On Tuesday, the Finnish men’s national basketball team will face Spain in the quarter-finals of EuroBasket, one of the most important games in the history of the “Wolf Pack”.
An old saying about Finnish culture says that the only place a Finn will talk to you freely is in a sauna. However, a sauna in Tampere leans into the stereotype of the reluctant Finn by allowing no conversation.
Finland’s oldest municipal newspaper, the free Tamperelainen (siirryt toiseen palveluun)did an article about Rauhaniemi hosting a so-called silent sauna, in which talking to other sauna-goers is highly frowned upon.
The sauna building itself is a circular Mongolian-style pastoral yurt, heated by two wood-burning stoves and is a joint initiative of promotional company Sauna Konkeli and the local Rauhaniemi Folk Spa.
“We want to create a peaceful space to enjoy a relaxing steam. In the yurt sauna, we encourage bathers not to engage in conversation and contribute to the peace of the sauna. In this sauna you can relax and immerse yourself in steam,” said Juha Kumara Konkeli sauna.
The yurt’s sauna will be heated for the first time this Friday and will continue every day next month from 4-9 p.m.
As the Rauhaniemi Folk Spa facilities are right on the edge of Lake Näsijärvi, it will naturally be possible to bathe in the waters between sauna sessions, however, it is unclear whether or not talking will be allowed while swimming.
Turmoil in class
Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) interviewed the Deputy Mayor of Helsinki for Education Nazima Razymar (SDP), who spoke freely about the problems facing some classrooms in Helsinki.
“I hate to say this, but we have kids who have held more knives than pens. Some of these kids are also a distraction to the rest of the group if they can’t get proper support in class,” Razymar told HS.
HS wrote that the elephant in Razymar’s office last year was the school’s inclusion policies. These school policies, in principle, are designed to provide all students with equal access to education, but this has had unintended consequences, according to Razymar.
Whereas in the past, students who needed more support would have studied in separate classes or schools, but due to inclusion policies, these methods have been phased out.
Over the past year, Razmyar has built a picture of chaotic classrooms where teachers find it, at worst, impossible to do their jobs.
Razymar said the city’s main areas of concern are those marked by low income, low employment and low education, but she refrained from naming specific neighborhoods.
In Razymar’s view, there is too little public debate about segregation affecting these areas of Helsinki, due to a fear of populism.
“Sure, we could use more state resources, but reversing segregation is the city’s responsibility,” she told HS.
Although Razymar offered no solution to the current situation, she said it was a necessary discussion, otherwise the quality of education will decline and teachers will leave the field.
The wolf pack makes history
Finland’s national men’s basketball team takes on Spain in the EuroBasket quarter-finals on Tuesday. It’s the first time Finland has reached the quarter-finals since 1967, when EuroBasket was hosted in Finland.
After a 94-86 victory over Croatia, the Finnish team, nicknamed The Wolf Pack, was led by a player from the National Basketball Association (NBA) by Lauri Markkanencareer-high 43 points.
Ilta Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun)quoting a Spanish newspaper Mark (siirryt toiseen palveluun)wrote that Markkanen, who was recently traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Utah Jazz in the NBA, caught the attention of the Spanish team coach Sergio Scariolo.
“The preparation for this match was particularly difficult. The opponent is a team that plays an atypical but very effective game. Excellent shooters and a world-class star [Markkanen]. It has to be defended with a lot of wisdom and precision so that loopholes don’t appear elsewhere,” Scariolo said.
The Spanish team is a juggernaut of international basketball having won three gold medals in the tournament since 2009. The last time the Spanish team left the tournament without a medal was in 2005.