Arvoisat suomalaiset Singaporessa, hyvät vierailevat ystävät, dear Friends of Finland!
We have gathered tonight to celebrate the 98th Birthday of the Republic of Finland here in the heart of Asia, tropical Singapore. It is a pleasure to see so many of you here. I thank SiSu (Finns in Singapore) for the invitation and honor to be present here tonight.
Finland has a long history compared to our host country, who is just wrapping up a whole year of SG 50 celebrations. During this year singaporeans have realized how much they have to be proud of. The history has been told over and over again in various forms of cultural, educational and nation-building forms. The younger generations have heard from the pioneers how it all started and how the Singapore story has evolved and Singapore become one of the most modern, and rich countries in the world, not only in Asia. A good place to live in.
Finland will be celebrating the centenary of her independence in 2017. We are almost twice as old as Singapore. Preparations have taken off in Helsinki, and other cities and also in various countries, where we want to celebrate and make our country’s history and achievements better known. The theme for the Centenary of Finland will be “Yhdessä – Tillsammans – Together”. This motto describes well the spirit of the Finns. Our history has not been the easiest. Our grandfathers and mothers have had to fight for laying the base for what we are today. And this fight continues in more modern forms, we can not be complacent.
Let us raise a toast to Finland – together.