Finlandia Fridays kicks off the weekend with international superstar Antti Holma. Holma, a 34-year-old Helsinki native, gained popularity after appearing on the 2014 season of the Finnish sketch comedy show “Putous.” That same year, he released his debut novel, titled “Järjestäjä,” and followed that with a book of poetry, “Kauheimmat runot” in 2015. He has also appeared in four feature-length Finnish movies, and several television series. He is most notably recognized for his work on “Putous,” a Finnish show similar to Saturday Night Live. His character, a fitness queen with high heels and a denim skirt, was a hit in Finland but unfortunately, the outfit didn’t make the trip to Finlandia University.
Holma finds himself in the Keweenaw and Finlandia University to shoot a television series for MTV 3 in Finland. This series highlights Finnish people and heritage living abroad. Finlandia has strong ties with multiple universities in Finland and hosts exchange students every year. “Traveling around the world we see many aspects of being Finnish, but here in Hancock it is huge,” said Holma.
Holma notes how familiar the Upper Peninsula, a place he has never before been to, was to him. “It felt like home,” he said. Coming from Finland he recognized names that were all too familiar to his native land. One unique offering in Hancock is that the street signs are literally in Finnish and English. Holma went as far to send a picture to his mother and father with the caption “Look! I am home.” The pride of being Finnish in the Keweenaw is something he loves to see. “It is unique to see such pride in a heritage,” said Holma.
Holma notes how enjoyable his time with Finlandia University professor and Finnish scholar Hilary Virtanen was. She reinstalled the Finnish pride that Holma says is sometimes lacking. Being Finnish is something to be proud of and the reassurance by Virtanen brought positive emotions to Holma.
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