Welcome to an audio journey through all things Finnish and Finnish American! This Suomi–Finland Podcast was launched in honor of the centennial of Finland-U.S. diplomatic relations, celebrated in May 2019. What began as a #FINUS100 project by the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C.'s Communications team, has been continued and in the future will feature episodes also from Finland's Consulate General in Los Angeles. #SuomiFinlandPodcast
Tom of Finland 100 Years – Celebrating the Internationally Renowned Finnish Artist and Liberator
Tom of Finland (born Touko Laaksonen, May 8th 1920 – November 7th 1991) has long been recognized as one of the 20th century’s great visual innovators. His erotic art assumes a key role in the art historical discourse, as well as occupying a place in every corner of the popular imagination.
This episode celebrates the 100th anniversary since Tom’s birth and reflects on his immeasurable legacy spanning art, society and popular culture. This time, you will hear from Finland at the West Coast as Trade Commissioner Trainee Matti Myllyaho at the Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles visited the TOM House in LA’s Echo Park for a chat with Durk Dehner and S.R. Sharp from the Tom of Finland Foundation.
About the Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF):
ToFF, founded by Tom and Durk Dehner in 1984, is dedicated to preserving Tom’s legacy and supporting erotic art since 1984. The artist’s former shared residence is now a Historic-Cultural Monument in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Read more about the #TOMs100 Centennial activities: https://www.tomoffinland.org/tom-of-finland-centennial-1920-2020/
ToFF Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tomoffinlandfoundation/
ToFF Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ToFFHouse
Host: Matti Myllyaho, Trade Commissioner Trainee at the Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles
Interviewees: Durk Dehner, President and Co-Founder of Tom of Finland Foundation and S.R. Sharp, Vice President of Tom of Finland Foundation
Recorded on February 13th 2020 in Echo Park, Los Angeles.
Winter War – Finnish and American Perspectives on the Past
On March 13th, 2020, Finland commemorated the 80th Anniversary of the end of the Winter War. Why is the legacy of the Winter War so important to modern-day Finland? What were at the time Americans' perspectives on the War between Finland and the Soviet Union? Listen to learn more, and remember to check out further reading materials linked below.
In late 2019, the Embassy of Finland hosted a seminar and panel discussion on the Winter War, where we were able to talk to both Finnish and American experts on the topic. The first part of this episode focuses on Finnish perspectives on the war, and the second part explores American points of view on the Winter War.
Professor Kimmo Rentola, University of Helsinki
Colonel Petteri Seppälä, Defense, Military, Naval and Air Attaché of Finland for the United States and Canada
Professor Stephen Kotkin, Princeton University
David W. Hogan Jr, Director of Histories, U.S. Army Center of Military History
Satu Järveläinen, Communications Coordinator at the Embassy of Finland in Washington DC
Sources and further reading:
- Centennial Story of Finland Part 4: Finland Fights Bravely for Her Independence:
- Ministry of Defence on Winter War: https://www.defmin.fi/winterwar/
- Women's Lotta Svärd Organization: https://www.lottasaatio.fi/eng/foundation/
- World's most famous sniper? Mr. Simo Häyhä: https://www.historyextra.com/period/second-world-war/worlds-deadliest-sniper-simo-hayha-finnish-white-death-winter-war/
- Yle News on Finland's Civil War in 1918: https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/civil_war_still_divides_finland_after_100_years_poll_suggests/10025538
- Eljas Erkko's full speech in English and transcribed in Finnish: https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2010/10/06/ulkoministerin-talvisotapuhe
Love Letter to All Things Finnish American – FinnFest USA 2019 Detroit
FinnFest USA is an annual festival full of great food, folk dances, seminars and culture, all celebrating the Finnish American diaspora. On this first episode of the 2020, Suomi-Finland Podcast gives you small samples of the festival atmosphere from Detroit. You'll also learn more about a Finnish American musician called Steve Solkela, who shares his thoughts on his heritage.
FinnFest USA website: https://finnfest.us/
Steve Solkela's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8LLXUUoywviSaM6S3svm6g/videos
Steve Solkela's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SteveSolkela/
Iron Ore video: https://www.facebook.com/steven.solkela/videos/2078784908799558/
ISMO – Conversation about Comedy with the Funniest Finn in America | Suomi–Finland Podcast
How to be professionally funny in another language? How does it feel to start building your career from scratch in the US, when you’ve already made it in your own country in Europe? Ismo Leikola, a Finnish stand-up comedian is doing it all, building a successful career in comedy in the US. Ismo and Embassy of Finland’s Communications Coordinator, avid comedy fan Satu Järveläinen, sat down to discuss all the tricks of the trade behind making people laugh across cultures. Listen to find out also what joke simply doesn’t translate well enough for the American audiences.
And yes indeed, this episode was recorded at the Embassy's linen closet next to our official diplomatic sauna since that is the quietest place in our busy workplace. Ismo got to enjoy a Finnish sauna after our recording session and before his gig. #FINUS100
Ismo's website for gig information: http://ismo.fun/tour/
Finnish “Floorball Evangelist” Introduces Texans to Nordic Sport
Jukka Kotti, a Texan Finn, is an avid advocate for an indoor team sport called floorball. He describes the game as “gentleman hockey, without the violence” and speaks to people about it everywhere in North Texas – even in the cashier’s line of a grocery store. Listen to the podcast to find out how hundreds of thousands of kids have gotten a taste of the game with the help of Dallas Stars.
Interviewer: Satu Järveläinen, Communications Coordinator, Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C.
History of floorball: https://www.floorballplanet.com/category/FB_HISTORY.html
Finnish and American Diplomat In Epicenter of World Events
Two experienced diplomats, one from Finland and the other from the United States share their memories of important moments in the Finnish – U.S. diplomatic relations' history. These two diplomats have witnessed global events from up close, and shared their knowledge in countless occasions for the public.
Mr. James Ford Cooper worked at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki during the Cold War, first as Political Counselor from 1976-1979 and later as Deputy Chief of Mission from 1984-1986. He was subsequently director of the Office of Northern European Affairs in the U.S. State Department.
Ambassador Jukka Valtasaari served twice as the Ambassador of the Republic of Finland in the United States, first from 1988-1996 and then 2001-2005.
Watch Mr. Cooper's lecture at the Library of Congress here: https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-8733/
Watch Ambassador Valtasaari's talk at Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs in 1992 in full here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkk4vaNEdDA