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Tuesday's papers: Terrace openings, mass brawls, mating bears

Finland’s press reacts to a busy first day of summer as society reopened on Monday.

Ihmisiä Lasipalatsin Laiturin terassilla Helsingissä 1. kesäkuuta
Bars and restaurants can now stay open until 11pm, with last orders of alcohol at 10pm. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Finland’s national and regional newspapers all carry stories of the reopening of bars and restaurants -- and especially terraces -- on Monday, often with accompanying photo galleries of smiling faces and raised glasses.

Aamulehti crawled the bars of Tampere, Keskisuomalainen toured the terraces of Jyväskylä, Kaleva hit the streets in Oulu and Lapin Kansa enjoyed the sweltering temperatures in Rovaniemi as revellers enjoyed the first terrace drinks of summer, with very little physical distancing in evidence anywhere in the country.

Helsingin Sanomat finds a "festive" atmosphere all around the capital, with "the sun shining and the terraces of every bar full".

Santeri Hytönen told HS from the crowded terrace of the Heinähattu bar in the city that he was not surprised to see so many people taking advantage of the partial lifting of restrictions, and that he "expected to see even more here".

Over at the Merikerho terrace bar, student Eweliina Koponen summarised the feelings of many others that HS met over the course of the evening.

"There has been so much that has been missed: music, dancing and people," Koponen told the paper.

Yesterday also saw the reopening of swimming pools and public saunas, and HS spoke to regular sauna-goer Eeva Vekki as she enjoyed her first sampling of löyly (sauna steam) at the Hermanni public sauna after an absence of several weeks.

"I normally go to the sauna about five times a week but it hasn't been possible now, when even the housing association's sauna has been closed," Vekki said, adding that the public sauna had been like "an extension of the living room" for her.

Mass youth brawl at two Helsinki train stations

The good vibes were not evident everywhere however, as tabloid Iltalehti reports on a mass brawl involving about 200 young people that ended at Pasila train station, where an eyewitness captured video evidence of a number of young people jumping across the tracks.

Helsinki police informed IL that they first received reports of a large group of young people fighting in the vicinity of Malmi train station, and when the groups were separated and dispersed the fighting continued at Pasila.

An eyewitness at Pasila station told the tabloid that the young people who jumped on the tracks were about 13-15 years old.

No arrests were made and the police currently have no knowledge of a motive for the mass disturbance, but the Helsinki police commented that the incident was "certainly a good example of what the start of the holidays can cause for young people".

Bears behaving badly

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports on a rare sight captured by a bear camera installed in a forest in the village of Tani, near Lappeenranta in south-eastern Finland.

Local wildlife enthusiast Timo Hanninen told the tabloid that when he received a notification on his mobile phone that the camera had picked up some new images, he wasn’t expecting to see evidence that the bear mating season was in full flow.

"First one bear appeared in the picture and soon a bigger bear arrived," Hanninen told IS. "The female seemed reluctant at first so the male was calm for a while, and then the male stepped towards the female and mated with her."

The story includes a photo gallery which details the bears’ mating ritual.

According to IS, bear mating season in Finland is in June and July, and can often lead to fights between males and females.

Despite this, Finland’s bear population is estimated to be between 2,300 and 2,500 before the beginning of the 2020 hunting season -- an increase of 14 percent from the previous estimate, according to figures provided to the tabloid by the Natural Resources Centre of Finland (Luke).

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