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Our Cultural Personality for this week is Olli Joki, the chairman of the student association’s board of the University of Oulu.

Joki is a 23-year-old barefoot Ouluian who studies international business management at the School of Economics at the University of Oulu. Although the longing back to normal circumstances and to student culture is strong, Joki takes pleasure from the increasing amount of sunlight and the beautiful, sunny winter days.

Olli, how does your life look like and feel now during these exceptional times?

During the year I have somehow been able to adapt and get used to the current situation, and although in its entirety the longing back to normal is great, one can find plenty of positive things in everyday life that help manage in these circumstances.

How does Oulu look like through your eyes right now?

It’s great that the people of Oulu have acted responsibly during these times, and the number of cases and spreading of the disease have remained under control. Working alone as a student is wearing, and it would be nice to have more communality and interaction with other students. I am happy that our student associations have come up with good ways to organize different remote events and to create communality during these difficult times. There is an increasing demand for these.

Oulu, together with 32 other municipalities, is bidding for the title of European Capital of Culture (ECoC). Why would northern Finland be suitable to win the race, and what does our leading theme, Cultural Climate Change, mean to you?

In northern Finland one can find creativity, diversity and perseverance, for example in our active student culture. The Cultural Climate Change theme means to me above all experiencing communality and social cohesion through culture.

Send your regards to the Oulu of 2026, when we are the European Capital of Culture

Let’s show together to the whole Europe the know-how and creativity of northern Finland!

 

Image: Jesse Ronkainen