There’s Nothing Stopping the Samba in Finland – Not Even Pouring Rain and Gusting Wind

A young lady dancing the samba along Mannerheimintie in pouring rain in Helsinki, Finland on June 18 2016. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

A young lady dancing the samba along Mannerheimintie in pouring rain in Helsinki, Finland on June 18 2016. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Pictures: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

A young lady shook her ass like she was competing in the national championships for twerk.

For all I know, maybe she is but on Saturday afternoon, she was shaking it in the Helsinki Samba Carnaval in the middle of Mannerheimintie in pouring rain, dressed in high heels, thongs and a fancy bra. Green feathers on top of her head shuddered . . . then there was a sudden stop.

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“Ladies! You need to calm a bit. You are taking way too much space and moving too fast,” a loud voice rose above the music.

The dancers stared at the security guard dumbfounded. She was a short, stout lady in her mid-forties.

The young feather-headed lady couldn’t stand still. The sound of the drum was too intense and there was too much energy running in her delicate veins, so she started moving her legs in a hurried shuffle as if she had ants in her thongs. The lady of security moved back and the parade was moving again like it was supposed to be.

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There were hundreds of dancers representing different samba schools across the capital region. Hundreds of spectators were covered in raincoats, but the samba dancers moved in fancy clothes, performing fancy moves – singing, chanting and banging drums and cowbells – #SambaLife, you know.

In the beginning of the parade, the Mayor of Helsinki Jussi Pajunen handed the keys to the city to the samba dancers as a symbolic gesture. The dancers were now in control of the city for the time of the carnival. During the opening ceremony, Miss Helsinki Hanneleena Laaksamo was crowned as the carnival queen, Rainha da Carnaval.

When the parade reached the end of Northern Esplanade, the wind blew off my hat and people tried to run after it but weren’t fast enough. When I grabbed the thing and lifted my head, a dancer, lady in her mid-20s, looked me straight into the eyes. She stopped. Posed. I took the picture and she started dancing wildly and off she went along the parade.

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