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It’s time to buy a business suit

August 19, 2005
I shook hands with (former) Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and Finland’s Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja today.
 
I’ve gotten pretty involved with Canadian-Finnish relations since moving here in 1998. It is as a volunteer that I have had some momentous occasions in my life since moving here. In my role as a board member of the Finnish-Canadian Society (www.suomikanadaseura.fi), I have interviewed some pretty interesting people. The current Canadian Ambassador (www.canada.fi) has invited members of our board to several different functions, we’ve met Finnish pro hockey players, members of the Finnish Parliament, plenty of high ranking Canadian officials and of course lots of ordinary Canadians and Finns who thrive on the relationships between our two countries.
 
I am always surprised at how approachable some Finnish politicians and society high rollers can be. Some might see these kinds of functions as pompous and snobby, but for me it’s nice opportunity to meet a man as respected as President Martti Ahtisaari. Many Finns I have spoken to about President Ahtisaari see him as an overweight, stuffy politician. Truth is, he has done a lot of great things outside of Finland and maybe not all Finns see him in that light. He has recently mediated peace talks between the Indonesian government and members of the Free Aceh movement… See the most recent article from Helsingin Sanomat International http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english/article/1101980632416.
 
That aside, I think it’s high time I buy a business suit so that I can be more presentable the next time I get to shake hands with a president!
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