A walk in the woods, a visit to a natural monument or simply a picnic in a local park - these are all simple steps that make us closer to nature and help us appreciate its beauties more keenly. By exploring our immediate surroundings, we can not only discover the cultural values of our environment, but also learn more about ourselves.
This intrinsic relationship between people and nature will be in focus of European Heritage Days 2017 in Finland, which will be organised under the theme Discover Nature Together.
Officially launched on February 8th at the opening ceremony held at the Ministry of Environment of Finland, the theme aims to highlight the cultural values of nature and all the different ways people can get to know it better. The programme is designed to explore how natural settings such as private gardens, urban oases or national parks and the intangible cultural heritage related to nature can contribute to people’s wellbeing.
Throughout late August and early September, Finnish cultural institutions and local communities will organise a series of events to promote the positive effects of connecting with nature. The festival will also include a number of exciting initiatives aiming to enable heritage exploration through interactive activities in nature.
“Let’s Eat Together”
One of the exciting new projects Finland will be launching within European Heritage Days 2017 is the “Let’s Eat Together” initiative, which aims to bring people together for an outdoors meal at their cultural environments. Encouraging gatherings in the open air and exploration of different culinary specialties, the initiative will highlight the benefits of socialising in nature. “Let’s Eat Together” will invite European Heritage Days visitors to bring dinner tables to their local parks or gardens, showcase their traditional recipes and share their experiences on social media.
New Edition of "Heritage Makers"
Finland’s traditional heritage education initiative, The Heritage Makers Competition, will once again gather pupils and students for a series of workshops dedicated to cultural heritage. Inspiring the youngest to actively participate in heritage exploration and protection, the competition is one of the favourite European Heritage Days activities in schools across the country. After the last year’s winners were awarded at the opening ceremony, students are getting ready for a new task that will bring them closer to their cultural heritage, their classmates and their natural environment.
Cultural heritage experiences can be created in various different ways, but the best ones are those that we share with others. Highlighting the value of togetherness and joint explorations of natural treasures, European Heritage Days 2017 in Finland honours our shared cultural heritage in the most inspiring way.
Photo Credits: Nature and cultural heritage are combined in Koli National Park ©Tapio Heikilä, Image Bank of the Environmental Administration