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APN podcast: Can Helsinki become an English-speaking city?

This week's show also asks why Finland forces some kids to study religion in school and explores the story of a fallen hero.

Photograph of Helsinki Cathedral featuring the All Points North podcast logo.
Photograph of Helsinki Cathedral featuring the All Points North podcast logo. Image: Matti Myller / Yle
Yle News

Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen made waves in Finland when he recently called for making the capital an English-speaking city to attract foreign workers. The All Points North podcast traced some of the backlash the mayor received and looked at Helsinki's increasingly diverse population.

You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here, via Yle Areena, Spotify or Apple Podcasts or on your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.

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With the school year underway, many parents are faced with choosing religious or non-religious education for their child. APN spoke to Riku Salminen, a co-author of a citizens' initiative that wants to change a law barring members of Finland's Evangelical Lutheran Church from attending "life perspectives" classes, a non-religious alternative to faith-based lessons.

"It's a weird twist in an otherwise secular country like Finland that one single religion has this much control over what children can study," Salminen told APN.

The podcast also heard from the maker of a new documentary series on Turku stabbing hero Hassan Zubier who fell from grace after news emerged that he had embellished details about his life.

"Well, I think that many people tend to put other people in a box—that either you can trust someone or they are always lying," Yle journalist and author Matilda Gyllenberg told APN about the drama surrounding Zubier who was severely injured in the 2017 terror attack.

This past summer was the hottest in Finland since 1937. Yle meteorologist and author Kerttu Kotakorpi told APN that a warming planet could mean Finland experiencing temperatures some five degrees above average by the end of this century.

And with autumn officially here, APN also looked at how to best weather proof children in Finland as the seasons change.

Join the conversation!

This week's show was presented by Zena Iovino and Egan Richardson. The producer was Mark B. Odom and the audio engineer was Laura Koso.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, just contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or at and

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