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Finland hosts first Nordic visual song contest

The Nordics’ first visual song contest for the deaf, hearing-impaired and sign language users took place in Helsinki on Saturday.

Lea Hyldstrup
Image: Yle Viittomäkieliset Uutiset

Danish sign language performer Lea Hyldstrup was named the winner of the Nordics’ first visual song contest for the deaf, hearing-impaired and sign language users in Helsinki on Saturday. Competitors used Nordic sign languages during the event.

The Danish performer wrested the 1,000-euro prize from a field that included seven other competitors: five from Finland and one each from Sweden and Norway in addition to Hyldstrup herself.

Competition organisers did not announce runners-up to the winner.

The song contest was organised by the theatre cooperative Ursa Minor, which is an organisation for the hearing-impaired, with support from the Nordic Culture Center.

According to Mikaela Tillander of Yle’s Sign Language News unit, the contestants had the option of performing with or without music. They could also decide whether to perform the lyrics of their selected songs or to offer a sign language version of the piece.

"They also had to consider whether or not to mime the songs or offer a visual performance. I am looking forward with great interest to new interpretations in the next competition," she added.

Sweden will host the next competition in 2021.

Edit: Updated on 25 March at 10.48am to correct the assertion that Finland did not place in the top three, to indicate that competition organisers did not place runners-up. Information about the participants and sign languages used during the event was also added and the headline adjusted accordingly.

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