The land of Moomin

I’ve just spent 3 days in Finland – land of Marimekko, minimalist design, and Moomin. If you are not familiar with the hippo-like character of European and Asian fame, here he is:

And also Marimekko, the iconic Finnish brand:

I traveled to Helsinki with 10 members of Cultural Arts, the after school club that I’ve been running for the past two months. Our school is part of a conference that not only recognizes sports but also the arts, bringing together school groups from all over Eastern Europe. We were joined by teams from Estonia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria, to name a few.

We came to Helsinki to celebrate the power of art to bring people together across cultures. 

Many discussions focused on differences and similarities of our various communities. Our group was made up of kiddos from South Korea, the US, Finland, Spain, Poland, and Britain. The other schools were similarly as diverse, bringing great depth to the conversation.

A lot of artmaking ensued and we also traveled to Porvoo, a quaint village outside Helsinki where the artist behind Moomin had a cottage.

A highlight of my time in Helsinki was the Designmuseo. A small but impressive museum celebrating Finnish design innovation, the museum had a lot to offer.

I had never realized the many design inventions to come out of Finland. Fiskars scissors, Aalto chairs, and various bicycles to name a few – enough iconic innovations to forgive them for Angry Birds, I suppose 😉

After three days full days of travel and artmaking, we were united in smiles and exhaustion. We made it back to Moscow safe and sound. Happily, this means that my spring break has begun – Lisbon, here I come! Been dreaming of sunshine and Sintra for quite a while 🙂

Catch you on the flip side!