The 2017 edition of the annual Gala Dinner organised by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong was a truly special one. On 9 December over 200 guests attended the Finland 100 Gala to celebrate Finland’s 100th Anniversary of Independence. To celebrate this memorable occasion, FinnCham Hong Kong had the honour to have Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam as one of its special guests.
The Gala commenced with special cocktails combining Mahla Forest – Lagrima Arctica and The Helsinki Distilling Company – Helsinki Dry Gin on the terrace overlooking the Tai Tam Bay with a musical performance by Ida Elina – a singer-songwriter, one of the leading kantele performers in Finland and first ever ‘pop-kanteleplayer’ in the world.
After the cocktail hour, all the guests got to enjoy the Hong Kong Police Band play the The Jäger March and the National anthems of Finland and Hong Kong at the American Club Ballroom. The Consul General of Finland in Hong Kong and Macao, Mr. Jari Sinkari gave a welcoming speech to all the guests and passed the podium to Mrs. Carrie Lam. Mrs. Carrie Lam, who has a remarkable way with words, and in her speech compared Hong Kong to Finland and how they can both learn from each other; new tax system for SME’s, decrease of crime rate as well as low unemployment rate in Hong Kong and implementing a design street similar to the one in Helsinki. The CE praised the Finnish airline, Finnair several times in her speech, since whenever she would travel to Finland with her family she always chose to travel with the Finnish airline.
The Finland 100 Gala Menu featured the finest Finnish flavours and ingredients in Hong Kong and it was designed by Chef Jaakko Sorsa, the Executive Chef at FINDS restaurant. During the dinner reception, all the guests got to witness a surprise fashion show which showcased five Finnish designers; Minna Parikka, Liisa Riski, Ivana Helsinki, Riikka Ikäheimo and Katri Niskanen. The fashion show was a huge success and all of the guests were pleasantly surprised with the programme. To top everything off, the event held an amazing Lucky Draw, including sponsors that featured numerous Finnish high-end products such as; Iittala – Hong Kong Bird, Jalla – Jalla Board, Polar – Fitness watch, Aava Resort – two-night stay at the resort and spa and our grand prize was a diamond ring – KIDE designed by Olli Johan Lindroos.
In case some guests were not so lucky at the Lucky Draw, all guests got to take home a goodie bag filled with Finnish products; Ivana Helsinki tote bag, Rapala exclusive Finland 100 fishing lure, Goodio chocolate, Benelic Moomin Kuksa Charm and Finlayson tote bag. The event also featured a unique display from Tammi Jewellery in front of the Ballroom, presenting Finnish handmade jewellery.
After the dinner reception, all of the guests got to enjoy another musical performance by Katri Somerjoki & Niittisydän – the niece of the legendary Rauli “Badding” Somerjoki, Katri Somerjoki is an experienced recording artist most known to the wider audience from projects such as the Voice of Finland, Mascara and Cat Lee & Co. jazz & swing band. During the band performance all guests got to enjoy the open bar at the terrace featuring Kyrö Distillery – Napue Gin.
In honour of Finland’s 100th Anniversary of Independence, the Finnish community in Hong Kong knows exactly how to celebrate it Finnish style; by mingling, drinking and dancing the night away. It was a great end to commemorate this special occasion.
The Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong would like to specially thank all of their Finland 100 Gala sponsors that provided their support and made it all to happen. A special thanks goes to Henry Chan, Kone and Sagafurs for being Finland 100 sponsors.
Text: Rebecca Thin; Key Account Manager, Finnish Chamber of Commerce
Photos: www.chinapro.video & www.helmiphotography.com