Helsinki Blog #22

Blog #22
Helsinki

This week’s blog is different from previous ones. Let’s have a holiday, a break from language and its oddities. It just so happens that I decided to visit Helsinki, Finland for a few weeks, so that’s my holiday. Why Helsinki?

1) My parents emigrated from Finland in 1923, so there is a connection and a good reason to visit my 2nd homeland.
2) We are in the midst of an election campaign in Canada that seems to have been going on for ever, but will end on Oct. 19th with the election and hopefully, a change in the governing party. No politics now though. That’s the reason for #2. I have seriously followed this campaign, reading every report in the Globe and Mail, studying every poll, comparing each columnist’s view watching two hours of “Power and Politics” on the CBC at five p.m. every day and of course, nervously witnessing the long-awaited debates. That was it! I had to get away!
3) I wanted to visit a school or two, to sit in a classroom and observe the activities of a typical teaching session. Why? Being a retired teacher and administrator, I wanted a first hand glimpse of the educational system. Why was it in the top third in the world, I wondered? Perhaps I might find a clue.

I am still waiting for permission to carry out my plan.

Meanwhile, I would like to pass on an observation that I made yesterday as the result of visiting the City Centre.
I believe we all have heard that Scandinavians are described as having blonde hair and blue eyes. I do understand that Finns are not considered as Scandinavian but when it comes to those afore-mentioned characteristics they fit the bill.

While here, I lived in a small apartment in the suburbs at the north end of Mannerhimentie, a major thoroughfare. From my vantage point(s) at a number of cafes sitting by a window, I watched the passersby with great interest. Not wanting to appear overly curious and thereby unable to closely inspect each person’s eyes, I contented myself with a definite opinion of hair colour and an acceptable idea of the state of the eyes.

My unscientific but practical result was this: the percentage of residents having blonde (fair) hair and blue eyes over those who had other assorted colours was : 90 to 95 %. (approximately)

While downtown I duplicated my method as reasonably as possible and always ready for a cup of coffee anyway. This is what I found:
The percentage of blondes with blue eyes and others was as follows: 50 %. (approximately)
Conclusion: Wait until next week.

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