What do you know about Finland? The most common answers are Santa Claus and vodka. Fair enough: these two already represent the meaning of a good life in Finland. But, of course, I am just joking. My idea of good life includes many aspects, especially: clear environment, food and drinks, good education, reliable medical care, and freedom. In Helsinki, I found them all.
Vivian Xu Reports
A Land of Good Life - Foods
Entwined with the Baltic sea, combining the atmosphere of an international metropolis with the cosiness of a small town, Finland’s capital Helsinki provides you with a taste of nature and green. Finns are loyal to their culinary roots. You can find fresh seasonal food mar- kets everywhere throughout Helsinki. Restaurants are committed to delivery local food with seasonal products.
A Land of Good Life - Education
Finnish National Board of Education is focusing on early childhood education and lifelong learning. They even have released their own new definition of competences human beings and citizens can achieve (see the chart). The national goals for basic education and transversal competences are knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and will. Moreover, the concept of ‘Equality, Equity and Inclusivity’ has been implemented into the Finnish educational sys- tem. Under the condition of respecting the background differences, special education classes for different student groups were provided.
Promoting internationalization in Finland, language awareness was also brought on the focus. The learning of foreign languages starts in the 1st grade (English, Swedish, Spanish, French, Chinese, Saame) and English Enrichment Program (EEP) is implemented. As a result, students should reach a B2 level by grade 8. And, as a foreigner, you shouldn’t worry about the language barriers in Helsinki because almost everyone can speak fluent English with you.
A Land of Good Life – Care for Our Future
New Helsinki Children’s Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility that serves sick children from all over Finland, opened last year with a price tag of €170 million. It replaced an outdated facility from 1948. The hospital treats people from newborns to 15-year-old. It offers a patient-centred design that overthrew the general concept of a hospital by presenting a playground-like space and family-oriented environment, which evokes a sense of security in patients of various ages. The interior design is rooted in the Finnish archipelago through Tove Jansson’s original drawings, paintings and quotes from her Moomin stories. Each floor was designed by different themes and named after the Moomin stories. The hospital works closely with Helsinki University Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine since its opening in 2017. The Pediatric Research Center promotes the research of paediatric illness, teaching and networking. To date, up to 97 percent of children with leukaemia have been cured and 95 percent of patients who went through kidney transplant survived.
The iconic Finlandia Hall is surrounded by Töölö Bay, located in the city centre. Designed by world-renowned Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto, it serves as a multipurpose event venue. The main auditorium is the crown jewel: with a total capacity of 1,700 seats, this hall is where Alvar Aalto’s vision has been realized to the maximum. If you are looking for a more intimate space for your event, the Helsinki Hall auditorium serves the capacity of 340 seats in theatre style. Of course, you will find plenty of small meetings room in this elegant venue.
If you wish to bring a larger scale events to this cosy city, Messukeskus will be your host. Equipped to this cosy city, Messukeskus will be your host. Equipped with the 40 versatile meeting rooms from the capacity of 40 up to 15,000, it is Finland’s largest event venue. Messukeskus is playing a leading role in corporate responsibility by increasing the share of renewable energy and by utilising carbon neutral alternatives in the business operations. In 2029, Messukeskus will celebrate its 110th anniversary and it aims to be completely carbon neutral by then.
Another unique venue in Helsinki is Paasitorni. In the early ‘90s, it served as a workers’ house. The building itself is representing different decades. By preserving the spirit of each era, the building was carefully remodelled and reconstructed. The new building hosting the hotel with 170 guest rooms in the inner courtyard was completed in 2012. Paasitorni consisted of 30 characterful and dynamic meeting spaces that can facilitate event up to 800 delegates.
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