Archive for the ‘Culture & Community’ Category

Are you a solver of climate change?

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Espoo’s goal is to be permanently Europe’s most sustainable city and carbon neutral by the year 2030. To reach this goal, we need the whole of Espoo and its citizens to participate in taking Espoo, Finland and, more broadly, international cooperation towards a sustainable future.

 

Of the climate emissions produced in Espoo, the majority results from heating apartments, transport and electricity consumption. To support the sustainable growth of Espoo, we are implementing and developing significant new solutions for smart and clean technology together with our partners. The Fiksu Assa [Smart Station] event is coming to the Aalto University metro station on 13–15 May. This is an easy opportunity to test climate-smart solutions and things that ease the everyday in the vicinity of the metro station. Station areas are clusters of large crowds, housing and transport with growing potential for various service solutions.

 

Smart and low-carbon solutions support the smoothness of everyday life. Important solvers of climate change are probably moving through the Aalto University metro station in other weeks as well, however. Cities, the state, companies and other organisations need skilful people with a strong interdisciplinary understanding both now and in the future. It is not enough to be skilled in just one perspective, whether it be technological, societal, economic, administrative or natural-scientific. You have to be able to see for what the different disciplines and skills are needed in order to accomplish the big and desperately called-for changes.

 

The change towards carbon neutrality, in particular, requires different types of people to be able to work together. I believe that scientific studies alone do not prepare you for this but that you need student life as well. Doing things together and enjoying the shared life journey are constantly developing your interaction skills. Of course, this journey will continue after your studies as well, but your student days are an excellent opportunity to enjoy cooperation. In addition to completing coursework together, I encourage you to spend evenings and face the mornings together. Students are needed as change-makers, as part of the cooperation network and as drivers of change. You are solvers, both now and in the future!

 

 

 

Writer: Niina Nousjärvi works as
the Coordinator of Sustainable Development for the City of Espoo.

 

 

 

 

 

The Fiksu Assa project aims to improve the service offering at train and metro stations and, through that, to ease the everyday of citizens and to promote low-carbon means of transport. HSY and the cities are organising the Fiksu Assa event on 13–18 May 2019 at the Aalto University metro station and the Malmi, Myyrmäki, Riihimäki and Hämeenlinna train stations, where new and climate-smart services are being introduced.

 

Aalto University metro station, Mon–Fri 13–17 May, see the programme (in Finnish)

Riihimäki train station, Mon–Tue 13–14 May

Hämeenlinna train station, Mon–Tue 13–14 May

Myyrmäki train station, Wed–Sat 15–18 May

Malmi train station, Thu–Sat 16–18 May

 

Detailed schedule and information about services at www.fiksuassa.com and the Facebook event (both in Finnish), where you can also come up with new services for stations.

Read the report Analysis of the development of station areas as trade locations especially for low-carbon business (in Finnish).

Greetings from Mikkeli!

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

In Mikkeli, the new year has started with speed as the clubs’ new Boards have taken up their positions and got used to their new responsibilities. I have now been studying in Mikkeli for half a year. During this time, it has become clear that our well-knit community has a strong identity of its own. Despite the small size, we are proud and unapologetic, and the regard for tradition is at its peak in our community.

In Mikkeli, connections to other schools are considered important and worth looking after. I don’t think I am the only one who thinks that the basic nature of studying is seeking out the new and challenging the old. This is why I believe that getting acquainted with other student organisations and cities of study makes your student years as rich an experience as possible for yourself as well as others.

The winter is soon nearing its end, but before we let out a sigh of relief and turn towards the spring, we have the ultimate acid test of new operators ahead of us: Mikkeli Road Trip, taking place on Saturday 9 Mar.

Mikkeli Road Trip is a two-hundred-participant event, and around a third of the campus’ students take part in one way or another in making it happen: one by manning a checkpoint, another by guiding the guests who brave the conditions through the winter storms, a third by accommodating the weary heroes. This, the third-biggest event of the year on the smallest university campus in Finland, invites students from around the country to visit Mikkeli and have a taste of the local student culture.

