YLE has been rather secretive about the postcards and Finns have been quite obsessive about the image they will project about Finland and Finns. Now the readers of Helsingin Sanomat can have their say on what Finland should show to Europe and rest of the world. A competition called Suomemme maa (Finland our country) has opened on HS website and the winner gets a trip to the Eurovision 2008 host city.
All we know about the real postcards so far is that there will be 52 of them, directed by various directors and that they are nearly finished. Those 40 second short films will show the host country Finland, its inhabitants and their- occasionally strange and odd habits- to the rest of the world. Finns, by nature very obsessed on what the others think about us, fear the worst, at least on various message boards and chats.
From this point of view Helsingin Sanomat gives its readers a chance to make a postcard the waytheywant Finland and Helsinki portrayed to foreigners. The competition is free to all Finnish amateurs and the postcards can be seen on the website where you can also leave your comments on them. There is a jury that follows the comments and picks up finalists. The jury includes Heikki Paasonen, the presenter of Euroviisut 2005-2007 and the host of the Finnish previews (first part tomorrow night on YLE2) as well as famous movie director Lauri Törhönen. The will be announced on May 10 and gets a trip for two to next year’s host city, wherever that will be!
Those who don’t have their own videocamera or cellphone can ask for help from Helsingin Sanomat’s street crews that will take over Helsinki in the coming days. The times and places where to find them will be published in Helsingin Sanomat in coming days.
“Eurovision is a historical and unusual event in Finland. We want to be part of it” says Kaius Niemi, one of the competition organizers. “Eurovision for Finns has become a matter of self respect and pride over the years, an open wound that seemed never to heal. We were wondering why we never succeeded when Norway and Turkey for example did it. This is a huge opportunity to present Finland and Finns, but I hope it won’t be done too seriously” Niemi concludes.
More information can be found here.