30

I turned 30 years old over the weekend and my head has been filled with a lot of thoughts these days, and may I add, lovely thoughts. For me, with the support that I have received, it feels only a blessing to move on to the next decade of beauty.

Today, the 6th of December, it is the Independence day of Finland, a country that shaped my heart and soul. According to my parents, I have behaved independently since a very young age, and to strengthen it, Finland gave me amazing opportunities to continue so.

In my opinion, independence is all about having the freedom to choose. It is a great word to describe the state of being Finnish, and also my state of being 30 now.

To be able to be in this state today, I am grateful for so many things I have experienced over the years, so I decided to take a challenge to write down 30 things I am grateful for. Making this list took quite a while, but I urge you to do the same, it puts everything in perspective. So here we go.

Today, I’m grateful for …

1. the 101-year-old Finland that has given me countless opportunities along the way, eg. in education, health care, social system and safety

2. my loving parents that have always believed in me and given me the freedom to realize any of my dreams

3. my siblings that have given me their unconditional love and support

4. my extended family for providing me a support network

5. irreplaceable friends around the world that have always been there for me

6. comfortable homes over the years that have given me shelter

7. food that has nourished me to be strong and healthy

8. our globe Earth, an unbelievable beauty of species and provider for our basic needs

9. fresh water that keeps me alive and clean

10. my teachers, coaches and supervisors that pushed me to learn and become wiser

11. Team Academy for making me believe I can do whatever I want in life

12. all forms of music that give food to my soul every day

13. the dance organizations that have let me discover my passion for dance

14. the countless books I’ve read that enabled me to experience different settings in life

15. the modern technology that gives us channels to create and communicate on another level

16. diverse cultures that enrich our interaction

17. art, in whichever form, because it allows us to understand our life and world in a deeper level

18. caring strangers that have helped my day one way or another, kept the last metro’s door open, smiled at me in a funny situation, picked up what I had dropped by mistake

19. entrepreneurs that keep our societies running and interesting with their incredible persistence

20. peace warriors that keep fighting for our common justice and well-being

21. history that has taught us lessons how to be better humans

22. big city rush that, with its’ changing faces and monuments, reminds me that I’m part of a bigger entirety

23. the modern travel industry that has made it accessible to move easily to explore our incredible Earth

24. cabin crew colleagues that were my company in discovering all those foreign lands

25. outstanding motion pictures that have inspired me to become a maker myself

26. filmmakers in Berlin that have given me the privilege to be involved in such incredible projects

27. time because its’ changing speed makes me understand the important things in life

28. realness, because in these times of virtual connections and fake news the realness reminds us to live in the present

29. love and kindness that I have been and I am privileged to share

30. last but definitely not least, I’m grateful for a very special person by my side that reminds me to be my amazing self and made turning 30 such a beautiful event for me.

Thank you all for shaping my life so far!

Happy Independence Day Finland,
let this remind us all that peace gives us opportunities to build something extraordinary.

Creating New Culture,

Satu

A Brief Point About Berlin’s History

The first time I visited Germany was in 2010. If I was asked before that what I thought of Berlin, my opinion would have differed a lot from today’s answer. Of course, Berlin has changed, but what has changed the most, is my knowledge and experience.

My brief point that I discovered now during my second week in Berlin, is about the historic part of this city that I didn’t know much about.

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The Berlin wall – one part of the history that tried to divide us

Berlin, as well as Germany, is presented in such a monotonic way what comes to history and cultural knowledge in schools and media. We all have learned about the horrors that wiped Europe past century.

But before the world wars, and even between them, Berlin was one of the most avant-garde and open-minded cities in the world. As an example, it gave the wings for the world famous star Marlene Dietrich that was famous for her openness of viewing life. Art and different ways of life were flourishing in that Berlin.