The event encompasses the identity and spirit of Mikkeli in many ways. The already clichéd but yet so meaningful pair of words, the Mikkeli Spirit, is at the core of this event. We can no longer remember when the event was organised for the first time, but we are certain that every one of us hopes for it to continue long into the future.

Let this blog entry act as a small window into Mikkeli for the people of Aalto University. We hope these are not the only greetings you will get to read from Mikkeli, as the year is only beginning. There is a lot more to tell ahead, from the culmination of students’ connection, the First of May, via the summer through to the freshman-filled autumn. But we’ll get back to those later on. Right now, let’s head towards Mikkeli Road Trip and the spring with a will!

Simo Halme, Editor-in-Chief of Probba ry 

The strength of the Aalto community are the people from many different backgrounds

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Student communities have always been important to me, and they have a big significance in students’ lives. They have been places where you can grow as a person, learn new things and get to know new people, as well as experience a unique sense of togetherness. During this autumn, I have had a chance to get to know the Aalto community in connection with the community structures project. I have immersed myself in how this community has been formed, what kinds of structures are currently holding it together and, above all, what kinds of people make the Aalto community just as unique as it is. It has been a great joy and honour to meet members of the Aalto community, learn new things from them and spend the entire autumn doing important work among this community.

I have encountered dozens of volunteers, association operators, Representative Council members and alumni and heard a lot about how important and unique the Aalto community is and how much it means to people. At the same time, I have also heard about the challenges experienced in the community, which are hoped to be resolved by way of the community structures project. Based on the surveys, interviews and discussions I have conducted, the biggest challenges are seen to be the experiences of inequality in the community, the illogicalities related to the volunteer field’s structure and the inadequacy of the association classification.

My goal has been to have as many community members as possible participate in the project, and during the autumn, I have been pleasantly surprised by people’s courage to speak out loud about difficult subject matter, too, about prejudices as well as experiences of inequality. I am especially thankful for people daring to discuss different matters constructively and honestly at various events.

I find the Aalto community unique as it brings together different kinds of student cultures, each of which has its own fine traditions and important events. When talking with members of the community, I have noticed that many do not have enough information on the others’ cultures, yet everyone is eager to get to know other people and cultures. There is a simultaneous wish to both create a common culture and to hang on to and showcase the unique features of their own culture, but perhaps there are not yet enough places that genuinely bring together different cultures and people.

Next spring is a special time for the Aalto community, as this is when also the Master’s-level students of Economics are moving to the same campus in Otaniemi. After that, there will only be Aalto University students studying on the Otaniemi and Mikkeli campuses. A large common campus for the majority of students and the resolutions from the community structures project will shape the community to make it even more unified. The project has progressed at a gallop through the autumn, but there is still much to do, which is why my work among the community structures will continue into the spring.

The undeniable strength of the Aalto community are the people from many different backgrounds who want to have their unique input into creating the Aalto community. People who want to actively develop their own community are constantly coming up with new ideas and taking action to accomplish them. I am excited about being able to continue this project with such people and to be part of developing this community.

Text: Elina Nieminen

Elina Nieminen. Kuva: Aino Korpinen

You can read about the project’s progress so far in here: (https://inside.ayy.fi/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=40468584&preview=/40468584/40468656/2018_11_L13_EN_ratkaisuvaihtoehdot_taustamuistio.pdf )

 

The goal of the community structures project is to discover via surveys, interviews and discussions how the cooperation of the Student Union and the associations within it and the structures of the Aalto community could be developed in a way that would result in an even more unified student community in which the students of the different schools will be taken into account as equals better than before. The community structures project started at the beginning of August and continues into the spring.

Maskerad is turned into art by the party crowd

Monday, October 1st, 2018

In 2018, the Student Union is celebrating the Year of Art. Throughout the year, we invite various creative individuals or groups within the Aalto community to talk about their art. In October, TOKYO talks about the artistic past and present of the annual Maskerad party.

Maskerad party crowd at 2016’s party themed Knights of Hearts

Maskerad is the annual ball of TOKYO, i.e. the students of Arts and Design at Aalto University.

