Sunday, May 17, 2015

Finnish Film: "American Vagabond" plays the SF Roxie Theater Mon, 5/18 at 7 p.m. --- Discussion w/ Documentary Filmmaker & Protagonist to follow...

American Vagabond
Directed by Susanna Helke
85 min., 2015, Finland

Part of the Roxie Theater's BAY AREA DOCS series, American Vagabond tells the story of a homeless gay couple and their attempts to stay together against overwhelming odds. This documentary film follows the tail of runaway queer youth living in the shadows of the promised city.

Mon, May 18
7 p.m.
Roxie Theater
3117 - 16th St; SF 

Following the film screening will be a Q&A moderated by film critic and San Francisco Film Critics Circle President Tim Sika, with Finnish filmmaker Susanna Helke and James Temple, the subject of the film. 

Buy tickets here.
For more information, including a trailer, visit the event page here or the Facebook event here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


TONIGHT - 7 PM on UCB Campus, Dwinelle B-37 FREE to the audience with English subtitles



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ren't Romus' Finno-Ugric Otherworld Cycle Music Project discussed on 9 am broadcast this morning, Jan 14


This morning I will be on Capital Radio in Sacramento promoting The Otherworld Cycle.

I look forward to seeing you all at 7:30 Wednesday Night at the UFKB&S Lodge 21 meeting in Berkeley and hope we can create a mutually beneficial program to hold for May.

Rent Romus

The broadcast will be available for streaming on the internet at noon on Weds, Jan 14, as well as the live broadcast at 9:30 am
Date: Wednesday Jan. 14
 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. (segment slated for between 9:30 and 10:00)
Topic: Rent Romus premieres The Otherworld Cycle at Gold Lion Arts

 Beth Ruyak
Have a Listen:
On the dial:
 90.9 FM KXJZ Sacramento; 90.5 FM KKTO Tahoe City/Reno; 91.3 FM KUOP Stockton/Modesto; 88.1 FM
We're bringing the concert to "Gold Lion Arts," in Sacramento this Sunday, Jan. 18th after the local NPR affiliated station took an interest in the music and the background of the project and my research into Finnish Culture. The LIVE Music Performance of the Otherworld Cycle with Romus' other band, Life Blood Ensemble, will be held at
Date: Sunday, Jan. 18
19:00 – 24:00 a.m.
Topic: Rent Romus premieres The Otherworld Cycle at Gold Lion Arts

 Beth Ruyak
$12 ($10 student rate); All ages

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Siitonen Sports Report WrapUp for Jan 2015

Winter Sports are now in full swing around the world and the most exciting
development is Kaisa Mäkäräinen's commanding early lead in the Women's World
Cup biathlon series. She has won three of the first five events held, including the
biathlon pursuit at edition time at Hochfilzen, Austria. A past Finnish Olympic
champion Kaisa is off to an auspicious start with three golds, one silver and one
bronze. In this shoot and ski sport (Ampumahiihto) Kaisa is the World Cup
defending champion from last season. In her season's opener at Ostersund, she was
second to Daria Domratsheva of Belarus by 27.9 seconds on December 5. Next day
she bronzed in the sprint at the same site behind winner Tina Eckhoff of Norway. On

Dec. 7, Kaisa broke into the winner's column in the biathlon pursuit.
Moving on to Hochfilzen on Dec 12, which she won without penalty over Italy's
Karin Oberhof in the 7.5 k sprint by 10.4 seconds. She was surprised by the ease of
her win as she felt shaky from an ongoing bout with the flu. The next day was a
washout for the Finnish women in the team relay as Kaisa was unable to do her
second leg, dropping Finland out of the running in that interrim event. But today was
a different story. Kaisa M. came out like gangbusters in the pursuit still under the
weather, so she slowed down at the end to save her strength and still defeat
Jekatarina Glazynna of Belarus by 13.4 seconds. She only missed one of her shots
from a standing position but was perfect in the rest. She now leads runnerup Daria
Domratsheva by a huge 77 points who was only 8th in today's heat.

Also at this writing, Sweden just defeated Finland in the final of the Men's Floorball
(Salibandy) World Championships at Göteborg for its eighth world title in this
mostly European event now in the tenth year it's been held. Finland has won it twice
and has been runnerup in six of them. Czech Republic defeated Switzerland for the
bronze, 3­2. Finland led its western neighbor, 2­0, after the first period. The
Svenskas tied it up with two goals in the second and won in the third on Henrik
Stenberg's goal at the 47­minute mark. The next world championships will be held in
Latvia in 2016.

On Dec. 12, Riitta­Liisa Roponen won her second World Marathon Cup cross-
country title in a row in free style, edging USA's Holly Brooks by three minutes at
Lavigno, Italy. Olympic champ Iivo Niskanen topped the field in the 15k cross-
country classic style at the Suomi Cup in Jounasjärvi, with Sami Jauhojärvi in
second 19.3 seconds behind. In the women's 10K classic, Krista Parmakoski
prevailed with Iivo's sister Kerttu Niskanen in second 12.4 seconds slower. Iivo
Niskanen dominated the 15k World Cup at Ruka with Jauhojärvi in third. Kerttu
Niskanen won her fifth career World Cup medal by taking the bronze at Davos,
with Norway's Therese Johaug the winner and Marit Björgen third. Niskanen was
58.5 seconds behind Johaug. Anne Kyllönen was eighth and Laura Mononen tenth.
Also, Winter Olympic medallist Enni Rukajärvi silvered in slopestyle snow boarding
at Breckenrdge in the United States. Juha Mikkonen scored a career­best fourth
place in a World Cup XC sprint at Lillehammer, Norway won by the host country's
Patrick Golberg. Finnish star figure skater Kiira Korpi made a successful comeback
after a two-­year injury layoff by winning the Zagreb Open.

