PM urges kids to celebrate 150 years of independence
05 Dec 2017, 23:16 ( 9 days ago) | updated: 06 Dec 2017, 11:11 ( 8 days ago)
More than 500 schoolchildren celebrated Finland’s independence centenary at a reception hosted by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on Tuesday.
Two ten-year-old children from each municipality in Finland were invited to the event in Helsinki, said an official press release.
The celebration was organised by Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, the ombudsman for children, and the ‘Finland 100 Years’ project of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Sipilä shook hands with each child and welcomed them personally to the event. The guests brought their own greeting cards for Finland. The programme consisted of dancing, rapping, quizzes and decorating gingerbread biscuits. A surprise guest, Isaac Elliot, performed at the reception.
“The best thing about Finland is that it’s a peaceful country and it’s a good place to live,” commented fourth graders Ellen Ollus and Aaro Helo from Vaasa.
“I was so nervous about the event. We rehearsed the hand-shaking with daddy pretending to be Juha Sipilä,” said Aaro Helo.
“All of you who are ten years old now will be in a key position when Finland reaches its 150th anniversary of independence. What you do in the coming years will largely shape the way Finland looks then. Remember to organise a great reception then too,” the prime minister said.
Schoolchildren from 261 municipalities turned up at the event. The guests who travelled the longest distance were those who came from Utsjoki, Finland’s northernmost municipality.