Unlike the more traditional annual balls, Maskerad is not an academic sit-down event but a masquerade to which all Aalto people are warmly welcome. This year, Maskerad will be organised on Saturday 27 Oct in Kellohalli at Teurastamo with the theme FairytaleForestFire.

The Maskerad tradition has its roots in the early 1900s. Back then, the masquerade was known as the Ateneum Maskerad after the place where our learning institute was then located. According to rumours, the tradition came to an end in the 1950s as the party crowd of Maskerad had along the years managed to get barred from every restaurant in Helsinki.

In the early 2000s, TOKYO decided to resurrect Maskerad. Based on our school’s new address, the Ateneum Maskerad became the Arabia Maskerad, and each year’s party was given a different theme.

This year, the Arabia prefix has been left out of Maskerad’s name as if to symbolise the fact that we have finally left the Arabia campus behind us. Who knows, maybe Maskerad will be given a new prefix next year.

In 2011, the party had a Retro Sci-fi theme

It is attempted to always keep the themes of Maskerad current, either in relation to our student organisation or the surrounding world. TOKYO’s last year as an independent student union, for example, was celebrated with a Maskerad with the theme ‘Vive L’Art!’ (Long Live Art!).

This year’s theme, FairytaleForestFire, can be interpreted by each and everyone as they see fit. For us, the theme was inspired by climate change. This year, everyone has been talking a lot about the very dry and forest-fire-prone summer. Is global warming true – or only a fairy tale?

As part of the Otaniemi Night of Arts campus festival on Saturday 6 Oct, TOKYO is organising the Maskerad history exhibition, that is, an overview of the history of Maskerad.

There will be posters, photographs, videos and costumes on show from years gone by. At the exhibition’s opening at Otaniemi Night of Arts, this year’s official Maskerad poster will also be revealed and the ticket sales started for the actual event.

The theme in 2015 was The Grand Illusion

Maskerad is art, because its attendees make it art.

Each year, the party crowd spend countless hours planning and constructing their costumes based on their personal interpretations of the theme. The best works of art are rewarded at the evening’s highlight, the costume competition in which all party guests get to see everyone else’s interpretation of the theme. The variety and creativity of the costumes is an incredible experience that continues to amaze year after year.

Heidi Kivistö
TOKYO Board member

Polytechnical Students’ Museum: 60 years of world-class greatness

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

This autumn, the Otaniemi Polytechnical Students’ Museum celebrates its 60th anniversary with appropriate elation and activity. But what on earth is the Polytechnical Students’ Museum?

In her blog text, Museum Director Tiina Metso transports the reader from the moments of the Museum’s birth to the current day and explains how the best Teekkari Museum in the world is operated and developed.

A poster inviting volunteers to help at the Museum in 1957/58

A Museum is a window to a community that displays both the past and the present. A museum must look like its makers, not like a distressing mausoleum. At best, a museum is an exhibition that brings different people together and in which conversations are had, connections made and celebratory moments enjoyed. In the words of Snoopy, a museum offers “food for thought.”

The Polytechnical Students’ Museum, also known as the Teekkari Museum, has been offering diverse glimpses of the past via objects and especially stories for the last six decades. Preferably accompanied by joyous laughter.

The road to the current basement museum has not been straightforward. The museum was born in 1957 as a result of volunteer work at the old Poly (i.e. the Student Union of the Helsinki University of Technology’s old building on Lönnrotinkatu); its age is counted onwards from the appointment of the first Museum committee a year later. It is fun to see that the first Museum already displayed various traffic signs and logos that had been grabbed along the way. Apparently, some things never change.

The journey has gone from the Harbour City via the mini exhibition located in the brand-new student centre Dipoli’s Klondyke to finding a permanent home in the vibrant heart of the Teekkari village. Water damages have been escaped to the old bank facilities of Otakaari 11 and even to the bike cellar in Otaranta. Another escape is ahead already in spring 2019.

From the beginning, the basic idea and bright guiding star of the Museum has been collaboration, whether in renovating the facilities, collecting materials or celebrating important events. Every involved volunteer has always found their own place and purpose as part of the bigger group.

