Summertime – when the voting is easy...


Unlike the title says, I think that the voting will be nothing but easy in the communal / city council elections throughout Finland on this coming summer, the 13th of June. As a city council candidate in Espoo, even myself have experienced the lack of motivation and stressful times because of the uncertaintities of corona and postponing the election date to 13.6.2021. How am I gonna make my campaign successfull? What do I have to offer for the voters? Do I have the knowlegde and wisdom to make good decisions for all the Espoo citizens?

There are many things that I am proud in Espoo, and one major thing is that Espoo has a big and thriving community of people who have come to work and live in Espoo from all over the world. I have a huge faith in you and your capabilities of shaping our city a better place to live. Espoo can not survive without immigrants, students and all the other people who want to move here and start families and working here. I warmly welcome you all here. If I get to elected to the city council, I want to support and help you to feel at home.

I have one experience myself which I want to share with you. Its about going to a foreign country far a way, adapting a new lifestyle and doing something very exotic work during the first weekend when I arrived that country.

In 1987, when I was a 17-year-old high school girl in Ristiina lukio, near Mikkeli in Eastern Finland, I decided to go to the U.S.A, as an exchange student, for one year. I ended up in North Carolina, Parkton, to the country side, in the middle of cotton and tobacco fields. I was hosted by a family who had three teenage girls and the father was a babtist priest, and the mother drived a school bus. The father´s parents owned a tobacco farm, and because it was August when I settled in, it soon became the harvest time. The whole family, including me, cousins and other workers, we all went to the fields and put our hands, souls and bodies to the work, under a very hot southern sky.

As I lay the dry tobacco leaves to the “liukuhihna”, I remembered thinking myself that luckily I was born and raised in a farmhouse and have got used to hard work. The same attitude is uniting us in Finland. We are used to work hard, our winters are long and dark, but summer gives us all hope. Lets keep this spirit up and continue to take care of each other. That´s the way we will manage and be winners, and have the wonderful opportunity to live in the best city in Finland – in Espoo! And by the way, my voting number is 657!

Katariina Ahvonen