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Carnatic music at Helsinki Festival
Established in 1949, the Finnish-Indian-Society is a friendship association that acts as a community of people interested in India and Indian culture. It promotes social interaction between Finns and Indians living in Finland. The objective of this Society is to promote the knowledge of Indian culture in Finland, and to strengthen cultural exchange and development co-operation between the two nations.

The Society was originally known as Suomalaiset Intian Ystävät ry (Finnish Friends of India). In the beginning, it was mainly a community of people interested in Indian philosophy and the philosophy of Gandhi. At the moment, the Society has about 300 members, out of which 50 are Indian.

The Finnish-Indian-Society arranges different kinds of activities related to India and Indian culture, including seminars, lectures, courses and various events. The Finnish-Indian-Society is a member of the Union of Friendship Associations in Finland and a member Organization of the Service Centre for Development Co-operation (KEPA).

In an e-mail interview, Sakari Puhakka, Vice-President and Treasurer of the Society, explains to Sudha Jagannathan the details of the upcoming concert of Bombay Jayashri at the ensuing Helsinki Festival.

What is the theme of the concert?
Sakari Puhakka: Bombay Jayashri´s concert is one event of the yearly Helsinki Festival.
Here is the link to Helsinki Festival site:

Bombay Jayashri will perform Carnatic music during the first set (the concert is divided to two parts - not like in India where a Carnatic concert can last four hours without an intermission) and during the second part of the concert, she will perform as a vocalist with classical group Avanti, singing a composition by Eero Hämeenniemi.

What is the objective of this?
Sakari Puhakka: The person behind this concert is composer, musician and writer Eero Hämeenniemi. He has visited Chennai festivals yearly for nearly 20 years. He has performed with artistes such as Mrigandam maestro Karaikudi Mani. He has excellent knowledge of Carnatic music.

Is it a regular event?
Sakari Puhakka: Helsinki Festival is a yearly event, but this concert is a one-time concert.

I have organized trips for Suomi-Intia-Society to Chennai during the festival season and, hopefully, I will arrange the trip next year.
Interviews Archive