Art and international friendship abound at first China-Finla
Kids, families and cultural enthusiasts opened the summer month of July under bountiful sunshine at the first China-Finland International Children’s Art Festival held in the city of Kangasala, close to the third largest Finnish city of Tampere.
The “Lasten Löytöretki” (“Children's Discovery Week”) event, featuring the first China-Finland International Children’s Art Festival this year, has been a very popular event for local Finnish families.
As part of the week-long “Lasten Löytöretki” (“Children's Discovery Week”) event, this first edition of China-Finland Children’s Art Festival drew over 150 participants to the local landmark Kangasala House where they got to revel in a range of fun-filled activities at the opening ceremony and enjoy a vibrant blend of art and culture at the international children’s art exhibition.
With a string of spectacular performances including acrobatics, music, dance, and magician’s show by Finnish and Chinese performers marking the opening ceremony, the child-friendly event was an evident success, drawing a constant stream of giggles and laughter from the audience. After the opening ceremony, participants got to see and appreciate over 100 selected artworks penned by children from different countries including China, Finland, Macedonia, Georgia, and vote for their favourite winning pieces.
Intercultural experience for all
The astoundingly high standards of the submitted artworks testified to the fact that budding talent and potential of the young was not to be slighted. This was precisely the organizers’ intent in launching the event with the goal of encouraging and nurturing children’s artistic imagination and showcase through this international platform. In effect, the process of reviewing and selecting the artworks pre-qualified for the Festival also proved to be an interesting intercultural experience even for Finnish art experts such as Johanna Kangas, Lecturer of the Kimmo Pyykkö Museum at the Kangasala House, who underwent weeks of careful review with her colleague and had to make some difficult decisions as the pre-juries.
“From the high-level artworks submitted by Chinese children, you can see they have really put a lot of effort and attention into the entire process, right from conceiving and developing their ideas to actually working their paint brushes, ” lauded Ms. Kangas, underpinning the advanced drawing techniques Chinese kids exuded in their works. The list of winning pieces will be made known in early August.
As the event came to a close, children left with their parents happily full-handed as they were gifted with soft toys and fairytale books by the organizers as a gesture of international friendship.
The successful event uniting local children of Chinese and Finnish origins in a unique intercultural encounter not only attracted parents coming from different Finnish cities, but also drew China’s ambassador to Finland, Madam Qin Sa, to travel all the way from the Finnish capital city of Helsinki to show her support.
China’s ambassador to Finland, Madam Qin Sa (right), with Ms. Lancy Jia (left), CEO of Sumino Oy.
“I have always been impressed with virtues such as politeness, bravery, open-mindedness and optimism in Finnish children. At the same time, I have noticed Chinese children growing up in Finland tend to be more confident in themselves and cooperating with others than their peers in China, although they also preserve their traditional Chinese virtues of diligence and versatility. I believe there is a lot of room for children from China, Finland and other countries to exchange and learn from each other through playing together.
"Let’s hope this first China-Finland Children’s Art Festival is just the beginning leading to more and better understanding between different ethnicities and cultures,” said Madam Qin who added she already looked forward to future editions of the Children’s Art Festival in upcoming years.
A grand, local tradition goes international
Entering its 19th year, the Children's Discovery Week has enjoyed a long tradition in the local community and is a highly popular summer event for many local families and children. With a slogan set on “Kangasala Goes International”, this year’s edition features a palpable international spirit, with a warm welcome extended to its guests and counterparts from China especially to echo its Finland-China theme.
This edition of Children's Discovery Week also marked the first time the event’s main organizer, Business Kangasala Oy, joined hands with Sumino Oy, a Finland-based education and cultural service organization specialized in promoting international exchanges and collaboration in the fields of education and culture. The inaugural cooperation underpinned the Kangasala municipality‘s resolve in welcoming more visitors from different cultures to visit and experience Kangasala, a Finnish city known for its abundance of forests, lakes and picturesque natural scenery.
“This is the 19th year “Lasten Löytöretki” has been organized for children and families. We are excited to partner with Sumino Oy to bring this unique event to children and families from different cultures and see so many happy faces today at the event,” said Irene Suhonen, Business Consultant from Business Kangasala Oy.
The Finnish city of Kangasala, famed for rich forestry and picturesque natural scenery, has been striving to reach out to more international tourists.
“Kangasala is a beautiful Finnish summer town with this great tradition of “Lasten Löytöretki” running for many years for kids, while Sumino is specialized in promoting international events that connect children from different countries and cultures. This collaboration is a great opportunity for letting this celebrated festival go beyond Finland and be known internationally and we are very happy to be part of it, “ said Ms. Lancy Jia, CEO of Sumino Oy.
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