When dealing with larger undertakings, the Museum invites the community to help, and this call has always been answered generously. In the Museum’s previous renovations, hundreds of volunteer hours were donated in the fair spirit of communal work. That is why the Museum is the community’s Museum, where the most valuable thing is doing things yourself and together.

The Museum evolves through changing times. The community surrounding it is changing, adapting and becoming more communal. That is why the Museum must also reflect the current age, just like its operators. Considering what is ahead is also an important part of evolvement and development. That is why the Museum is determined to recruit and train new guides and other museum operators. Without them, the Museum would be a lifeless storage facility.

There is more truth to the slogan ‘the best Teekkari Museum in the world’ than people think. The Museum is a member of the International Council of Museums ICOM, according to whose information it is the only student-owned and operated museum in the world. At the same time, it is the world’s only museum focusing solely on student culture.

The achievement of world-class greatness is the fruit of the labour of several generations of Teekkaris and thousands of volunteers that gives joy to thousands of visitors annually. The Museum’s collections are growing and supplemented all the time. This is thanks to all donors and object hunters. Each donation and acquisition is received with gratitude.

Such a unique museum deserves to be celebrated with joy and large crowds. That is why the Museum’s 60th anniversary will be celebrated on the premises on Saturday 6 Oct at 2–5 pm. The celebrations are part of the programme of the Otaniemi Night of Arts campus festival. In addition to refreshments, the programme features greetings from the Museum’s early years and fun vignettes with the mysterious headline ‘That’s me in this photo!’

We wish you heartily welcome!!

In Otaniemi in September 2018

Tiina Metso
Museum Director

Equality belongs to everybody

Friday, August 31st, 2018

With a new semester beginning, it’s good to think about what kind of a community we want to be for our new students.

Many are nervous about the first day. New students are wondering how they’ll be received in their new university. We who are already here need to take responsibility for our community being as open, safe, inclusive and equal as possible to everyone here as well as all newcomers.

Aalto University Student Union wants to keep discussions on equality matters open both among the student community and at the University, so that we can all work together towards an even better community.

Equality work is always present in the everyday of AYY. The Student Union has a harassment contact person service that students facing harassment situations can contact for help and advice. The AYY experts advise and train student tutors and active association members on equality matters. This autumn, AYY is also campaigning against all kinds of harassment occurring amongst the student community.

To while away a summer’s day, I asked the Aalto President Ilkka Niemelä for his thoughts on equality. Take a look at the video clip of our chat.

Wishing an amazing new semester to the entire Aalto community,

Noora Vänttinen
Chair of the AYY Board

The Year of Arts: The creative art of pole dancing

Monday, August 20th, 2018

In 2018, Aalto University Student Union is celebrating the Year of Art. Throughout the year, we invite various creative individuals or groups within the Aalto community to talk about their art. In August, we hear from the pole dance association Otanko.

Image: Assi Vainikka

Otanko, or the Otaniemi pole dance association, was founded precisely three years ago by a group of pole dance enthusiasts. The association organises weekly pole dancing classes and other related activities for its members, while non-members can enjoy their performances or try out the sport for themselves. At the moment, Otanko has around 150 members and 12 instructors.

The association operates within the Aalto University Student Union, but the atmosphere of their dance classes is most interdisciplinary: the group also features several students from the University of Helsinki, for example. There’s absolutely no need to have previous experience of pole dancing to take part in the activities. Classes are offered from beginner level onwards, and more than half of the current instructors began their own pole dance careers by taking Otanko classes.

Pole dance is an art form that combines dance and acrobatics, with its moves revolving around a vertical pole that’s around 45 mm thick.

The sport has its roots in Chinese pole – a circus skill developed before the Common Era – and in the Mallakhamb sport originating in 12th-century India. In both of these, the vertical pole around which the athletes perform tricks is thicker and coarser than the pole used today.

In its current form, pole dance is still a young sport. The first studio was founded in the 1990s. There are constantly new moves, techniques and expression methods being developed which, compared to sports established longer ago, enables pole dancers to use a great deal of creativity even in world championship competitions.

