activism, animal rights, Finland, veganism

Climate March in Helsinki (part 2).

I know this might be a bit obvious to say but… Welcome to the second part of the climate march post! As I mentioned in part 1, we had quite a big demonstration in Helsinki last month. I mean, 8000-10 000 people in one place a lot in the Finnish scale (in our culture we hate being in contact with others plus there’s only approximately 5,5 million of us anyway).

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The Finnish parliament house, again.

Whereas in the last part I focused on giving a more general overview of the vibes, this time I want to give you more detailed glimpses on the emotions and meanings that people wanted to express on that day. So here we go!

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The bicyclists’ block gathering their groups before the start of the demonstration.

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A lady holding the globe in her arms tightly.

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Well, the way things are going really isn’t okay. The climate and ecosystems are rapidly changing everywhere – but are we finally ready to act when it’s already too late and the consequences are overbearingly visible?

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‘You fucking cannot be kidding me’. Vittu (as in ‘fuck’) is an essential part of the Finnish vocabulary and very useful in every kind of phrase we use around here.

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People marching down the Mannerheiminkatu (meaning that thousands of people completely jammed the transport in the middle of the capital city for a decently long time).

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‘Climate action now <3’

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Loving the simple but yet straight-forward message!

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On the far left: ‘System change, not climate change’. In the middle: ‘Off from the fossil fuel’ with the hashtag ‘now we must’. On the right: ‘Known for 40 years, spoken for 30 years – we must act now!’

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A young child with the massive peace sign with the text ‘100% renewable’

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‘I love. That’s why I won’t destroy.’

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An interesting reference to the feminine ‘Mother Earth’ myth/symbolism.

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‘Speeches have been held – time to act’.

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‘Remember Paris’ referring to the infamous Paris Agreement in 2015.

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‘Financial support for the corporates into history; taxation for the pollution (for real!)’.

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Another example of the juxtaposition of femininity/motherhood and planet Earth.

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Since many of the current people in power are practically useless in terms of controlling climate change, I (sadly) believe that the future of a better environment is in the hands of the young people who are taking ecological matters way more seriously than the old farts.

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Demonstrators standing behind better policies for climate and the environment.

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‘Is the current government the biggest safety threat for Finland?! with the hashtags ‘now we must and ‘don’t sleep’. After all, nothing will ever change if people won’t demand the proper action to be done – now.

Yours,

Miah

activism, animal rights, Finland, Volunteering

Climate March in Helsinki.

As I mentioned in my last post yesterday, your favourite blogger is back here with a bunch of new (or old depending on the perspective you’re looking at) material!

The next couple of posts will be all about the big climate march we had in Helsinki last month. The majority of the signs are understandably in Finnish but I’ve tried to come up with as decent translations in English as I am able to. But I’m not a linguist, you know.

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The lead banner saying ‘climate action NOW!’. Notice the girl on the right who is wearing a dress that for me is similar of the native Sami people‘s costume. This is a very important aspect to remember since climate warming will effect more severely the Northern areas.

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On the left: sign that is urging people to ‘demand action from the government’ with the hashtag ‘climate election’. And on the right: ‘0 fighter planes = will cut the army’s CO2 emissions in half’.

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A young boy marching in the crowd with a lady holding a sign with the hashtag ‘now we must’.

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The long line of people who are ‘rising with the seas’; bypassing one corner of the famous department store Stockmann. The overconsumption and materialism in our society is indeed one of the pressing matters in my mind, at least.

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Quite understandably, many NGO’s took part in this demonstration. As you can see from the black skeleton flags, Sea Shepherd Finland was one of them.

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‘The atmosphere is not a landfill’. In the back of the picture you can also see a sign by the World Wide Found For Nature (WWF) demanding for ‘political backbone immediately’.

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You can be plant-based for many reasons, climate and the environment being one of them. Adopting (at least for the most part) vegan diet is surely one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your emissions.

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A view behind the crowd and a map-of-the-world umbrella to the parliament house in Helsinki.

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‘Stop the fossil fuel capitalism’. To me, the message looks like something I could carry with me next time. A sign hanging from the back and holding my camera in the front, how about that?

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The Finnish ecomodernists were promoting nuclear energy as a carbon-free solution to energy production.

The Finnish Nature League (Luonto-Liitto) with their well-known hedgehog symbol in the back.

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Young people taking a stand on the foreign minister Timo Soini’s point of view that climate activism is nonsense and over-reacting that will cause even more harmful ‘hysteria’ than from where it originated from. Sounds like a true Republican, eh?

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On the back: a lady with a sign that says ‘now quit the rambling’ and on the front a painting of a polar bear with the word ‘goodbye’ (‘jäähyväiset’). In the Finnish language the word ‘jää‘ (painted in white on the pic) actually means ‘ice’ – which makes sense in the case of the polar bears as well. They are losing their natural habitat with the loss of the melting ice bergs.

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Another big organisation prevalent in the demonstration was Amnesty International who reminded that climate change is also a matter of human rights.

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Despite of the ecomodernist view, many people were preferring purely renewable energy as a solution to produce energy without adding emissions.

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The sign above is actually in Swedish (which is the second official language in Finland); saying that ‘there’s no planet B’ – one of the most common slogans seen in the demo.

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Two ladies are asking if ‘the government is running away from the responsibility’ of taking care of its citizens. ‘If not now, when?’ is the time for change?

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And last, but definitely not least, one of the cutest members of the crowd!

More pics of the climate march, Porvoo adventures and vegan food in Helsinki coming soon…

Yours,

Miah

activism, alternative, architecture, Finland, veganism, Volunteering

Obey Your Chihuahua.

