A Window into Diplomacy: Insights from Honorary Consul of Finland in Toruń
In 2014 I was appointed Honorary Consul of Finland in Toruń. I am one of eight people in Poland holding this position, and for the past eight years I have tried my best to fulfill the tasks entrusted to me.
The institution of Honorary Consul is an excellent tool for maintaining bilateral relations between countries. To a large extent, the duties of a consul include acting as a civil registrar, issuing documents and performing other civil law actions.
For me, it is equally important to promote and develop relations between Poland and Finland, and above all to promote culture. Every year I organize many events that bring Finnish education, economy and culture closer to the residents of the region. Concerts by world famous artists such as Iro Rantala, Ida Elina and Bel Canto Choir from Jakobstad gathered a huge audience.
The year 2022 was very turbulent due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I received a lot of inquiries from Ukrainian citizens with requests for help and information about transit through Poland to Finland. I tried to help in every such case by making up-to-date information always available on the Consulate’s website. Despite the tense situation, I managed to maintain the continuity of my standard promotional activities.
My flagship endeavor. In cooperation with the Foreign Language Department of Nicolaus Copernicus University, I organize a Finnish language course. This is the first ever Finnish language course to be held in the region. I am responsible for recruiting students and organizing language textbooks. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the course under the university’s patronage has been held online. More and more people are signing up for the classes, and the wonderful lecturer makes sure that the language is not as difficult as it seems at first glance.
Every year I organize a painting competition for children. The theme is always related to Finland. In February 2022, the competition was entitled “Wonders of Finland’s Nature”. At the moment we are waiting for artworks from the children entitled “My friend from Moomin Valley” in the next edition. The interest is always overwhelming, and each time I am amazed by the creativity of the young artists.
An important part of my activities is supporting Finnish citizens. This year, for example, I organized a meeting between the authors of the book “Mannerheim Puolan Vuodet”, Anna and Jukka Soisalon-Soininen, and the management of the Adam Marszałek publishing house.
Cultural events have always been my priority. I have helped organize several of them this year. On 28 May, we held a concert by the Kardemimmit kantele quartet from Finland, as part of the 29th Probaltica Festival of Music and Art of the Baltic Countries. In July, during the Finnish cinema strand of the 20th Tofifest International Film Festival, there was a presentation of documentaries and fiction films by Finnish filmmakers, including “Girls”by Alli Haapasalo, which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
I am proud to have been able to make a contribution in strengthening the relations between Poland and Finland.
Honorary Consul of Finland in Toruń
www.kf7.pl | +48 609 22 99 00 | email@example.com ul. Droga Starotoruńska 5, 87 - 100 Toruń
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