Meeting the world in a village

Helsinki turns into a genuinely multicultural and cosmopolitan town once a year, for one weekend only. This weekend is the weekend.

It’s World Village time. A festival organised in the middle of Helsinki, by the Service Center for Development Cooperation – Kepa. It’s a big event, gathering a crowd of tens of thousands of people. Seriously, tens of thousands of people, right there, downtown Helsinki.

Here’s how Kepa describes it:

The event offers new perspectives on tolerant multiculturalism, development cooperation, global issues and expanding one’s possibilities for affecting everyday life.

Over 300 other partners are involved in the festival – some 200 NGOs as well as educational institutions, museums, public authorities and businesses.

This year I was able to take part as part of the public. In previous years I never really had the chance to just walk around, enjoy the food and music. This time was special.

I saw Karen Mukupa Band. And Daara J Family.

And Esther Bertram & Sharon Lewis.

Had wonderful things for lunch. Actually, had lunch no. 1 and lunch no. 2. Had good, fair trade coffee. Talked to people. Boogied. Laughed. Was great.

And it’s not a typical festival in Finland. You know why? There’s less alcohol involved than normally.

And, after seeing Karla, which I really want to take home, I’ve decided to contact the Yalo ladies (sorry, again, only in Finnish) to make a short interview. How do they manage to choose items from all those lovely collections that always suit my eye (not always the body, but always the eye)?

♦ In the meantime: there are more demands for a clearer ‘no’ to racism and xenophobia in Finland, and the Maltese have voted in favour of divorce. There is hope!

♣ Song of the day: Florence + The Machine, Between two lungs

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