Savoring Finland – The Land of Happiness
Finland is located in the northern part of Europe, one of the five Nordic countries, bordering Sweden, Norway, and Russia. It is bordered by the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Nebo in the west. There are about 179,000 islands and about 188,000 lakes within the Finnish territories and is renowned for "the country of thousands of lakes." Finland is world-famous for its outstanding welfare system and the common practice of equality for all, and was named the happiest country in the world by the United Nations in 2018.
Under the leadership Dr. Hong, the grandmaster of Tai Ji Men journeyed with 31 members of the “Love and Peace Goodwill Culture Group” to Finland on May 29th, 2018. The unique Finnish concept of Sisu spirit – “Strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity” is attributed to Finland’s recognition as the happiest country in 2018. This Sisu spirit was experienced first-hand during the culture group’s visit. In exchange, the Goodwill Cultural Group’s culture performances opened up many Finnish people’s hearts through joyous interactions with Tai Ji Men dizi through their harmonious singing that conveys the meaning of love and peace.
The goodwill group visited the main sights of Finland: The Rock Church and the Sibelius Park. The
|The most unique sight of the park is a monument which is crafted from approximately 600 stainless steel pipes to resemble an organ.|
former is the only church in the world built on a rock. The latter commemorates the great composer Sibelius. The most unique sight of the park is a monument which is crafted from approximately 600 stainless steel pipes to resemble an organ. Sibelius's "Ode to Finland" evokes the patriotic sentiments of the Finnish people with its grandiose melody and he is called the father of Finnish folk music. When the members of the group started singing “Love and Peace Song” on site, many onlookers were attracted by its serene melody and joined the singing; coincided a saying – “Music has no boundaries.”
|The Sibelius sculpture of human face was created by the female sculptor Eila Hiltunen. The Finns were built to commemorate the great musician Sibelius.|
Though not as well-endowed with natural resources as her neighboring countries, Finland has created a unique culture where the importance of education is emphasized. In the Finnish culture, “Elitism” is not stressed and students are not ranked or categorized according to their academic performance. Instead, the Finnish people believe in teaching students in accordance with their aptitude and achieving academic excellence for all instead of fierce competition amongst their peers. “From what I observed of Finland, it coincided with Dr. Hong’s assertion: “With good education, comes good culture. With good culture, the economy will grow prosperously.” said one of the group members Chen, Li-Xue who was greatly inspired from the trip. Engaged in the education field for
more than 30 years, Li-Xue expressed, “Our grandmaster sees only the good qualities from each dizi and encourages us to believe in our potential.” She recognized the positive changes from students when good educational methods are adopted. “Dr. Hong always reminds us to compete with no one but ourselves, which taught me the wisdom to observe my students with multi-faceted perspectives and helped me discover their other talents aside from academic works. Kids also became more confident when their talents have been acknowledged.”
One of the most successful adaptations of achieving excellence which stemmed from Finnish educational core values is the story of Nokia Corporation. Nokia, the former global king in cell phone manufacturing, sold its cell-phone department to Microsoft in Year 2011. No longer manufacturing cell phones, Nokia strongly encouraged their employees to establish their own business which contributed to Finland’s great accomplishments in the fields of video games, purify technology, biology, health care and education.
In addition to appreciating her landscape beauty, the goodwill cultural group realized what makes Finland the happiest country in the world is the culture of the willingness to extend caring and love. “People who give willingly are often rewarded by their generosity” It affirms TJM goodwill cultural group’s core value of spreading positive energy around the world.
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