Monthly Archives: December 2014

Let’s go to Rajaportti public sauna!


Sauna and cafeteria buildings in Pispala, Tampere

Heated stones are waiting for you in Rajaportti sauna: welcome!

by Waltteri Lahti, degree student in Media

As a Finn or student of Finnish you’ve most likely faced one of the most important things we Finns are truly proud of – no, I’m not talking about Angry Birds – I’m talking about saunas. For centuries saunas have been a place for cleansing and relaxing the body and mind. These nearly meditative warm rooms  are meant not only to wash yourself but to socialize and meet other people as well. In this case I’m referring mainly to public saunas.

I’m 23 years old now and the first time I went to a public sauna was less than two years ago. In fact, not many Finns visit or have been to public saunas at all. And when I talk about public saunas I mean places that only include a sauna – not the ones in spas for example. There are many public saunas across Finland mainly focused to the cities. I’m going to tell you about the best one in Tampere which is called Rajaportti.

The sauna of Rajaportti has stood in the same place for over a decade and it’s the oldest public sauna in Finland that’s still in use. It was built in the early 20th century next to a shop and bakery. Since 1989 Pispala sauna association has been responsible for activities and maintenance of the sauna. In addition to the sauna, there is a café where you can buy something to drink and eat before, after or in the middle of going to the sauna. The environment feels like you’ve gone back in time and many people visit just for the nostalgia of good old days. The entrance fee of the sauna is 5 € or 8 € depending on the day and there are also student discounts for serial tickets. As you can see the price isn’t bad at all! Towels and seat covers can be rented for a couple of euros as well.

For a small amount of money I will guarantee that you will enjoy a magnificent experience in the public sauna of Rajaportti. You will get to meet many kinds of people who are openly socializing in the warmth. In the midst of the steam and these strangers you might actually start to feel confusingly comfy. I highly recommend to visit the place any time of the year.


An Expression of Love

A demonstration - in the back side the Parliament house of Finland

For equality!!!!!

by Linnea Viljamaa, degree student in Media

On 19th of March 2013, on the Day of Equality, a citizen’s initiative began collecting signatures to make the dream of a gender neutral marriage true. They collected signatures until the 19th of September, and handed out the signatures on the 13th of December. Of the required 50 000 signatures, 166 851 were collected.

On the 28th of November 2014 the Parliament finally voted on the law. A rally to support the law gathered across the street from the Parliament house.

I was there.

We went there around noon, and already a lot of people had gathered around. People had dressed in rainbow colors and brought their friends, children, even pets. Not counting a few people with rude signs, the mood was great and friendly, and excitement was in the air. Yle livestreamed the event: a small flying camera circled above the meeting place.

Eventually there were so many people that cellphones stopped working properly. I later read that the police estimated there had been approximately 5000 people there. By some miracle I got the livestream of the voting to work, and for half an hour I stood there with my phone on my ear, listening to the votes on different laws until finally the 7th one was the one we’d been waiting for.

I signaled my friends and listened intensely. We needed a majority of ”NO” to counter an earlier vote. As the Chairman spoke out loud the results, a cheer went up. ”92 yes –” and he had to bang his hammer to quiet the excited representatives. The law had been accepted with 92 against it, 105 for it.

Cheers erupted in the crowds as the news circled. My friends asked me: ”Did it pass? Did it get through?” ”Yes! Yes, I think so, yes!” I answered, and we started screaming and hugging out of sheer joy. That Friday was a historial day for Finland. The law still needs to go through two votings, but it’s looking good.