FinnFest USA '99 Lectures




You betcha! This year's FinnFest will include a wide array of lectures, films, workshops, and other presentations designed to deepen participants' awareness of Finland and Finnish America. Some topics and presenters are tried and true; others are innovations aimed at shedding new light or attracting new friends to FinnFest. Together, we think they explore the many aspects of our theme "Roots and Wings."

In order to help participants find their way through the rich assortment of choices in this year's program, the Educational Component of the festival has been broken down into five main themes: Roots!; Finns in the Northwest; The Finnish-American Experience; Heritage of the Kalevala; and Wings: Finnish Inspirations. The festival participants can plan to stay with a single theme, cross over between several, or try a little of each.

All presentations will take place in a building very close to the Husky Union building, the main FinnFest USA '99 headquarters, to ensure ease of passage between presentations and a minimum of difficulty for the mobility impaired. In nearly every instance, presentations are free with admission to the festival. Occasionally, a slight transportation fee will be charged for programs occurring away from the University of Washington campus. The presentations discussed below complement a full range of craft demonstrations and exhibits that add further depth to our festival's content. Please watch for a future write-up of these and plan to explore all the educational choices we'll be offering. We hope you'll find something of interest whatever your age and whether you're Finnish-American, a recent Finnish arrival, or just curious about the great contributions of this wonderful nation.

Roots! is the title of our festival's integrated genealogical research program. Genealogy is currently experiencing a boom in the USA, and some of the leading experts in Finnish genealogy on both sides of the Atlantic have teamed up to create a full-scale series of lectures and workshops for the Finnish-American genealogist. There'll be lectures for the absolute beginner and the seasoned expert alike. We will explore on how to use key library and archive resources as well as the Internet in genealogical research and discuss interesting issues like doing research among Swede-Finns or with family lines from ceded Karelia. There will also be fieldtrips to the National Archives (Seattle branch) and multimedia presentations on the latest research software. This is a program for which you might expect to pay a large fee, but it's yours for the taking with regular entry to FinnFest USA '99.

Finns in the Northwest is the title of our series of talks and panels exploring what it means to be a Finn in the Pacific Northwest. Hear about the history of Finns in Alaska, growing up in Seattle-area Finntowns, Finnish labor leaders in northern California, and the fast disappearing world of the Pacific Northwest logging industry. Bus excursions to Ballard will bring participants in touch with Seattle's Nordic quarter, home to a variety of Nordic shops, the Finnish Lutheran Church, and the internationally known Nordic Heritage Museum. You'll leave Seattle knowing something about the heart and soul of the Finns of this unique corner of the USA.

The Finnish-American Experience takes a broader perspective on Finnish Americans, exploring the myriad of ways that people of Finnish ancestry have shaped the America of today. Learn about Finnish settlement areas, Finnish America's own brand of Finnish (fingliska), the migration of Finnish Americans to early Soviet Karelia ("Karelian Fever"), the Sami-American experience, and much more. Hear readings from prominent Finnish-American authors of today and participate in an essay contest cosponsored by FinnFest USA '99 and the Finnish Literature Society. You can add your voice to the story of Finnish America by answering the questions in this essay contest as all essays will become part of the archives in Finland's premiere institution on Finnish heritage and will be preserved for future generations of researchers, Finnish and American alike. The writer of the winning essay will get a prize.

The Heritage of the Kalevala celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Kalevala's second edition (1849). Our series of presentations and events will place Finland's national epic in a historical light while reminding us all of its significance to people today. Learn about music inspired by the Kalevala, the newest trends in kantele music, the national epics of Estonia, and the kindred peoples of Finns south and east of the Finnish border. Hear pieces of the epic recited in various languages from around the world and watch the FinnFest USA '99 premiere of a new play entitled "Sampo," which will entertain viewers young and old alike and make you want to (re)read the epic yourself!

Wings! will explore the high-tech but culturally rich Finland of today. State-of-the-art computer facilities will let you experience Finland on-line in the "Virtual Finland" room. Learn about using the Internet to get in touch with the Finland of today and tomorrow! Watch a selection of the best of Finnish television, subtitled in English and presented for your enjoyment by the Finnish National Broadcast Company (YLE). Learn about the intricacies of Finnish diabetes research and new therapeutic uses for peat from the original Land of Lakes. Learn about the treasures of Finnish literature, art, and architecture and hear from experts about the work of translating Finnish literature into English. Learn how Finland's new industries and changed status as a member of the European Union are transforming Finland into a crossroads of the global economy. And in a special session, hear from leaders representing each of Finland's leading universities tell you about YOUR higher education opportunities in Finland today.

We hope this overview has given you a taste of the rich educational offerings awaiting you at the July 22-25, 1999, FinnFest in Seattle. We hope you'll come to feel your roots and spread your wings with us in this diverse and substantive program. Watch for details on specific events or visit our homepage at

by Thomas DuBois
FinnFest USA '99 Program Co-Chair

FinnFest USA '99 News

Tiina Freeman, Director of Publicity
4025 183rd Place SW
Lynnwood, WA 98037
Phone (425) 760-8451

Check out the official
web site of FinnFest USA '99



FinnFest USA '99
4122 – 128th Ave. SE, Suite 305, Bellevue, WA 98006
Phone: (425) 401-7100   Fax: (425) 641-9983

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