Now the Malaysian children has the chance to get to know the Snorkmaiden from the valley of the Moomins or the folklore-hero Väinämöinen of the Kalevala too. In March the well-known book covers filled the walls of the National Library in Kuala Lumpur. The exhibition was organized by the Finnish Embassy in cooperation with the Finnish Literature Exchange Organisation to promote literature from Finland in Malaysia and internationally.
Not yet in Malaysian
According to the embassy, the dissemination of art and literature from Finland to other parts of the world is a top priority.
“Since Finnish is not widely spoken, translated literature is very important for us, Being part of the international literature culture is essential,” said Henna Knuuttila, the deputy chief of mission of the embassy, at the opening of the exhibition.
The deputy chief hopes that the event will result in an increased interest of Finnish literature from the Malaysian publishers.
“Unfortunately, no Finnish books have been translated into Bahasa Malaysia yet, but if you find a book cover that interests you and you want to volunteer to translate it, please let me know“, Henna Knuuttila aded.
In the recent years Finnish literature has been published more and more abroad. According to the Finnish Ministry of Education the amount of translated literature has increased to over 300 pieces and approximately to 40 different languages.
The exhibition contains literature translated in various languages, for example in English, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Swedish, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Spanish, Persian, Russian and Khmer.
Among the internationally-recognised Finnish authors are F.E. Sillanpaa, the only Finn to win the Nobel prize for literature and Mika Waltari, the most translated Finnish author. The Kalevala, Finland’s national epic, is the most translated piece of Finnish literature, it has been translated into more than 60 different languages.