The Embassy of Malaysia in Helsinki, Finland, played host to a delightful gathering on 6 May 2024, as we welcomed guests to the 'Friends of Malaysia (FoM) Art Exhibition and Luncheon'.  This vibrant event, held on the Embassy's premises, aimed to foster connections among individuals who share a profound affinity with Malaysia, as well as celebrating the spirit of camaraderie and cultural exchange.

The occasion was marked by a delightful array of authentic Malaysian cuisine, meticulously prepared by the talented members of the Malaysian Women's Association (PERWAKILAN HELSINKI). From fragrant nasi lemak and sambal udang to roti jala and kari ayam, the culinary delights transported attendees on a sensory journey back to their times in Malaysia.

Central to the event was the spotlight on a Malaysian amateur artist residing in Finland, Chinda Nang, whose portfolio comprises of her memories growing up in Malaysia, an array of oil & watercolour paintings of food, flora & fauna in vibrant colours and rich cultural motifs. The artist’s work served as vignettes of the unique heritage that Malaysians abroad carry in their hearts and minds every day, and was a wonderful backdrop for the conversations around fond warm memories the attendees had had in Malaysia.

Moreover, the event also served as a platform to further commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Malaysia and Finland; highlighting the enduring partnership and shared values between the two nations. The invitees came from a myriad of backgrounds, including representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, business people, former students and lecturers as well as foreign diplomats previously stationed in Malaysia. However, many of them are currently working in education-related fields so it was no surprise that education emerged as a focal point of discussion, underscoring the importance of academic exchange and cooperation in driving bilateral ties forward.

According to the Charge D ‘Affaires of the Embassy of Malaysia, Mr. Mohamed Ariff bin Mohamed Ali, the 'Friends of Malaysia' event is part of Project Synergy - a collaborative initiative inspired by the Malaysian Embassy's vision to strengthen ties with the Malaysian and Malaysia-loving community in Finland. The resounding success of the gathering highlighted its significance in fostering cultural understanding and nurturing friendships across borders.

In reflecting on the event, attendees lauded the Embassy of Malaysia for its efforts in bringing together like-minded individuals and creating a platform for meaningful engagement. The positive reviews and shared experiences resonated with the sentiment of unity and goodwill that pervaded the gathering.

As the afternoon drew to a close, guests departed with hearts full of warmth, stomachs full of joy, and minds buzzing with ideas for future collaborations. The 'Friends of Malaysia' event not only celebrated togetherness but also served as a testament to the enduring bonds of friendship that transcend geographical boundaries.

‘Friend of Malaysia’ Family Photo
Remarks by Mr Mohamed Ariff Mohamed Ali, Charge D’Affaires of Malaysia
Artist Chinda Nang unveiling her artwork for the world to see at the FoM Event
Inviting past, present, and future officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland to join in the unravelling of the artwork in honour of 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Malaysia-Finland