In swimming, Jenna Laukkanen set a new Finnish NR of 1:06.24 in the 100m
breaststroke at the Finnish short course championships at Espoo. She broke her old
record by 0.22 seconds. Tanja Kylliäinen established a new Finnish mark of 4:35.91
in the 400m medley at the world short course championships at Qatar where
unfortunately she fell short of making the finals. Finland's Ville Lång won the
Scotland Open in badminton, the first Finnish Grand Prix triumph in the sport since
1992. He defeated Taiwan's Tzu Wei Wang in the final, 17­21, 22­20, 21­16. "My
best career win," said Lång.

Eva Wahström successfully defended her weight division's European boxing title by
narrowly decisioning Kenya's Fatuma Zarika at Kotka, 79­75, 77­76, 79­76. A four-
round preliminary bout unveiled a potential new Finnish sensation, Togo­born
Nordeen Toure who flattened Serbia's Nemansa Krstin in the opening stanza. The
referee never bothered to count as the Serb was out cold. Dubbed the "Togo
Tornado," this middlewight slugger who was raised in Ghana, came to Finland in
2011 and has won all three of his pro bouts by one­round knockouts. Initially
homeless in Finland, living in parks and eating out of garbage cans, Toure is now
under the tutelage of veteran Finnish manager and fight promoter Pekka Mäki.

Suomen Urheiluliitto (SUL), the Finnish Athletics Association, awarded European
Javelin Champion at Zurich Antti Ruuskanen as Finland's 2014 Athlete of the Year
at a gala presentation in Helsinki. Runner Sandra Eriksson, who set new Finnish
steeplechase record during the season was dubbed Women's Athlete of the Year.
Oskari Mörö was named Sprinter of the Year with an NR in the 400m hurdles and
who finished eighth in the event at the European championships at Zurich. Minna
Nikkanen with a new women's pole vault NR,was crowned Jumper of the Year.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

12/7 @ 2 p in Berkeley "Finland’s Independence Day Celebration"

Finland’s Independence Day Celebration 2014

You are cordially invited to celebrate the

97th anniversary of Finland’s Independence

Berkeley Finnish Kaleva Hall
1970 Chestnut St., Berkeley, CA
Sun, Dec 7th, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

The program:
  • Kalevala-themed music and poetry presentation in Finnish and English
  • Heikki Koskinen, Kati Pienimäki Schenker, Tuula Cotter-Tossavainen and Rent Romus, music
  • Rent Romus and Sirpa Tuomainen, poems
  • Main Address: Mrs. Anja Miller
  • Display of Finnish national costumes
    Guests are encouraged to wear their own costumes to the celebration
  • Introduction: Scholars & students from Finland & those studying Finnish
  • Closing song: Finlandia Hymn in Finnish and English
    Accompanied by Thor Miao
  • Refreshments after the program
    Donations welcomed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Finnish female conductor Susanna Malkki performs 2 pm Sun, 11/30 at SF's Davies Symphony Hall.

Finnish female conductor Susanna Malkki performs 2 pm Sun, 11/30 at SF's Davies Symphony Hall. discounted seats call box office (415) 864-6000. Lodge 21 members plan to meet afterwards for an early supper nearby at the Grove on Hayes St


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tues, Dec 2 @ 6 p.m. --> Former Finnish Studies Student Tim Jollymore discusses his new book in Berkeley, CA

Former Finnish Studies Student Tim Jollymore discusses his new book, LISTENER IN THE SNOW

on Tues, Dec 2nd at 6 p.m.
at University Press Books
2430 Bancroft Way in Berkeley

Book signing will follow the discussion. “How can we talk about each other with dignity and with truth?” This is the question Tim Jollymore poses in his presentation CHASING THE WINDIGO, a discussion of appropriation and fair use in fiction. Can men write women characters? Women men? Listener In The Snow, Jollymore wonders can non-Native writers use Native materials and write Native characters in fiction? What are the outcomes? 

Can whites write African-American characters? Blacks write whites? Particular to his novel,

Using excerpts from American Indian essay and fiction as well as photographs, Jollymore outlines the difficulties, pitfalls, and positive results of the fair use of Native American lore and custom in contemporary writing as he revisits the text of his novel. 

Please do come & join the discussion on December 2nd. 

Contact me at with questions. 

-- Sirpa Tuomainen

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

FREE Finnish Film Tonight, "21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage"


While the fall nights are getting darker and the warmth is starting to flee, come witness the sparks of the unquestioned love flying all around the Dwinelle B4.

Director Johanna Vuoksenmaa’s movie 21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage tells the story of a researcher Sanna Manner, who thinks marriage is an unnatural state for the 21st century people and interviews married couples on their wedding anniversaries to back up her dissertation “X ways to ruin a marriage”.

21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage was also one of the most watched movies of Finland in 2013 and it introduces the new generation of Finnish (comedy) actors like Armi Toivanen, Aku Hirviniemi and Riku Nieminen.

Come and fight for love!

Dwinelle-B4, from 6-8 p.m.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Upcoming UC Berkeley FInnish Studies lectures

Please join us for these guest lectures this fall:

Anu Vaalas 2.10.  Art history "Gallen-Kallela in the Finnish Visual Arts scene"

Kailey Willmore 21.10. Aleksis Kivi, Seven Brothers

Mikael Varjo 30.10. Proverbs and references to death in Finnish popular music (in the lyrics of Viikate)

Sirpa Tuomainen 4.11. Finns in the Bay Area