Audiences can see pole dance performances at various events, for example, as well as in pole dance competitions all year round. In addition, the internet – especially Instagram and YouTube – offer a nearly endless supply of videos to watch. Anyone interested in the sport is welcome to pop in on one of Otanko’s beginners’ classes, for example, to see if pole dance is for them. There are also several commercial pole dance studios in the metropolitan area, in which you can try out the sport.

Most people coming to our classes have discovered pole dance while looking for new challenges in the field of exercise and ways to express themselves through dance. Indeed, a typical pole dancer has an athletic or a dance background, although this is by no means a necessity. The sport is fascinating because even beginners are able to do and express a lot, yet even the best of dancers still has plenty more to learn.

What many find particularly inspiring about pole dance is the way that movement and expression on the pole are not restricted by having to stand on your feet: on the pole, you move in the air while your body is supported by nearly all of your body parts in turn. Often the most attractive moves are indeed performed high up in the air with all limbs free to create beautiful lines.

Pole dance is art, just like all other art forms incorporating dance and acrobatics. It can be used to evoke emotions, tell stories and express the dancer’s inner world.

At the moment, pole dance differs from other dance genres especially in the way it enables the athletes to use an exceptional amount of creativity even in the very highest levels of competition. There’s not just one correct method of expression or atmosphere for a pole dance choreography, and in addition to combining the established basic moves, dancers have plenty of room to come up with their own unique moves. An objectively right or wrong way to pole dance simply doesn’t exist.

Sara Ikonen
President of Otanko ry

Year of Art: 20 years of glorious metal at the heart of Otaniemi

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

During 2018 the Student Union is celebrating the Year of Art. To celebrate, we give voice to several creative individuals or groups acting in the Aalto community. In May, it is Metal Club Mökä’s turn.

Mökä goofing around at the 2018 Sitsikilpailut contest

Metal Club Mökä is a culture and sports association acting in the Student Union’s sphere of influence, with the mission of spreading the holy message of metal music to every nook and cranny.

The Club, more affectionately known as Mökä (a Finnish word meaning “disturbing loud noise”), was born in 1998 from the crazy needs of metal fans in the teekkari community, more expressly their wish to host a metal festival at the Alvari square. The task was too grand for just one person, so the metalheads had to find more metalheads to help with the organizing. That was where it all began.

We listen to heavy music. We experience the fires of hell when in the sauna. We organize gigs for bands. We grill when the weather is right (meaning constantly). We do trips to heavy metal events. We help with the Tuska festival organizing every year. And to boot, we are active at playing floorball and football!

In August 2018, on the 4rd and 4th days the renowned Mökäfest is making a comeback.

The festival, open to everyone, celebrates the milestone of Mökä spreading the glory of heavy metal music both in Otaniemi and elsewhere for a grand total of 20 years.

The festival, held for the third time, is organized at the Täffä restaurant, with the Rantasauna hosting the afterparty. The festival offers something for everyone who enjoys heavy music, and we will see both Mökä-centered and Finland heavy culture renown bands. The confirmed bands so far are Ever Circling Wolves, Perihelion Ship, Cause of Death, Caught In The Between, Abstrakt, Asgardium, ARBALEST plays Bolt Thrower, Brymir, and Urn.

The festival combines several different purposes. In addition to being the Mökä equivalent of an annual celebration ball and acting as a meeting spot for all the academic heavy metal clubs of Finland, it is the biggest realization of the music we love, in Otaniemi. The idea of spreading metal music is to play it to the crowds. And to play it live.

Mökä has organized dozens of gigs around the metropolitan area throughout its history. Bigger is better, however, and inspired by domestic and international festivals, we wish to have one of our own! The inspiration is of course drawn from older Mökäfest events from 2013 and 2015.

While the festival is not taking place in the Alvari square, the future remains open.

How is metal music art, then? One cannot live without screeching guitars and double bass drum combos, that’s why! No other style of music has the raw strength of metal.

