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Embassy of Finland, Washington - Consulate Generals of Finland, New York, Los Angeles: Current Affairs

EMBASSY OF FINLAND, Washington, D.C.
CONSULATES GENERAL OF FINLAND, New York and Los Angeles

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News, 9/20/2017 | Embassy of Finland, Washington

Celebrating Finnish-U.S. Relations at Centennial Gala

The Embassy of Finland organized a Centennial Gala on Saturday, September 16. Over 100 guests celebrated the centennial and enjoyed the festive atmosphere. President Sauli Niinistö and Mrs. Jenni Haukio were the guests of honor.

The architecturally acclaimed Finnish embassy building was decorated to its finest as the 100th anniversary of Finland's independence was celebrated in Washington, D.C. The convivial gala was organized well ahead of Finland's actual Independence Day, December 6.

Table setting
Table setting
Table setting
Table setting

The guests of honor were President Sauli Niinistö and Mrs. Jenni Haukio. In addition, Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini honored the celebration with his presence.

President Niinistö and Mrs. Haukio
President Niinistö and Mrs. Haukio
FM Soini discussing with guests
FM Soini discussing with guests

Over 100 friends of Finland joined the celebration

The guest list included representatives of the current and previous administration, Nordic and Baltic Ambassadors, as well as directors of local think thanks and cultural organizations. Pictured below are President of the Brookings Institution Strobe Talbott and his spouse Barbara Ascher, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Deputy Chief of Mission Antti Vänskä, and Senator Debra Fischer with President Niinistö.

Strobe Talbott and Barbara Ascher
Strobe Talbott and Barbara Ascher
John Koskinen and Antti Vänskä
Commissioner Koskinen and DCM Vänskä
Senator Fischer and President Niinistö
Senator Fischer and President Niinistö

The Embassy also had the pleasure of hosting eight former U.S. Ambassadors to Finland at the gala. Pictured below are Ambassadors Charles C. Adams, Jr., Barbara Barrett, Bruce Oreck, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Rozanne Ridgway, Eric S. Edelman and Derek Shearer, respectively. Ambassador James Goodby was also at the gala, though missing from the group photo.

Former U.S. Ambassadors to Finland
Former U.S. Ambassadors to Finland
Ambassadors Kauppi and Goodby
Ambassadors Kauppi and Goodby

Finnish-U.S. ties closer than ever

In his speech, President Niinistö said that the bond between Finland and the United States is now closer than ever. He thanked the gala attendees, both Finns and Americans, for their work in strengthening the Finnish-American relations.

"We look forward to deepening our partnership with the United States ever further in the years ahead," President Niinistö concluded.

You can read the full transcript of his speech here.

Finnish delicacies and cultural masterpieces

The gala guests were treated to a three-course dinner. The menu, created by the Embassy's chef Jyrki Jääskeläinen, included Finnish delicacies such as gravlax, malt bread, venison, chanterelle mushrooms and blueberry ice cream. The red wine was produced by Marketta Winery, the only Finnish-owned winery in the United States.

Venison entrée
Venison entrée
Blueberry ice cream dessert
Blueberry ice cream dessert

In addition to wonderful and warm-hearted speeches, the guests got to enjoy music by world-famous Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund. She performed songs by Finnish masters Jean Sibelius and Toivo Kuula, accompanied by pianist Matti Hirvonen.

Soprano Camilla Nylund and pianist Matti Hirvonen
Soprano Camilla Nylund and pianist Matti Hirvonen

See more photos from the gala here!

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Updated 9/22/2017


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