Friday, January 27, 2012

DHG lands in Finland

We cannot avoid to navigate the 7 seas and the 5 continents. We can never disconnect from the world around us if we wish to do our job well and, then, how beautiful it is to travel, know new places and people, dive into other cultures.
Now the DHG BLOG is born and we have the chance to “bring” you with us. A little reportage for each journey. Let’s go!

6-11 December 2011 Finland
6 unique and fantastic days spent in part together with Leena, Piia and Sirpa, big friends and DHG partners. From 2012 they will be, in fact, the DHG testimonials in Finland and we are going to develop new projects with them...
On the left Sirpa, Leena on the right
They came to meet us first. It was last May:  they came to meet us at our Company offices with Eva (Basile) and Cristiana (Di Nardo) even if the weather was terribly hot and damp those days. Maybe just for this reason –tit for tat – (of course, we are joking!) they invited us to Finland... in December!

We had never been to Finland before and we just fell in love with it. You can feel the power of nature in every corner, people are really hospitable.. and also food is excellent! Then how about the healthy and marvellous habit of taking a sauna?
All and all, it was not so cold, even if the snow was not missing, luckily, and believe me, it was amazing to see Santa Claus’ Country under the snow!
Maybe the only problem was to get used to having only a few hours of light per day, as when the sun rises, it’s 10 in the morning and it already sets at 2 pm.

Obviously, it is impossible to see everything in 6 days, but we were on the move all the time. We spent some days in Helsinki, the capital, which is like a little treat of about 600,000 people, overlooking the Gulf of Finland. The first day, the 6th December, it was National Holiday, so almost all shops and public places were closed, but the next two days we really had fun. The city is very clean, well organized and it is easy to wander around. Helsinki is the world capital of Design for 2012 and it is just ready for the role. We stayed in the Design District  and it was wonderful to go around the beautiful streets full of shops, cafés and art galleries. Prices were not so moderate for us, but sometimes just seeing the beautiful scenery around is enough.

We spent another three days in the nice city called Jyväskylä where Leena and Piia’s company, Papiina, is located. Papiina is specialised in the production of clothes made of felt ( This city is  famous for its universities and because it is the home town of Alvar Alto, the most famous Finnish architect; it is about 600 kilometers from Helsinki. Trains run fast through the infinite countryside and iced lakes and we would have wished to stop at every moment to take some decent photos of the places unfolding before our eyes.
When we arrived, we spent the entire day at Papiina and we were able to see how these two energic women manage their company. It was beautiful to spend some time with them. See how their product are born, learn what their problems are and dream of new adventures. Then, they spoiled me so much: it was wonderful to work having a cup of tea, Christmas sweets and salmon cake in an ambient which I would define Jamaican-like. Total relax!

Another day we met Sirpa too and we visited Jämsä, maybe the “capital” of Finnish felt. Sirpa lives there so we started from there and visited some farms where they work Finnish wool and sell wool products: Christmas decorations, boots, sippers and bags of high design. Design and craftsmanship in a fine mix coming from the same place. It’s fantastic!
Then, in the middle of nowhere, we found ourselves on a wonderful lake where a little rebuilt house made of red bricks houses one of the highest level galleries of handicrafts we have ever seen. It really is worthy of big cities like London or New York. Here you can find felt but also metal and ceramic handicrafts. Amazing  handicrafts that made you want to write a letter to Santa Claus.

What more? We should write more pages, but still it would not be enough. We stop here and give voice to the images. We hope they arrive where our words did not.

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