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Made of bricks.

Broken windows in brick buildings, horses painted with graffiti…

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…you guessed right – I’m back with another post about the alternative venue called ‘Cultural Stables’ (Kulttuuritallit in Finnish)!

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A little peek to the stage and dancing/hanging out area.

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On the bottom left an old poster of photo exhibition the local animal rights group had for their 10th anniversary a couple of years ago. Also some big bulb fairy lights and re-used decorative stuff.

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A close-up to the counter of the vegan cafe we had during the events. Free food for the musicians and affordable prices for everyone else!

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Can anyone translate the letters beneath the panda drawing?

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This swing is kinda pushing the structures to their limits when in use but no one really cares. I guess, you only live once?

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Smash fascism is kinda self-explanatory. Or if not, you should probably piss off from this blog to be honest.

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DIY work in progress.

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Symbol called ‘kirkkovene’ painted right next to a very on-point command. The word can refer to the kind of rowing boat used in rowing competitions – or a ‘vulgar’ drawing of vulva. I personally think (from a third-wave feminist perspective) that it can be used to reclaim the meaning of pussy from being a taboo to empower femininity.

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Lovely autumn/fall colour scheme!

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The running red chilli painting above reminds me of the art made for the film ‘Across the Universe with the red juicy strawberry.

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Gotta love the vibes!

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With ghostly face painted onto the cement wall I shall end this post!

Yours,

Miah

activism, animal rights, traveling

Strays of Kos.

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One of the things I was prepared to face in Kos was the countless stray cats not only sharing the space with tourists but also living, and at least in some cases, thriving there.

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Say hello to one of the many cats I came across on my trip to Kos. This pal was chilling just outside the mini market nearest to my accommodation.

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This was one of the dogs that lived in Tigaki, enjoying the company of tourists in the pic above.

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The owner of the cafe in Kefalos (below) told me that her name is ‘Beauty’.

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Tourists pondering on what to order while the kitties are chilling in the shadows. Many of the cafes and restaurants tend to feed the stray animals which I happily witnessed in many occasions. In addition to that, many of the mini markets sell cat food and treats for tourists to give to the animals.

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The kind lady agreed posing this picture for my blog!

Luckily there are people who are actively trying to raise money and awareness of the stray animal situation in the island. Animal Rescue Kos, based in the village of Antimachia, is providing the animals vaccinations, de-worming treatments, micro ships, shelter, adoptions and sterilization – which is important in preventing the stray animal population (and suffering) from growing.

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There was also small donation boxes all over the tourist attractions. The one (quite poorly photographed) in the picture above was right next to the Tree of Hippocrates. To which organization the funds go and how are they used, I don’t know yet.

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Other animals that I encountered were all kinds of lizards which probably were feeding on the bugs. Expert speaking here once again.

Yours,

Miah

activism, Finland, popular culture

Helsinki Pride 2018 (part 2)

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Hi there and welcome to the second part of the Helsinki Pride 2018 posts! This is the end part of the story of what happened when we (as in the people in the seventh block of the parade) were able to finally get moving after waiting for a good while at the Senate Square.

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The parade turning its way towards the ending point near the port of Helsinki; one of the oldest parks in Helsinki called Kaivopuisto (Brunnpark in Swedish). The direct translation would literally be the ‘Well Park’ though I ain’t and I’m not claiming to be a linguist here!

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The advertisement posts in the public transportation stops were also tuned into the celebration. Above one of the loveliest hair styles of the day with the caption ‘celebration of joy’ in Finnish in the background.

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The back of a lovely demonstrator with a sign saying ‘no one mustn’t be fucked cheap’, adhering to a Finnish proverb.

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For even once one of the multiple flags photographed that day was in an optimal angle towards my camera! Yay!

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The first glimpse to the park festivities in Kaivopuisto. A lot of rainbow colours and participants! Even the official news reports say that there were as many as 100 000 people who took part in the parade that day. And let me tell you that 100 K is a record-breaking number in a country which population is approximately 5,5 million!

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If any of you readers have more inside knowledge of the meaning of this sign, I’d be interested in hearing about it.

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Pride isn’t just a celebration for people belonging in the minorities; it is an open public event for everyone showing their support towards a diverse and tolerant society!

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Me and my friend were trying to remember ourselves the exact meaning of the pastel flag pictured above. At home I double-checked it online and found it to be a Transgender Pride Flag originally created by Monica Helms in 1999. Apparently the light blue represents the ones culturally marked as ‘boys’ and the light pink the ones marked as ‘girls’. The white colour in the middle represents people who are intersex, transitioning or with neutral or undefined gender. It is also an important notion that no matter which way the flag is, the pattern is always ‘correct’.

I also found a really good introduction into the history and meanings of the different flags that can be spotted in Pride (though unfortunately it is in Finnish only). As a person who has begun a journey of studying and exploring ‘her’ own identity, this case clearly highlighted that there is still so much to be learned and taken into account when striving for a better understanding of equal human rights for all. Who knows, maybe next year I have found a flag to match the identity I am feeling at that moment in time?

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The view on top of the hill with the famous Observatory originally built in 1926. Most of the people were packed to spend their picnic near the stages and organization tents but for me exploring the edges of the area provided a much-needed break from the crowds.

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I wanted to end these Pride 2018 posts with the picture above; capturing the sense of calmness I was able to get within me. After this experience I feel like the world, slowly but surely, is becoming a more tolerant place for all of us to live and thrive in.

Yours,

Miah