Filming and editing: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today
Anna-Kajsa Edström, this year’s selection for St. Lucia, is a 21-year-old born in Columbia. Raised in her hometown of Pietarsaari in Ostrobothnia, she currently resides in Stockholm, Sweden, where she is a student of music and studying to be a performance artist. She performs in musicals, dances, acts and sings. These are just a few of her aspirations in life. Having a chance to interview her by phone, I wanted to know what makes her tick and what the St. Lucia selection meant to her.
Anna-Kajsa is thankful for having grown up in Finland. She speaks passionately about her upbringing in the country.
“To me, Finland means freedom. Freedom to do and be whatever I want to. It is an amazing country.”
The charismatic young woman was nominated for the selection of St. Lucia by her peers and she accepted her selection for many reasons.
“It is a remarkable job. Rallying and fundraising for causes is a great thing. Also, I don’t have a typical Finnish look. I don’t have blonde hair or blue eyes. I wanted to show to people that you can do anything, and you don’t have to have a certain look to be beautiful.”
Determined and hopeful, she will be a busy woman in the forthcoming days.
“I have a lot of things to do, lots of interviews and performances but I love it.”
Although living in Sweden, her heart is still in Finland.
“At the moment, I can be with my boyfriend, so it is another great reason for me to be back here. Not only that but St. Lucia is also an amazing opportunity and a chance to make a name for myself. It’s overwhelming with all the appearances and performances but it’s a good thing.”
Finally, when asked about what St. Lucia means to her and why people should become more aware of the Lucia tradition, she speaks about darkness, especially at this time of year in Finland.
“It’s an amazing tradition of hope and signifies that darkness is over. Darkness can become good. Darkness can change into light.”
This year’s national Lucia parade starts at 18:00 from the Senate Square in Helsinki on December 13. Anna-Kajsa will be crowned at 17:00 in the Helsinki Cathedral.