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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Finland Series at FinnishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Finnish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 23, World Village Festival. In Finnish, it’s called Maailma kylässä, which literally means “World Visiting” or “World in the Village”.
The World Village Festival is the largest event focusing on multiculturalism, or monikulttuurisuus, in Finland, and is held in Helsinki at the end of May. In this lesson, we will learn about what kinds of interesting things are related to the World Village festival.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know which very well known, important person is a regular visitor to the World Village Festival?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The multicultural World Village Festival is held right in the center of Helsinki, amongst the surroundings of Kaisaniemi Park and Railway Station Square. The event is based on a series of events called Market of Possibilities, or Mahdollisuuksien tori in Finnish, which introduced the concept of civil activities in the 1980s. The Market of Possibilities event held in Helsinki grew into the first full-fledged World Village Festival in 1995.
At the festival, people can get to know the different cultures of the world in a variety of ways. Since the festival is held at the center of Helsinki, it allows for easy access by train, tram, subway, and bus.
The festival has an annually changing theme around which the program is organized. Past themes have included the climate, or ilmasto in Finnish, democracy, or demokratia, human rights, or ihmisoikeudet and the cultures, or kulttuurit, of different continents.
The World Village Festival offers a colorful and varied setting showcasing the cultures of different countries. The program includes ethno-, pop-, and rock concerts, dance performances, theater, workshops, courses, lectures, and panel discussions. There is also a special selection of activities in which children are encouraged to participate. One of the most popular elements of the festival is the food stalls, or ruokakojut in Finnish, where you can get food from all over the world.
The World Village Festival is organized largely by volunteers, or vapaaehtoinen. A large group of volunteers work, for example, as drivers, builders, guides, sellers, and cleaners.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know which very well known, important person is a regular visitor to the World Village Festival?
The answer is the well-known Finnish politician and eleventh president of the Republic of Finland, Mrs. Tarja Halonen. The former president, who has participated in organizational activities herself as well, says the festival is an exotic, ecological, and mind-broadening way to travel to different parts of the world, all without having to leave Finland.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Are there any multicultural festivals in your hometown?
Leave us a comment at FinnishPod101.com, and see you again in the next class!