By Amanda Soila, June 2011, updated May 2014
Video by Gustavo Alavedra
Downtown Helsinki fills with music and food from all over the world each year as the World Village Festival (see video below) takes over Kaisaniemi Park. Our videographer and our reporter joined the party.
The free festival for the whole family, held on May 24 and 25, 2014 for the 19th time, attracts nearly 80,000 visitors each year to Kaisaniemi Park and nearby Railway Square. The year we made our video, the musical offerings emphasised African and Asian sounds, including a unique fusion of traditional sounds and electropop by Vietnamese foursome Mat Troi Moi; the Finnish-Nigerian collaboration of composer-musician Jimi Tenor and legendary afropunk drummer Tony Allen; and a long-anticipated performance of South African singer and activist Vusi Mahlasela.
The festival also featured concerts by a popular sign-language rap artist Signmark and by punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, which was joined by Finnish punk veteran, Pelle Miljoona.
Apart from music, the festival also hosted a rich variety of discussions and happenings arranged by development organisations. The theme of this year was voluntary work and the uprisings of Egypt and Libya also formed central topics.
Festival visitors also enjoyed tastes from all over the world; Nigerian and Mexican cuisine proved particular favourites. Colourful, handmade jewellery and ecological, fair-trade clothing also invited people to shop with a good conscience.
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