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Finlandia’s Finnish American Heritage Center to host Independence gathering on December 6

November 30, 2017

It’s the most watched television program in Finland every year, and this year Copper Country residents will have the chance to tune in as well.

It’s the annual Presidential Independence Day Ball, which is hosted each December 6 by the President of Finland at the Presidential Palace, and televised across the nation. This year, at the Finnish American Heritage Center (FAHC), the Ball will be briefly live-streamed as part of a program exemplifying the Finnish traditions surrounding this national holiday.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, the FAHC will not only give visitors an interactive sampling of what the Finns are watching, but also more long-standing traditions surrounding this national holiday. Finnish intern Mika Tompuri will offer a presentation about several traditions and their significance.

Tompuri’s program will include an opportunity to partake of one of the newest Independence Day traditions in Finland – Independence Day Bingo. While watching the Presidential Ball, many Finns play a tongue-in-cheek version of bingo, marking spaces based on the actions (or inactions) of guests at the ball, which has been described as Finland’s equivalent of the pre-Oscars red carpet event in the U.S.

This event, which is free and open to the public, is the culmination of a year of Finland 100 activities at the Finnish American Heritage Center that started with Heikinpäivä in January, and included Juhannus, Festival Ruska and the December 2 gala concert at the Rozsa Center. Fittingly, this final celebration for the year will take place on the Finlandia University campus, on Finland’s Independence Day, keeping with a tradition the university has had in place since Finland gained independence a century ago.

For more details, call Tompuri at (906) 487-7347.

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