Looking for Flow

The post title has many meanings. I have spent this week in Helsinki, working as a volunteer for Flow Festival, the biggest(?) urban festival in Finland.

I have visited the festival in 2008, and since I got the opportunity and had nothing better to do, I decided to spend 3 days in the kitchen and catering area for the few hundred workers, preparing around 300 sandwiches for each meal, serving meals, making sure no one is left without coffee and that everyone’s blood sugars don’t drop too much (I wish there was a cool video about that!). As a return for my contribution, I was given a 3 day ticket to the festival and a super cool t-shirt. Today is D-day, when the weekend commences (though the opening gig of The Knife was already on Wednesday).


Art getting done
Art getting done

Flow Festival is known as the (worst) Hipster gathering of this country, and I have to admit that I am looking forward to seeing what kind of uber-cool show-offs I can spot. What comes to the line-up…well, I’m not too well educated about the performers. I am looking forward to see Alicia Keys, Of Monsters and Men, Grimes, and Kraftwerk, but that’s about it (other performers include Public Enemy, Kendrick Lamar and Cat Power). Luckily there is more than music; art, design and most importantly, not your typical festival grub but delicious food from quality restaurants! The hardest part is to choose from all the different options. We’ll see what the weekend brings (hopefully not rain)!


Suvilahti getting constructed, not your typical festival environment
Suvilahti getting constructed, not your typical festival environment


Besides being indoors making coffee and slapping ham on bread, I’ve gone for a walk with my cousin and saw his new puppy, met with a friend and sampled some raw treats in a random hair event, got my wisdom tooth pulled out (I do have a picture of that, but I’ll spare you), and walked around town. Who knows, maybe this will be my city some day sooner or later.

In Helsinki, you can't get more touristic than this
In Helsinki, you can’t get more touristic than this
Meet Sylvi. Smile guaranteed.
Meet Sylvi. Smile guaranteed

Go with the Flow!



Kawaii kimono style

I was lucky to experience some more traditional Japanese culture – Kimono in Kitsuki city!

Picking the perfect style from various choices of kimono and obi-belts

Wearing a kimono is not just a matter of putting on two-toed white socks, wrapping into a robe and finishing it all off with an obi-belt. The kimono consists of white robe that goes under the kimono, few tight fabric belts to make sure the posture is right, then the kimono that is tightly wrapped, plus the belt and some strings to tie it up. I am sure I missed some parts. Altogether, it took about 20 minutes to get the whole deal on.

Partially the beauty of kimonos is in the combination of the obi and the garment style

After taking a picture in the kimono, I had 3 hours to wander around the historical Kitsuki city and see its’ Samurai houses (which I did not go into, because I wasn’t aware of the free admission for kimonos).

Japanese style harmony

The walking was rather painful in the too small shoes, I might confess. Those Geishas probably didn’t run anywhere, but they sure had good posture!

Say chiizu!

It was fun to wear a kimono – I definitely felt like being someone else. Everyone was saying hello, smiling and complementing me, which never feels too shabby. I was also glad to get the dress off. I would really like to wear a kimono again, if it means that I just have to stand while someone is dressing me like a doll!