Press release 8.8.2017
The Finland100 anniversary year calls together a shared feast as the let’s eat together festivities round up in a final weekend on 25-27 august. A never-before-seen spirit of communal activities has gotten hundreds of associations, village communities, initiatives and corporations to create an ongoing celebration in finland. The overflowing offering sets a seat at the table for every finland-lover. When all the festivities are added up together, the end result is the world’s greatest village celebration, where everyone is invited.
The weekend of 25-27 August is already commonly known as a date to celebrate all kinds of end-of-summer events, such as Finnish Nature Day, the start of the mushroom season, the Venetian traditions of the Finnish archipelago, and other local versions of harvest celebrations. This year, the Let’s Eat Together thematic year hosts its main events on this very weekend, with planning reaching back as long as two years ago. ”It has been magnificent to witness how the celebratory year has brought so many people and groups together for a shared goal of togetherness”, rejoices Seija Kurunmäki, the Let’s Eat Together promoter and head of the ELO Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Food Culture. Participants include dozens of companies and over 100 associations and communities to ensure that the whole country is filled with events.
Flying flags and roaring laughter in shared tables on 26 August
This year, Finnish Nature Day on 26 August is also marked as an official flag day. All 40 national parks will hold events and invite families and groups of friends alike to roam the wilderness with picnic baskets and to hear choirs singing. The national park events are coordinated by Parks & Wildlife Finland.
Long tables take over the country on 26 August in an event called Dinner Under the Sky, run by the NGO Yhteismaa. The concept sets foot in many cities, including Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Turku and Lahti. Anyone is welcome to jump in with their satellite version in the Finland100 Dinners event through registering their tables at Yhteismaa. The Dinner event is also visible abroad, and the Finnish Foreign Ministry will be setting tables in (at least) eight embassies around the world. The expat dinner parties carry the name Finnish Your Dinner. (http://illallinentaivaanalla.yhteismaa.fi/en/finnish-your-dinner/)
All around Finland, squares and street corners, cities and villages, schools and hospitals will host shared moments for food. For example, Lemmenjoki in Lapland will host a Sami language event, Ilomantsi in Eastern Finland will serve wild food while observing bear carving, and the city of Pori in Western Finland hosts an outdoor dinner on the oldest pedestrian street in the country. In Vantaa, the association Yhteinen pöytä (’Share Table’) will set a table where all are welcome. The Scouts movement will serve a meal for 3000 scouts on a 750 metre long table at a leadership event at the Evo campsite in Hämeenlinna.
Let’s make sure no-one eats alone
Eating together has many benefits. It is enjoyable, but also healthy both physically and mentally. Eating together is a natural way to bring people together and to create new friendships and boost communality. The ”Together” weekend sees a country filled with events, and those who are active and mobile will find it easy to find a seat. Regardless of this, many are used to eating alone if there is no family member or neighbour to ring the doorbell, or to invite over for coffee and a sweet bite. ”The biggest joy would be one where as many of us as possible would find a person that is used to eating alone and bring them along”, project manager Sini Garam reminds.
Where, what and with whom will you eat on the Together -weekend?
Many events and encounters are stamped on the digital archive when you remember to use the hashtag #syödäänyhdessä or #letseattogether in English.
Materials to download:
ELO Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Food Culture
+358 400 460894
+358 50 5870929
+358 40 5060185
Let’s Eat Together – in short
Eating together promotes wellbeing and is enjoyable for everyone. However, Finns tend to eat alone more often than any other nationality in Europe. The Finland100 jubilee year has taken a goal to find shared ways to change this. The thematic year is run by the ELO Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Food Culture.
The Let’s Eat Together initiative includes over 150 associations, communities, companies and NGOs. The founding members are (in addition to ELO): MTK (Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners), Atria, Alko, Fazer, Arabia, Finlayson, Valio and Paulig. The media partners are Sanoma, A-lehdet and Maaseudun Tulevaisuus.
The participation of organizations such as the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Martha Organization, Metsähallitus, the Rural Women’s Advisory Organization, the Finnish Organic Food Association Pro Luomu, Hyvää Suomesta – Produce of Finland, Yhteismaa and many other active organizations ensure that the messages and celebrations find their way across the whole country.
The theme of the hundreds of distinct anniversary year events is ’Let’s eat together’. The culmination weekend on 25-27 August celebrates the World’s Greatest Village Celebration, a dispersed but communal effort made up of hundreds of individual events.