World Village Festival Celebrates Multiculturalism in Helsinki Center Over the Weekend


Families enjoying the World Village Festival at Kaisaniemi park in Helsinki, Finland on May 24 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Families enjoying the World Village Festival at Kaisaniemi park in Helsinki, Finland on May 24 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

World Village Festival, the celebration of multiculturalism, takes over Kaisaniemi Park and Railway Square with international music, topical discussions, hundreds of exhibitors and delicious food from Saturday to Sunday.

The festival offers nearly 20 free concerts, including one of the most soulful and thought-provoking rap bands, the Looptroop Rockers as well as the Asian Dub Foundation and the Korean indie trio Idiotape and dancehall band Alo Wala. The Finnish performers include Scandinavian Music Group and Mira Luoti as well as Teho Majamäki, whose show includes

This year, the festival is examining justice from a variety of perspectives. It looks at radicalisation, development cooperation cuts, the refugee crisis and hate speech. Other focus points in the programme are the sustainable economy, the climate and the environment.

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President Tarja Halonen is participating in two panel discussions on Saturday. The first one is a discussion on education as a right. Halonen is also joining a panel on the future of development cooperation and disaster relief along with Jemilah Mahmood, under-secretary- general of the international federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Lenita Toivakka will speak on the significance of Finnish aid in Asian countries. Kepa’s panel on energy and the economy will feature party chairpersons Antti Rinne (Social Democrats), Ville Niinistö (Green League) and Sari Essayah (Christian Democrats) as well as members of parliament Li Andersson (Left Alliance), Aila Paloniemi (Centre), Saara-Sofia Sirén (National Coalition) and Veera Ruoho (Finns) – the panel’s topic is creating wealth for all without endangering the environment.

The Finnish National Theatre’s Club Scene will host screenings of three powerful documentaries, including a look at radicalization in Jihad: A Story of Others by Emmy-winning director Deeyah Khan.

At their festival stands, over 250 civil society organisations show how they work for a just world.

More info

World Village Festival is open May 28–29 in Kaisaniemi Park and Railway Square in Helsinki. Opening hours are 11–20 on Saturday and 11–18 on Sunday. The event’s main theme is justice. The festival is the largest event in Finland for culture and associations, and its main organiser is Kepa, the umbrella organisation for development cooperation. The entire festival programme is offered free of charge.

The programme can be found here.