The Kinner has been praised for its sleek and elegant design, which resembles that of a classic car/Image credit: Kinner

Multiple media outlets reported that Finland is set to establish a state-owned company to help people with disabilities find employment in the country. 

The initiative, called the Work Ability Programme, is part of the country’s plan to achieve a 75 percent employment rate by 2025. It will focus on offering job opportunities to vulnerable groups and those with reduced working capacity. 

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A white-tailed deer basking in the sun in Porkkala, Kirkkonumi, Finland in August 2020/Lehtikuva

Finland’s white-tailed deer were the subject of discussion in an article published by Star Tribune this week. According to the article, the animals were first introduced into Finland’s forests by two Finnish-Americans from Minnesota, U.S.

The deer were brought to Finland in 1934, at a time when the country’s reindeer, roe deer and elk populations were declining due to urban expansion and poverty. Finnish-Americans Eino Saranen and Lester Ketola initiated the transportation of three bucks and four does by train and ship from the U.S. to Finland.

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Finnish producer and writer Jani Pösö (R) and filmmaker Teemu Nikki celebrate winning the award for Best Series for Mister 8 at the closing ceremony of the CanneSeries festival in Cannes, France on October 13/Lehtikuva

 

The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) made headlines this week after announcing that it has developed a solution for cement production that has nearly zero emissions. 

The institute’s new method of producing cement and quicklime uses low-emission electricity instead of combustion, drastically reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during the process.

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A still from the film Compartment No. 6/Lehtikuva

Finnish film Compartment No. 6 sparked discussions this week, with an article in Euronews questioning whether it could be Finland’s first contender for an Oscar nomination in 20 years. 

The film, directed by Juho Kuosmanen and based on a novel by Finnish author Rosa Liksom, has been praised for its humour and won the runner-up Grand Prix award (shared with Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero) at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

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The entrance to the Temppeliaukio Church, also known as the Rock Church, a key underground attraction in Helsinki/Wikipedia

Helsinki’s underground tunnel network was the subject of discussion this week in an article published by travel and tourism website TravelPulse. Below Finland’s capital lies a vast labyrinth of passages and buildings used for retail, sports and cultural activities.   

Helsinki first began digging up its surface in the 1980s during the Cold War, with the aim of creating a subterranean space that could contain the city’s entire population in case of an attack. 

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Coffee cell cultures (right) and roasted coffee produced using VTT's cellular agriculture method/Image Credit: VTT

Several international newspapers have been reporting on a phenomenon that has become a matter of concern for authorities in rural Finland—the exodus of young women to larger towns and cities. 

Finland’s rural municipalities are largely dominated by the agriculture and construction industries and offer few jobs for highly-skilled young women, who often associate the region with limited opportunities and boredom. 

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This year, 3,500 Thai berry pickers arrived in Finland to help with the harvest/Lehtikuva

The news that Finnish scientists accidentally unleashed butterflies that contained parasitic wasps created a buzz this week, with several international newspapers, including The Guardian and Independent covering the story. 

Researchers had introduced a new kind of caterpillar to a small island in the Åland archipelago in the hopes of studying the behaviour of the beautiful Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) butterflies once they emerged. 

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A production of Seven Brothers at Vantaan Tanssiopisto (Vantaa Dance Institute) in 2003/Lehtikuva

Finland’s national novel Seven Brothers (Seitsemän veljestä) came into the spotlight this week when BBC published an article highlighting its history and cultural impact. While it was not well received during its time, the seminal work has come to be inextricably linked with Finland’s national identity.

First published in 1870, Seven Brothers was the first novel written in Finnish, at a time when the language had not yet acquired legitimacy as a literary medium and the nationalist movement was just beginning to gain traction.

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Ella Viitasuo (second from left) celebrates with her teammates after scoring a goal during the 2021 IIHF Women's World Championship bronze medal game/Lehtikuva

The Finnish women’s national ice hockey team skated into headlines this week after winning the bronze medal at the women’s world hockey championship. 

Finland beat Switzerland 3–1 to take third place at the 2021 IIHF World Women's Championship on Tuesday. Tanja Niskanen, Ella Viitasuo and Petra Nieminen scored one goal each, while goaltender Anni Keisala made a total of 18 saves during the match. 

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The tree hugging championship was livestreamed on various platforms/Photo credit: HaliPuu

Yet another quirky Finnish custom caught the fancy of international media this week as the annual tree hugging world championships were held in the HaliPuu forest in Levi, Lapland last weekend.

The championship, which only began last year, includes three categories of tree hugging: speed hugging, dedication and freestyle hugging. This year’s event included contestants (all residents of the nearby town of Levi) representing Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Australia, Scotland, Hungary and Spain.

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The AuroraSat-1 could help solve the current space junk crisis/Image credit: Aurora Propulsion Technologies

Finland’s efforts to increase its hydrogen capabilities were highlighted this week, with hydrogen-focused magazine H2 View reporting that the country is set to construct its first green hydrogen production plant.

The plant, which will have a capacity of 20MW, will be built in the municipality of Harjavalta in Western Finland. When commissioned, it will generate green hydrogen to power industrial applications. 

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