On Thursday 27 August, the City of Helsinki will organise a virtual carnival to celebrate Baltic Sea Day. The daylong livestreamed event features a fascinating selection of programming for children and adults alike.
The Baltic Sea is an important source of food and livelihood for Finland, but it also serves as a vital transit route for bringing people together. The waterway has also been a unique source of inspiration for many stories, including the maritime adventures found in the Finnish author Tove Jansson’s famous book series featuring the Moomins. These days, however, the Baltic Sea is in need of our protection.
This year’s virtual carnival will be livestreamed
from 9 am to 8 pm on the city’s online video service, Helsinki-kanava. The day will start out with children’s stories in Finnish, Swedish and English, followed by afternoon presentations on the geological origin of the Baltic Sea, its economic and cultural significance, and its biology and aquatic life.
Highlights of this year’s programme include the Finnish Environment Institute Syke’s stunning video on underwater nature, as well as the John Nurminen Foundation’s fascinating virtual exhibition entitled “A Sea of Memories”.
The Baltic Sea has always meant prosperity for Helsinki, sometimes in unexpected ways. History researcher Mikko Huhtamies tells how material from thousands of known shipwrecks in Finnish sea waters were sold at auction in the 1700s, allowing Helsinki ship owners to make affordable purchases. Maritime archaeologist Riikka Alvik continues on this theme, revealing what the wrecks tell us about the world of that era. Natural Resources Institute (Luke) research director Meri Kallasvuo then provides an overview of the interesting fish stocks found in the Baltic Sea.
The Baltic Sea is in danger, and urgently needs our protection. In a video greeting, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki Anni Sinnemäki presents four Baltic Sea Challenge speedy experiments that seek to help return the ailing sea to health. The teams behind the experiments describe the innovative methods they are testing in the waters off Helsinki to combat plastic marine waste. The Baltic Sea Day stream also features Kari Hyytiäinen, the University of Helsinki’s economics of aquatic ecosystems professor, a position made possible by funding from the City of Helsinki. His lecture will focus on how economic activity impacts the Baltic Sea and its rescue prospects.
The day’s stream will conclude with the Baltic Sea adventures of the “Finn Family Moomintroll”, featuring episodes from the new Moomin animated series in Finnish, Swedish, Sami and English.
The Baltic Sea Day Carnival is an annual event organised by the City of Helsinki on Baltic Sea Day, a tradition first initiated by the John Nurminen Foundation. The programme this year is jointly coordinated by the Baltic Sea Challenge initiative and the city. Programme organisers include the John Nurminen Foundation, Finnish Environment Institute, Natural Resources Institute Finland, University of Helsinki, Geological Survey of Finland, Moomin Characters Ltd, Ministry of the Environment, Helsinki City Library, the SATAKOLKYT project and the artists of Harakka Island.
In addition to the virtual carnival, Baltic Sea Day will also feature several other events. A discussion on the Baltic Sea is scheduled to take place on the Espa Stage in the Helsinki city centre, opened by the Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori at 8 am. Author Juha Hurme, Former Finnish President Tarja Halonen, Creative Director and Chair of the Board at Moomin Characters Sophia Janson, university professors Laura Kolbe and Markku Ollikainen, and the Vivace youth choir will participate, with Baba Lybeck hosting.
Image source: Baltic Sea Day