City Organizer: Pauliina Jalonen
Walk Leader: Eeva Berglund
Text by: Pauliina Jalonen
Photographs by: Dodo
On this walk, we followed the seashore until we reached Hietaniemi Beach, then we turned inland and passed through the Hietaniemi cemetery. The cemetery includes a large military section for soldiers from the capital, fallen in the wars against the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. As well, there is a section for the Finnish Guard, and the Artist’s Hill and Statesman’s Grove.
During the daytime, the graves of the many famous Finns buried there attract visitors, but this respectable cemetery is also busy at night – it seems that quite a lot of nightly parties and flirtations take place among the gravestones. Or, at least, so we were told by some of the walk participants, who overcame their shyness to speak into the megaphone, so that everyone in the group could hear the stories they shared. While there had been stories told all along the walk route, the cemetery in particular seemed to be a place that connected the participants, regardless of their age or where they were from.
A young woman who had worked at the cemetery for five summers told a story of an old lady who, in her will, had left her assets to the Temppeliaukio Church. The one condition for the bequest was that each Midsummer, the Summer Hymn (traditionally sung at the end of the school year, and heavily associated with summer) was to be played from the tower of the cemetery’s chapel. In the first year, the trumpet player had climbed the tower stairs, but by the time he reached the top he was so exhausted that he was barely able to play the hymn. Ever since, the hymn has been played from the ground.