Metal is about raw emotion and animalistic energy. It whips people into a frenzy and unleashes the animal within. Raging around in a mosh pit and whipping your hair around releases and unravels stress.

The general mistake, however, is to think of metal as a one-dimensional” poundfest”. Metal has its fair share of virtuoso musicians, with lyrics that are as pondering and noteworthy as any other genre. The number of different subgenres in metal is truly mind-boggling. In addition to the more known subgenres of trash, death, black and power metal, the genre has had pretty much every instrument and genre mixed in at some point. Metal bands are found aplenty all around the world.

The power and diversity of metal will be proven true at the Mökäfest. See you there.

Combat Monster performing at the 2013 Mökäfest


Henrik Romppainen

Metal Club Mökä Vice Chair

Campus inspiration from Korea

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

The Aalto University Student Union Board visited Korea in May to see local university campuses. The trip sparked a lot of thoughts on how the Otaniemi campus could be developed.

Getting to know internationality at the campus, Korea Design Factory. Yonsei. Picture: Emma Savela

The AYY Board makes a bi-yearly trip to China to visit our friendship student union at the Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Each time the trip includes a second place of visit. The aim of the visit is to learn something new from the actions of other universities and student unions. This time, the AYY delegation visited the Aalto cooperation universities in Korea; KAIST, Yonsei and SNU (Seoul National University).

New kinds of growing methods are tested on the roof of the environmental tech department. SNU. Pictured Rosa Väisänen, Niko Ferm and Tapio Hautamäki. Picture: Emma Savela

University life in South Korea is interesting in many ways. Despite cultural differences, the similarities are numerous: PISA success, the quality of teaching and education, the efforts on technological development… The populace in Korea is aging like in Finland and the need for outside experts is growing, so international students are lured in with a similar manner.

There are differences, of course. In contrast to Finnish cutbacks in education, the Korean education and research investments seem endless. For example, during 2015, a total of 69% of young adults in Korea had higher education degrees. The number is the highest in all OECD countries, and 28 percentiles higher than the Finnish number. (OECD 2017: Population with tertiary education).

There was a lot to learn, understand and benchmark during the visit! We sought for tips and tricks at the four campuses visited, especially in things pertaining to campus development with Otaniemi and our other large project, the Student Center, in mind.

Stairs for sitting at the new KAIST library. Could something like this be built at, for example, the Student Center? KAIST. Picture: Emma Savela

Sports have a strong presence on campus. KAIST. Picture: Emma Savela

The general impression on Korean university campuses is that their outdoor areas are especially well accounted for. There are a lot of pleasant outdoor spaces.

For example, a water element is centrally placed at the KAIST campus (dubbed the “Ducky pond” by the locals), opening to a central yard and terrace area. Other campuses have many pleasant spots aplenty, available for students to spend time, study, have a break or just enjoy an ice cream.

During summer, the importance of these kinds of spots in Otaniemi is very visible. The small terrace next to the AYY Central Office is jam-packed with people enjoying the weather during warm summer days. Maybe we should have more places like this?

There is a pond located on a central spot at campus, surrounded by an avenue and a terrace. KAIST. Picture: Emma Savela

Yonsei campus has a comfortable lounging area, created with plants and different uses of textured materials. Yonsei. Picture: Emma Savela

Greenery, plants and diverse nature are also points of focus on campus areas.

The Aalto campus area has been called green and close to nature many times. Still, these factors are even more present in Korea.

While nature plays a significant role in Otaniemi, for example the seaside and beaches are not very utilized at all. How often do you even notice that the campus is right by the sea?

Otaniemi has a lot of potential, however. The upcoming campus development will most certainly focus more on the outdoor areas in the future.

Green digs at the Yonsei main campus. Yonsei. Picture: Emma Savela

Regarding the student center, the Korean examples lack a straight “bullseye” that would fulfil the vision planned for Otaniemi.

However, on a general level, the benchmarking was really useful. It was very instructional to see how concepts that we have on paper have been implemented in a different environment. We found examples of work spaces, printing spots and club rooms.

