On a night like New Year's Eve

Although I felt very strongly that I had to write something about Twilight, since it stirred up such a great conversation, I feel I have to mention something about New Year’s Eve.

Despite the fact that I spent last New Year’s Eve in Sweden, we have a tradition among my best friends to gather around big celebrations at one of our homes in Espoo, just outside Helsinki. It’s a relaxed and tranquil place, and we have more space there because my friend happens to live in a house, not just an apartment like the rest of us living downtown.

Anyway, I must say that this New Year’s Eve was carried out exceptionally well. I enjoyed the whole evening. We started out in Espoo but came to the center around eleven to pick up an important member of our group, my best friend M that is. She was working until that, and therefore couldn’t join us in the woods.

Once picked up M, we headed for the Senate square, Helsinki’s main square actually. This year the city of Helsinki had actually made an effort for New Year’s and had put up a concert in honor of the celebration. At twelve we stood there on the crowded square counting down until midnight. With some Gancia Asti in our champagne glasses, we immediately took ourselves to the South Harbor of Helsinki and watched the fireworks. Even though these fireworks cannot be compared to the ones we have here in Helsinki during the annual national championships in August, there were great. What a wonderful celebration with my best friends. Love them.

The night continued dancing in Opera, a nightclub specialized on R&B music. We actually found some brothers that showed us the time of our lives. We literally danced for three or four hours. It was a blast. Things like that seldom happen here in Finland. We want to make people and maybe ourselves believe that prejudices do not exist, that Finns are open minded. But in reality that is not the case. But I must say that I usually here comments I don’t approve from people coming from other cities than Helsinki. I want to believe that here we are more open for different cultures, and cultural backgrounds. Well, at least that night, those five guys found the right girls to dance with because me and my best friends, we do not have these stereotypical images in our mind. We love getting to know all types of people. And I especially love seeing that Helsinki is growing more international.

Just recently, I heard that during the last four years or so, the amount of working force in Finland with a different cultural background has increased by 18 000 young people. The majority of this in Helsinki. That is why I love this city. We have great potential. I don’t see Helsinki as a city competing with other places/cities in Finland, because as a city Helsinki is so much bigger than the rest of Finland’s cities. I see Helsinki competing with other European capitals. Those are our rightful competitors. Therefore this internalization is needed, because we still have a long way to go before we truly reach the status of the other European capitals.

But on a night like this, like on New Year ’s Eve, I was amazed about the fact that it is possible for three girls to find five guys that would dance for hours with them, without any hidden agendas. And even more than that, they saw how we behave while dancing and kind of started to act in the same way. Hold on, I need to explain this. When I and the twins go out, we act like all Finnish girls act in clubs. We stand up for ourselves and we are not afraid to tell if somebody is stepping on our toes, acting in an improper way that is. We dance, but we also look after ourselves. Girls need space and all that. Because we live in a culture where drinking is quite a normal part of our nightlife, especially girls tend to pump into each other on the dance floor.

Therefore it is one’s own duty to secure some space for oneself while dancing. And the funny part was that these guys dancing with us and seeing how we keep our space started to act alike us. And later even protect our space because we were dancing with them. We felt like we were in the hood, hehe. Protected and safe. And other people in the club started to naturally give us some more space. Ironic how space can be an issue on a dance floor in a club. So thanks brothers for showing us a good time. Let’s meet up again for some serious dancing.

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