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Marlene Dietrich

As much as certain movements have tried to destroy all this beauty of life, it has all grown back and strong. Berlin is once again one of the most liberal and free cities in the world. Cabarets have changed to techno clubs and the classical style to more urban looks, but the famous Berlin air is back in the air.

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The Brandenburg Gate – to remind us to unite

The power of love is the strongest of all. And Berlin proofs that big time.

From Berlin with love,

Satu

PS. My FIRST WEEK IN BERLIN, if you missed it.

#METOO

#METOO.

You could not miss this hashtag past week. It has been all over social media, and for a reason.

I was one of the first ones to add it from my personal circles. It was scary at first. I caught myself wondering.. what will people think? Will people imagine me as a weak person, someone that is easy to push down?

These are weird thoughts for me as I tend to speak up my mind. And I realized. It is not about what people will think of me, nor if I can speak up for myself. The message and its’ virality is the key. The fact is, I have been in moments which could have been avoided only by educating those men. And it has nothing to do with who I am and how I was built.

Education is the only way that fears, such as how I felt about posting the hashtag, will change. We need to be able to talk without blame, shame or any of that game. And we need a world where these conversations would be a past day eventually.

Pressing enter to publish my #metoo made my heart pump one extra beat, but all the feedback and comments I got, made me proud of myself. I had spoken. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It would have only been a shame to leave the chance to speak up pass.

#METOO

We need to empower each other and seeing this hashtag all around the different platforms has made me proud of the humankind. It is just the beginning. The world can be amazing.

Yours too,

Satu
Creating new culture for the future

The passion of Napoli

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Last weekend I visited the wild south of Italy, Naples (Napoli). I have enjoyed this beautiful country all the way from the southern island Sicily to the northern cities, such as Milan and Venice. But I haven’t found such special taste of life anywhere else than in Napoli.

In the city you can feel a very special energy that all the danger around creates. An active volcano Vesuvius as a landmark of the city makes you live in a moment in these old streets and appreciate the beauty of life in its vulnerability.

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The first feelings of danger I got on the streets, as the traffic made my heart pump a bit faster. Everyone drives where they find a way to go, the vespas pass by with some extra speed, at times even in impossible places. Here is a short video I took that shows how the traffic lights, or the lack of them, work. Quite well actually, everyone can move by the same rules.

About another dangerous matter, the mafia, known by the name Camorra in Naples, it is these days more underground and a normal tourist rarely witnesses any events of it, but it’s still living. Already once before I posted about Gomorra, a true story of Camorrra written by Roberto Saviano. It explains the system very well and shows that mafia is definitely not a joke as few people seem to think, it is everyday life for many locals.

In the middle of all this I really started feeling to live in that exact moment. And when talking about this, we cannot skip food. Napoli is most known of its pizza and pasta but there are so many other local specialties. Such as fresh mozzarella.

Sea food is a must to try since by the Mediterranean you experience it with your every sense. You smell and see the waves, and you feel the warm Mediterranean breeze on your skin while the salty deliciousness takes over. As this octopus in the picture.

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As in any at least a bit touristic place, also in Naples area you should follow the locals to find the best and most original food, such as this restaurant ‘Zona A’ in Pozzuoli.

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As another book to recommend, The Officer by Anthony Capella gives the tastes of Campania area by its delicious words. It is a novel but written in real frames of history, in the times of second world war. Though, just a little warning, after this you cannot resist to book the flights to try all those recipes described in the story.

Only in a weekend, Naples took its own place in my heart. I miss those amazing landscapes, juicy pieces of mozzarella, and the passion that the city and its inhabitants deliver. I will really try to adapt the Neapolitan ability to enjoy life to my everyday experiences.

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Enjoying a chilly moment on a beach close to Naples
Lido Vittoria, Italy

As we say, there are two sides in the coin. In every place, time and culture there are always positive and negative aspects. How we find something is mainly about our attitude and our own behaviour. When we respect, try fearlessly another life style and let the people come to our hearts on their own way, we gain the most – openness and love.