HANCOCK - It's been 95 years since Finland declared its independence from Russia, and Thursday Finlandia University is celebrating the occasion with music and art.
Hilary Virtanen, Finnish American Heritage Center programming director, said starting at 6:30 p.m. in the FAHC on Quincy Street, there will be a presentation by the Kivajat Finnish American dancers, Finnish Patriotic songs and a poetry reading in Finnish.
"We'll translate into English," Virtanen said.
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Suzuki Association string players perform at the Finnish Independence Day ceremonies in 2010 at the Finnish American Heritage Center. The center will host a celebration of Finland’s independence from Russia Thursday beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the FAHC. The celebration, which is free and open to the public, will include music, poetry readings, dance presentations and a show by Finnish artist Marja Lianko.
There will also be a talk by Finnish artist Marja Lianko, along with a reception for her and a presentation of her work in the Finlandia Gallery in the FAHC as part of the 22nd Finnish American Contemporary Artist exhibit at Finlandia.
Her media include paint, silk screens, monoprints and mixed media sculpture.
Virtanen said Finland declared independence on Dec. 6, 1917, and it's been celebrated in Hancock since 1918 when Finlandia University was Suomi College.
"We're one of the only places in the world (outside of Finland) that celebrates Finnish independence every year," she said.
The evening's events are free and open to the public, Virtanen said.
"It's going to be a really exciting event," she said.