An open letter to Stephen King – We need to talk about Perse

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It’s an absolute delight for a Finn, whenever we are mentioned anywhere. Much like in that old Monty Python sketch, where the town Wains Cotting is mentioned on the telly. For a Finn, the movie Die Hard comes to mind. Also King Ralph, where…ahem, the Royal Family of Finland actually gets some screen time. Or how about the Monty Python song “Finland”, in which Michael Palin pours his heart out about snacking lunch and watching TV in Finland. Stuff like this makes one´s heart burst with pride, so you can only imagine the thrill of reading Stephen King´s Duma Key in its original language.




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Dancing bears and mirror lakes: Valtteri Mulkahainen’s spectactular photos of Finnish nature

Finnish photographer Valtteri Mulkahainen's iconic shot of "dancing" bear cubs

 
A few years ago, Mr. Valtteri Mulkahainen of Sotkamo hit the news in Finland and globally, as his pictures of “dancing” bear cubs in the Suomussalmi forests captured the imagination of nature friendly people everywhere. We wanted to feature Valtteri in our series on Finnish photography, so we’ve caught up with him in a short interview on wolves, using camera gear in the extreme, iPhone killing cold… and Pokémon Go.

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Picture of Finnish forest

Ghastly picnic destinations: 5 places in Finland let down by their names

Picture of Finnish forest

All around the world, our forefathers in charge of naming places have on occasion let their morbid sense of humour flourish (or alternatively the job just really gets to you after a while, go figure).

Finland, of course, is no exception. Hell and murder appear to have been especially attractive and marketable concepts in ye olde days, examining the naming of certain places.

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Jani Ylinampa's photo of northern lights over a small river in Lapland, Finland

Lapland safari guide Jani Ylinampa’s Northern Lights photos are out of this world

Jani Ylinampa's photo of northern lights over a small river in Lapland, Finland
Jani Ylinampa works as a safari guide in Lapland. But on the side, he’s a photographer who’s developed quite the following on social media, in part thanks to his stunning shots of northern lights. We saw it fitting to feature Jani’s work and ask him a couple of question on his work and lifestyle.

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Why every Helsinki lover needs The Helsinki Book

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One thing is for sure: when visiting or moving to a new city in a foreign country, we all want to make the most of our stay. So, you pore over city handbooks, travel guides, and anything else you can get your hands on for a glimpse of your new city/country. However, while many travel guides and handbooks promise you a good time during your stay, most of them are either too touristy for my taste or simply lacking that interesting factor that keeps me glued.

But hey, that’s just me.

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7 ways to make a Finn happy

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As a rule, Finns are sincere, humble, trustworthy and funny. However, one thing that can be difficult for visitors to know is what makes them happy, being that they often exude a Spock-like calm in all situations. With this in mind, I’ve put together a handy guide, gained from 13 years experience, of seven sure-fire ways to put a spring in any Finn’s step.

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Young man jumping into icy lake, like it was summer. Photo in Asikkala, Finland.

The impossible contrast: Young photographer drops summer-like scenes into freezing Finnish winter

Young man stuck with rowboat in snow on icy lake, Asikkala, Finland.

At the time of writing, it’s rather cold, around -20°C, here in Helsinki. To make this a bit less insufferable, let’s enjoy some summery pictures. Almost.

Sixteen-year-old, award-winning photographer Markus Watkins has just published a very timely set of summer activities set in freezing cold Asikkala. We asked some questions about his set, which he named The Impossible Contrast.

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Aurea borealis over cottages in Lapland, Finland

Arctic #nofilter: 15 Instagram snapshots that show why Lapland’s the crown jewel of the North

Aurea borealis over cottages in Lapland, Finland

Free pro tip: too much Instagram at bedtime will mess with your sleep. On the other hand, if you open Instagram first thing after your alarm rings in the morning, your phone’s screen will help you wake up. Put simply, Instagram can be a fantastic infusion of beauty into your day when you need it the most.

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Burning street car in Helsinki during USSR air raids, 1944.

Photos of bombed, WWII Helsinki mashed up with prosperous modernity

Burning street car in Helsinki during USSR air raids, 1944.

During WWII, Finland was twice involved in military confrontation with the Soviet union. For the capital, Helsinki, the most intense air raids and bombings occurred in February 1944, a campaign which is usually referred to as The Great Raids Against Helsinki. These amazing photographs, created by the Finnish Defence Forces Combat Camera unit, mash up haunting photos of wartime destruction with modern pics from a couple years back, in nice black and white plus colour images.

The USSR was under the impression its bombing campaigns were more successful and expected Helsinki to be pretty much gone by the end of the war. The Soviets didn’t learn of the relatively limited damage until after the war when Allied Control Commissioner Andrei Zhdanov visited Helsinki.

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