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92nd Annual Finnish Independence Day Program is December 6

December 1, 2009

HANCOCK, MI - Sunday, December 6, at 2:00 p.m., the Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center will host its 92nd annual Finnish Independence Day program.

The program celebrates the anniversary of the date Finland gained its independence in 1917.

This year's program features a variety of local performers, and the City of Hancock's Finnish Theme Committee will announce the 2010 Hankooki Heikki honoree. The Hankooki Heikki recognition is bestowed annually upon a person whose commitment to preserving and promoting Finnish culture in the area goes above and beyond "normal" efforts.

In addition, two giant himmelis created by Milwaukee-based artist Ernest Hensersky will be on display.

Following the program, the Kivajat Dancers, a local children's traditional dance troupe, will provide a Finnish coffee table.

Now a member of the European Union, Finland was part of the Swedish realm for 600 years until 1809 when it became attached to the Russian empire. In 1906 Finland acquired its own national parliament, and on December 6, 1917, a Russian revolution prompted Finland to declare herself independent. The Russian government recognized Finland's independence December 31, 1917.

Traditionally, Finnish Independence Day is a solemn remembrance of those that made freedom possible for Finland.  In recent decades, however, celebrations often include fireworks, parades, and celebratory cakes decorated with the blue and white Finnish flag.

For information, please call 906-487-7549.