new 220 kV line from the parks to Finland’s border town of Utsjoki would strengthen the Norwegian-Finnish cross-border grids in the north.”

Original article was published by on 20/03/2017 and can be found here.

Michigan museum celebrates Finnish immigrant artists
The Oakland Press

“One of Oakland County’s most prominent institutions, Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills, owes an enormous debt to immigrants.”

“The Cranbrook Art Museum pays homage to that debt in a new exhibit, ‘Finland 100: The Cranbrook Connection’”.

“The exhibit celebrates both the centennial of Finland’s independence from the Russian Empire and Finland’s influence on the arts in America.”

“Although not as obvious as Spanish, French, African or English influences in American culture, Finland had a significant role in development of the arts here, says Andrew Blauvelt, director of Cranbrook Art Museum.”

Original article was published by on 20/03/2017 and can be found here.

Kurdish man marries under Finland’s same-sex marriage law

“A law passed in 2014 by Finland’s parliament to legalize same-sex marriages came into effect at the beginning of this month and has since enabled many gay couples, including Kurds, to formally tie the knot.”

“Many activities were performed in Finland on the day the law came into effect, including same-sex marriage ceremonies which in some cases were held in groups.”

“There was a Kurdish man there too, along with gay community members coming from other European countries to show support for the law.”

“A 23-year-old Kurd who identified himself as Ziryan got married to a Finnish man named Tomi on March 1, 2017.”

““I have decided to marry a man. I am proud to be the first gay Kurd in Finland to hold the ceremony on this historic day, being one of those whose names are written in the history of this country,” Ziryan said.”

Original article was published by on 19/03/2017 and can be found here.

Dan Anderson

Helsinki Times

Photo Mikko Stig / Lehtikuva

Finland in the world press

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