Hancock will celebrate the 105th anniversary of Finnish independence tonight.
Although Finnish culture dates back thousands of years, the region was dominated first by Sweden, and then by Russia, until independence was declared in 1917.
By that time, a flood of Finns had already emigrated to the Keweenaw Peninsula, establishing our region’s Finnish heritage.
Since then, the country has survived conflicts with Russia and Nazi Germany, and emerged as one of the most successful democracies in the world.
Finlandia University – then known as Suomi College – was already 21 years old when the land of its founders declared its independence. There was a celebration that day, and there has been one each Finnish Independence Day since.
Tonight’s commemoration begins at 6:00 at the Finnish American Heritage Center. It will include performances by the youth Kivajat Dancers, and an adult traditional dance group that recently formed. Finlandia University President Timothy Pinnow will give the keynote address.
All are welcome.