Culture - Hallå Tokyo!
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Welcome to Hallå Tokyo!


The Finnish Institute in Japan organized the Finnish-Swedish Culture Week called Hallå Tokyo! for the fourth consecutive year on 8-12 November to celebrate and bring awareness to the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. The week was filled with program focusing on themes such as Finnish-Swedish people in politics, entrepreneurship and entertainment outlining the impact of they have made both in Finland as well as internationally. The week ended traditionally with the ever so popular crayfish party!

Finnish-Swedish week banner. Photo: Finnish Institute in Japan


Hallå Tokyo! kicked off on Monday, November 8th with an interview with Professor Alexander Stubb. He is the Director of the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute. He has served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Trade and Europe Minister of Finland. Stubb joined us from his villa in Florence to discuss the impact of Swedish-speaking Finns in culture, business and politics from a Finnish, Nordic and global perspective, as well as his views on the future of Swedish in Finland! The event was broadcasted virtually through Zoom, and was also accommodated live at the Metsä Pavilion with refreshments and a networking reception. We recorded the interview and you can watch it HERE. Photo: European People’s Party. This file has been extracted from another file: A23A8597 (44474967285).jpg

On Tuesday, November 9th we had the pleasure of live music with the Hip-Hop band Green Light District broadcasted from Helsinki. The concert was performed at the Nylands Nation venue in Helsinki, broadcasted on Zoom for the virtual audience, and finally recieved at the Metsä Pavilion for a live audience. The band played some of their greatest hits, as well as performed, for the first time, their newest album live. After the concert the band participated in a Q&A with questions varying from their favorite foods to the profound meaning of their music. Refreshments were also served at the Metsä Pavilion as well. A recording of the concert will be published here soon!

Photo: Green Light District

On Wednesday, November 10th we heard in our interview from Finnish designer Johanna Gullichsen about her story as a female entrepreneur, her design, her creative process as well as her views on the Swedish language and its importance in Finland. Johanna Gullichsen is widely known for her graphic interior textiles. Her sophisticated designs tell a story of their own combining the traditional patterns textile types. Gullichsen has received many prizes-the most recently Kaj Franck Design Prize 2021. The event, held on Zoom, even contained a virtual tour of her newest shop in Helsinki featuring her designs and creations, with the newest products being inspired from Japan! The audience took advantage of the opportunity to ask Johanna a bounty of questions with regards to design and craftmanship.
Photo: Johanna Gullichsen

On Thursday, November 11th we heard from Ted Urho, in his seminar “And that’s why Finland celebrates the day a Swedish king fell off his horse and died on a battlefield in Germany in 1632”. Ted Urho is the executive manager of the liberal think tank Agenda since 2019. He has previously worked as a journalist, producer and host of the breakfast show.

During his seminar Ted painted a vivid picture of the Finnish-Swedish culture, history and impact through a stimulating presentation and various different perspectives. After Teds talk, the audience on Zoom continued to pick his brain with many great questions ranging from history, to Svenska dagen and the Åland Islands.

Photo: Ted Urho

On Friday, November 12th we concluded the fourth consecutive Finnish-Swedish Culture Week with the ever so popular crayfish party! Our locally (Finnish) sourced crayfish and snaps, combined with customary singing surely played a role in the relaxed and joyful atmosphere at the Metsä Pavilion for esteemed guests as well as the institute staff alike! With all the necessary precautions in place for a safe party, we were exhilarated to spend time with all of you following the institute and this week packed full of events! We look forward to seeing you all again next year for yet another Finnish Swedish Culture Week!
Photo: Finnish Institute in Japan