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4th graders have a ball at Independence Day bash

A record number of children took part in Helsinki’s annual fourth-graders’ Independence Day party on Tuesday.

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Image: Yle

The event gathers pupils from across the city at Finlandia Hall. Children practice dances  and party etiquette throughout the autumn term to prepare for the party, which mimics the formal reception that is normally held each year at the Presidential Palace.

This year that grown-up ball will take place in Tampere, as the president’s official residence is undergoing renovation work. The kids stayed in their normal spot however, and took over Finlandia Hall near Töölönlahti as usual.

It was the 17 time the event was organised, and Helsinki mayor Jussi Pajunen was hosting for the ninth year in a row. Some 5,100 children accepted his invtiation, around 200 more than in 2012.

The diminutive guests were welcomed by a military band, and once inside they got a surprise concert from hop-hop star Elastinen.

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Nordic walking four times more effective than gym workouts

Nordic walking, the sport of walking briskly with bespoke ski poles, has been shown to be several times more effective for improving physical endurance than fitness training in a gym and its health benefits have been noted extensively. Even so, the Finnish invention is largely recommended as a fitness option to only females and the elderly at present. To address this issue, a campaign has been launched to pump up the sport’s image.

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