Summer is an important season for the Finnish people. Along the shores of the thousands of lakes, they enjoy being outside, relaxing in a hot sauna and lighting the grill. While in cities and towns, the streets and squares are filled with summer events.
This is the sixth consecutive summer when friends and strangers dine en masse in Helsinki at a long table of half a kilometre set up for a thousand diners at Dinner in the open air. The tradition has evolved from an experiment, and it is expanding across the world on the last weekend of August in celebration of Finland’s centenary under the title of Finnish Your Dinner.
On streets, in parks or at homes – everybody is invited!
Anyone anywhere can set up their own Finnish Your Dinner table on the weekend of 25–27 August and offer strangers an opportunity to celebrate Finland 100. You can sign up by pinning your dinner on the digital map.
“Approximately two million people of Finnish origin live in different parts of the world. Finnish Your Dinner is an event that invites all Finns and friends of Finland to join the centenary celebrations,” says Petra Theman, Director for Public Diplomacy in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Together – with no pönötys**
Even though the tables are decked in white tablecloths and diners may dress up, the Finland 100 celebrations at Finnish Your Dinner events will be held in a relaxed atmosphere.
“Dining together will be cheerful and the event inclusive without unnecessary fussiness. We hope that many people will seize the opportunity and participate in the centenary celebrations. Follow the map – be brave and Finnish Your Dinner!” Theman encourages all.
In addition, many of the Finnish missions from Washington to Jakarta will organise their own grand dinners, where anyone can sign up their group and bring along their own tableware and food and drinks. The places are as follows:
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Moscow, Russia
- St Petersburg, Russia
- Tallinn, Estonia
- Washington, DC, United States
Register as a diner, host or hostess starting on 18 June at finnishyourdinner.fi.
In different parts of Finland, events will be organised under the name Dinner in the open air (Illallinen taivaan alla). Finnish Your Dinner is part of the programme for the centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017.
Photos and more information about the event at
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/finnishyourdinner/
- Finnish Your Dinner (YouTube)
- Photogallery: http://illallinentaivaanalla.yhteismaa.fi/en/gallery/
- #finnishyourdinner #illallinentaivaanalla #suomi100 #finland100
- FI: Kippis! [kip:is] = EN: Cheers!
FI: pönötys [pønøtys] = EN: behaving in a fussy, pompous and extremely conventional manner.