MFA: Dining together on six continents to mark Finland’s 100th anniversary



Press release 140/2017
22 August 2017

Dining together on six continents to mark Finland’s 100th anniversary

Thousands of Finns and friends of Finland will be dining together on the weekend of 25–27 August to celebrate 100 years of Finnish independence. Finnish Your Dinner events will be organised around the globe in public places and private homes.

The “Together” theme of Finland’s centenary celebration has inspired Finns and friends of Finland to create a truly eventful year. One easy way to join the celebrations is to dine together and even invite guests to your home.

Several Finnish Your Dinner events organised by private citizens will take place in the United States, for example in California, Florida and Alaska. Dinners will be organised also in Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Malawi, Rabat (Morocco), Antibes (France), Cologne, Rotterdam, Goiás (Brazil), Mexico and Guatemala, among other places.

“It is a pleasure to see that so many Finns and friends of Finland around the world have been inspired to invite both friends and strangers to join them for dinner. These dinners will be happy, communal events that will hopefully attract even new friends of Finland,” says Petra Theman, Director of the Unit for Public Diplomacy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

A surprise dinner in the heart of the city

Riku Mattila and Arto Voipio, two Finnish students in Amsterdam, are organising a surprise dinner for their friends in a central location in the city.

“Every autumn my friend and I organise a birthday party on a bit grander scale. This year we will be partying in Amsterdam with about 70 friends who will be flying there for the weekend. Finland’s magnificent centenary and the Finnish Your Dinner event that happens to fall on the same weekend inspired us to combine these two celebrations – it’s like having a birthday party with Finland!” Mattila explains excitedly.

The programme for the weekend will be a complete surprise to the guests “We will be arriving at the venue in a very original style, and the menu will be packed with delicacies of the season. The end of summer and Finland’s jubilee year will make the party feeling high enough to raise the roof, or the sky,” Voipio says contentedly.

Finnish missions in five cities around the world will also organise their Finnish Your Dinner events, following the Finnish concept of Dinner in the open air. Dinners will be organised in St Petersburg, Tallinn, Washington, Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur. All the missions’ dinners were booked to capacity in a matter of minutes.

“This is a good example of how the centenary year brings together Finns and friends of Finland even abroad,” Theman says.

Dining in streets, parks and restaurants

Anyone anywhere can set up their own Finnish Your Dinner table on the weekend of 25–27 August and offer strangers an opportunity to celebrate Finland 100. You can sign up by pinning your dinner on the digital map.

In different parts of Finland, events will be organised under the name Dinner in the Open Air.

“The goal is that no Finn will eat their dinner alone that day,” says Tanja Jänicke from the Yhteismaa association, the brains behind the concept.

Finnish Your Dinner and Dinner in the Open Air form part of the Finland 100 anniversary programme.

Photos and more information about the event at


Finnish Your Dinner, abroad: Petra Theman, Director, Unit for Public Diplomacy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, petra.theman@formin.fi, tel. +358 295 351 558.

Dinner in the Open Air, in Finland: Tanja Jänicke, Yhteismaa, tanja@yhteismaa.fi, tel. +358 50 382 0333

Yhteismaa is a non-profit organisation founded in 2012, specialising in projects, events and services of interest to society. They create tools through which we all can better reach our potential and improve the world around us.

The Foreign Ministry's email addresses are of the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.


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