Stylized entrance into the facilities of a party organizing association. SNU. Picture: Emma Savela

Dance practice at a local student center hallway. SNU. Picture: Emma Savela

In general, the everyday life in Korean universities differs a lot from Finland.

The most memorable thing at each university were probably all the very familiar well-being and equality themes and their implementation on each campus.

Human rights and ways to intervene in harassment are being advertised with big posters and online ads. Help can be reached through phone lines and from help centers located on campuses. In addition to campus development, we also received a lot of clever ideas for AYY’s equality work.

Posters on human rights on campus. Yonsei. Picture: Tapio Hautamäki

The best thing about the visit were the numerous discussions we had with local students and staff. So, thank you to KAIST, Yonsei, Korean Design Factory and SNU for the heartfelt cooperation!

Emma Savela
AYY board member (real estate and student center, living and other services)

Rosa Väisänen
Advocacy specialist (international matters and new students)

The Year of Art: KYN breathes, feels and dreams together

Monday, May 14th, 2018

During 2018 the Student Union is celebrating the Year of Art. To celebrate, we give voice to several creative individuals or groups acting in the Aalto community. During May, the women’s choir KYN has the floor.

Kuva: Maarit Kytöharju

KYN (abbreviated for Kauppakorkeakoulun Ylioppilaskunnan Naislaulajat, the Business School Student Union women singers) is a world-class choir composed of women. Helsingin Sanomat has accoladed it as” one of the brightest stars in the sky that is the Finnish choir sky”, a” trailblazer of jazz music” and” the most surprising composition of the musical year”. For 2017, KYN has won both a Grand Prix victory and a special award for amazing stage performance in Berlin, ranking as 6th best women’s choir in the world, and being chosen as Choir of the Year.

KYN is ambitious and bold, breaking boundaries and constantly developing choir music. It has created a unique and distinctive program and a whole new genre of choir music; ethnic jazz. It combines traditional melodious themes and texts of Finland with jazz rhythm and harmony.

To its members, KYN is also a family.

In addition to AYY members, women of different ages and fields of expertise sing in KYN, brought together by their love for choir music.

When KYN was chosen Choir of the Year in 2017, the grounds for the choice stated that KYN was a group of singers devoted to female choir music. It is true! Choir is life for us. Us KYN women devote ourselves into the choir for a long time, take a professional, passionate outlook on our hobby and strive to develop as singers. And of course, we aim to develop the choir further. (If you feel the same way, you might be a future KYN woman in the making).

We create music because not doing it would be incomprehensible to us. Creating music in a choir is inspired by the fact that a choir is an instrument played by its leader, where every single singer is a key or a string of the instrument. As a vocalist in a choir you get to be a part in the machine, a piece of the instrument. The feeling created by 40 women breathing, feeling and dreaming together is hard to experience anywhere else.

Another inspiring touch is the connection the singers have with the audience. Each time we sing we wish to convey an amazing experience. We’ve noticed that it is possible to truly touch a person and tell a story through choir music, even across language barriers and cultural borders. When KYN sung in Finnish during the competition in Italy, the judges declared that” they understood nothing, but understood everything”.

There are several reasons why making music in KYN inspires. To me, one of them is creating it with some of the best musicians in Finland. During my own choir career, I’ve had the privilege of performing with such professionals as Soile Isokoski, Johanna Försti and Jukka Perko.

At its very best choir music can speak to its audience, touching and affecting in several ways, crossing both thought and sense. Through it you can experience, see and understand things with more depth and detail. Art can momentarily open your experiences and understanding of all that our human life entails, in all situations in everyday life.

” Choir music is an art form, given voice by many individuals. It is powerful, alive, developing and forever renewing itself; it does not stop. A piece is new every time it is performed”, our artistic leader Kaija Viitasalo says.

Check out the video below and come to KYN concerts to experience our art!

Susanna Kantelinen
KYN Producer

P.S. Upcoming concerts:

  • Sunday 3rd of June at 18:00, VocalEspoo festival opening concert, Espoo culture center, Tapiola hall
  • Wednesday 6th of June at 19:00, Juurilla – ” KYN & Juurakko”, Espoo culture center, Tapiola hall