See photos of past
Finn Spark events
Sat, December 07, 2013 11:00 AM (EST) • House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, Washington, DC
Mon, December 09, 2013 7:00 AM • AFI Silver Theatre 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD
Thu, December 12, 2013 11:30 AM • Falls Church, VA
Sat, December 14, 2013 5:00 PM • St. James Episcopal Church, 11815 Seven Locks Rd, Potomac, MD
Sun, December 15, 2013 11:00 AM • Embassy of Finland, 301 Mass Ave NW, Washington DC
Tue, December 24, 2013 2:30 PM • Augustana Lutheran Church, 2100 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC
FINLAND Government Selected "links"
Finland Embassy DC Calendar
Finland Embassy DC via Twitter
Finland Embassy DC Facebook
Finlandia Foundation National Capital Chapter (FFNCC)
Coming Events Calendar
Finlandia Foundation (National)
Events Calendar (2013)
American Scandinavian Association
Coming Events Calendar
News items of interest those of Finnish heritage
and to Finnophiles
(This section contains selected news items from the
"this is FINLAND" (www.finland.fi) web site and other news sources.
No bad schools only poorer neighbourhoods
Differences among schools in Helsinki are rooted outside school walls, not in the classroom, as is commonly assumed. A doctoral dissertation by Helsinki University urban geographer Venla Bernelius argues that variations in the quality of education available in the capital are on the rise because of social and economic gaps.
Americans Are Rich but Not Very Competent http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-09/
americans-are-rich-but-not-very-competent#r=rssHere are the OECD countries in the study with a bigger share of
adults aged 16 to 64 in the top two levels of literacy, listed from
the top down:
Japan, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Estonia,
Slovenia, Flanders (part of Belgium), Canada, Czech Republic,
Denmark, South Korea, England and Northern Ireland, and Germany.
Then comes the U.S. After that are Austria, Poland, Ireland, France,
Cyprus, Spain, and, in last place, Italy.
In numeracy the U.S. comes out even worse, ahead of only Italy and
Spain. And when the OECD breaks down the numeracy of just
16- to 24-year-olds, the U.S. is in last place.
Remarkably for the nation that’s home to Silicon Valley, the U.S. was
also last (among countries for which there were complete data) in
“proficiency in problem-solving in technology-rich environments
among young adults.” South Korea and Finland were Nos. 1 and 2.
Why Finland Loves Saunas
The only Finnish
word to make it into everyday English is "sauna".
But what it is, and how much it means to Finns,
is often misunderstood - and it's definitely not
about flirtation or sex.
For many Finns the sauna was the holiest room in
the house and the one
most closely associated with their wellbeing.
"Finns say the sauna is a poor man's pharmacy,"
says Pekka Niemi, a 54-year-old from Helsinki,
who spends about three hours a day in the sauna,
six days a week. "If a sick person is not cured
by tar, spirits or sauna,then they will die,"
he adds, quoting a Finnish proverb. ("Spirits"
here meansstrong alcohol, while tar wa
s historically used as an antiseptic.)
Finns Mourn Loss of Icon Nokia as Microsoft Takes Over
Finland shouldn’t throw in the towel just yet, Europe Minister Stubb said.
“Never underestimate the implications of the Finnish sisu, in other words
Finnish perseverance and courage,” he said yesterday. “There is huge
potential in Finnish engineering and you will see that blossoming within the
next few years.”
‘Smartest Kids in the World’
“If you want the American dream, go to Finland.” These blunt words from a
British politician, quoted by Amanda Ripley in “The Smartest Kids in the
World,” may lead readers to imagine that her book belongs to a very
particular and popular genre. We love to read about how other cultures do it
better (stay slim, have sex, raise children). In this case, Ripley is offering
to show how other nations educate students so much more effectively than
we do, and her opening pages hold out a promising suggestion of
masochistic satisfaction. “American educators described Finland as a silky
paradise,” she writes, “a place where all the teachers were admired and all
the children beloved."
Can the Finnish educational model become an export product?
How could Finnish education be exported? By supplying entire schools
to Africa? Yes, for instance, says Minister of Education Krista Kiuru.
This weekend, she is heading to Asia on her first trip aimed at promoting
Finnish educational exports. She will meet with ministers in Malaysia,
Singapore and Indonesia
The Secret to Finland's Success With Schools, Moms, Kids undefined
The country has cheaper medical care, smarter children, happier moms,
better working conditions, less-anxious unemployed people, and lower
student loan rates than we do. And that probably will never change.
(The Atlantic July 11, 2013)
The Unbearable Beauty of Finnish Grammar
“Many people think better when they have had some coffee.” This good
advice for Finnish learners is found in a translated example sentence in
Fred Karlsson’s classic book “Finnish: An Essential Grammar.”
You’re pretty good at Finnish, but do you know it inside out? Dive fearlessly
into declensions and traverse verb conjugations valiantly, and you’ll emerge
with newfound confidence. One classic grammar book and two newer
volumes help pave your way.
Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes
For 75 years, Finland's expectant mothers have been given a box by the state.
It's like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as
a bed. And some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world's lowest infant
Finnish rye-bread revolution hits the US
At barely 19 years of age, Simo Kuusisto left his home in the northern
Finnish town of Oulu to explore the world. He never imagined he would
end up baking rye bread for New Yorkers and carrying out a “ryevolution.”
Organic Finnish Ruis Bread can be found in places such as New
Amsterdam Market or Whole Foods in New York, or it can be ordered
directly from Nordic Breads.
Move over, Mediterranean diet: The Nordic diet is also good for your heart
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/move-
Finnish scientists studied the benefits of a traditional Nordic diet rich in
game meats, berries, root vegetables and legumes, and concluded it can
help lower cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease.
Finland in Word War II (49 selected photos from collection of 160,000)
Last month the Finnish Defence Forces put an archive of 160,000 WWII-era
photographs online. The images record the war years from 1939 to 1945,
spanning three conflicts the Finns recognize as the Winter War (against an
invading Soviet Union), the Continuation War (striking against the Soviets
alongside the Germans) and the Lapland War (against the Germans for
control of Lapland). After spending hours poring through this fascinating
archive, I've gathered this collection, just a glimpse of what was made
available. A couple of notes on the images -- the swastika was used as the
official national marking of the Finnish Air Force and Tank Corps between
1918 and 1945, and all captions were relatively brief, and written in Finnish,
so please let me know in the comments if there are any mistakes, or if you
can elaborate on what is pictured. See also World War II in Photos on in
Focus. [49 photos]
Watch video (about an hour) of Pasi Sahlberg speaking Dec. 9 on
"Finnish Lessons: What can the world learn from educational change
Uploaded on Dec 16, 2011. Video talk by the author of the book on the
Finnish educational system presented at Vanderbilt University.
Finland has an education system the US should envy - and learn from
by Linda Moore (founder and executive director of the
Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School in Washington DC.) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/15/
A new book has attracted much interest in the Washington DC,
especially on Capitol Hill, Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn From
Educational Change in Finland? The book arrives after Finland scored first in
science and second in reading and math on the standardized test
administered by the Program for International Student Assessment.
[Web editor's note: Finn Spark Inc. will be distributing copies of the book by Pasi Sahlberg to charter schools and other educational institutions in 2013]