On December 6th our nation holds the celebration for independence. We are a small nation in the past ruled by the Swedes and the Russians. As the world history entered the turbulence in the beginning of the 20th century, Finland was given the chance to claim independence. And here we are now, 93 years later: the land of Nokia, Martti Ahtisaari and many more. It has not always been easy but our forefathers managed to secure this independent position.
And so tonight we celebrate as we usually do. Since the 1920’s the custom has been to light two candles to the window to celebrate. Many people eat a fine dinner with family or friends. Some cities have fireworks tonight. In Helsinki the president is hosting the annual Independence Ball. I will watch, as I have for years now, to see what kind of gowns the ladies are wearing this year. For a nation without Oscars etc. this is the culmination of the festivities in the North. And as always I will be amazed by the number of foreign dignitaries also attending. What a lovely way to celebrate and thanks to the modern technology we all can participate via Live TV-coverage. And most of all of course for the kids: this is a national holiday, so no school on December 6th!