Somewhere from the swedish Valborg and the German Walburgis, the Finnish have created their own form of carneval: Vappu. Like the German it has to do a lot with celebrating and drinking. My first Vappu expierience was in Helsinki on the 30th when I had just arrived by plane form Germany and then took the train to Turku but in betweent I had some 3 hours and decided to visit a friend.

Well said friend recieved me on the stairs of Helsinki cathedral where he and the other students from his student organization waited and drank and celebrated. Apparently he had at one point worn his student overall to the carneval in Cologne and fit in really well.


But its not only for students, in Helsinki I saw plenty of old people wearing student hats and celebrating. And as we all know, celebrating in Finnland means also drinking a lot. Besides that the celebrations are really peacefull. We had good luck and sunny warm weather (warm in Finnland means around 15°C)

But in Turku the other part of the 1st of May tradition is a live as well. There were events from the Left Party and from the Greens. Maybe even from the SDP, but I didn’t see them.

„Vappu“ weiterlesen

Celebrating the Nation: Finisch Independance Day

After witnessing independence Day celebrations in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and writing about them on this blog, I will continue this little series with writing about the celebration here in Finland. Nations are imagined communities, so tells us Benedict Anderson.

So I bought some supplies like Fazer Finland colored stuff and a cookie cutter from in the shape of Finland.

Turku students celebrate it with a torch parade. Actually this year the torch parade lacked torches, because it was really rainy.

The parade with the flags of all the student organization went from the University Student building, to Abo Akademie, to the Graveyard where short speeches were given in Swedish and Finish. Thanking the people who fought for the freedom of Finland. Then wraths were laid. Some somber music was played. After that we took the bus back to the student building and then had some glögi.

And of course I’m a big fan of the Finland Emoji set:

There is also a military parade, held every year in another town, this year it was Jyväskylä and Finland is so politcal correct, that one of its soldiers featured in TV was an immigrant:


Apparently in TV they re-screen every year a bloody war movie, called „The Unknown Soldier„.

Of course playing and listening to patriotic (or militarist) music, is a great part, as in this march from the 30-years war:

The snowy north is our fatherland,
there our hearth crackles on the stormy beach.
There our sinewy arm grew by the sword,
there our chest burned with faith and honour.

We watered our snorting horse in the Neva’s bath;
he swam across the Vistula as happy as to a feast,
he carried our avenging steel over the Rhine,
he drank the emperor’s toast from the Danube.

„Celebrating the Nation: Finisch Independance Day“ weiterlesen

Interview with Sunaina Maira on teaching 9/11

Sunaina Maira is a professor at the University of California in Davis for Asian American studies.

Sunaina Maira - Professor of Asian American Studies
Sunaina Maira - Professor of Asian American StudiesAmerican studies.

She gave a lecture at this years NYRIS 11 Conference in Turku, which I attended. After the lecture I had the opportunity to ask her about teaching 9/11. Since she is one of the foremost critical thinkers on that aera and her work deals a lot with the impact of 9/11 on American minority youth it was very interesting to listen to her views.

NYRIS 11 Presentation

And here is the abstract and the slides to my presentation. I gave it at Mon 13 of June at NYRIS 11 in Turku in the stream 1 „active youth participation“

Youth councils in the German State of Baden-Württemberg (BW) and Finland

By: Sebastian Müller (University of Education Freiburg) June 14, 2011

Keywords: youth political attitudes, political participation, political behavior, democracy

What was the study about?

In both Finland and the German state of Baden-Württemberg, there are youth councils. Youth council was defined for the study as: “Elected bodies composed of people between the ages of 12 and 22, that are instituted by the local authority and deal with public policy.”

In recent years, the amount of youth councils has increased in both areas to more than 80 in BW and more than 90 in Finland. In BW, the spread of youth councils began around the mid 1990s, in Finland it began around the turn of the century. Both umbrella organizations have a working relationship since 2006, delegations visit each other annually and they participate in joint action.

There are very few scientific enquiries dealing specifically with youth councils, and up to now there was none dealing with them in both areas.

In both regions I sent out two kinds of questionnaires: one dealing with the structures and the other with attitudes of youth councilors. This questionnaire was based on the work done by Michael C. Hermann, who investigated youth councils in BW in 1995.

„NYRIS 11 Presentation“ weiterlesen

NYRIS Turku: Youth Councils in Germany and Finnland

Unfortunatley he will not sing for us, but this Finnland trip will be good, too.

Today I’m off for Finland again to present my thesis about youth councils in the German state of Baden-Württemberg and Finland. I will present this at NYRIS 11 and be in the Comparative Youth Participation Session. I feel very honoured to be in a session with such important researchers and hope to have inspiring meetings there.

You will find me at Sessions 1 next Monday 13th of June at 15.30-17.00 in the EDU 244 Educarium, Assistentinkatu 5 Turku. And This is the abstract: Youth councils in BW and Fi Abstract Sebastian Müller

Here is the invitation:


Presenter: Sebastian Müller

Keywords: Youth participation, youth councils, youth parliaments, Finland, Baden-Württemberg, comparative research,

Since 1996 there have been major developments in the field of youth councils in the State of Baden-Württemberg, the number rose from 16 to over 89 today. This study is the first survey of the attitudes of youth councilors in the German state of Baden-Württemberg since 1996 and the first comparative research of the conditions, attitudes and structure of youth councils and their members in Germany and Finland. It builds on previous research by Michael C. Hermann, “Jugendgemeinderäte in Baden-Wprttemberg, eine interdisziplinäre Evaluation” and the joint publication „Youth participation in Finland and in Germany – Status analysis and data based recommendations“ by Eva Feldmann-Wojtachnia, Anu Gretschel, Vappu Helmisaari et al. „NYRIS Turku: Youth Councils in Germany and Finnland“ weiterlesen