The Moomin philosophy of love, tolerance and friendship was spread around at Central Public Library in Singapore, as Moomin day was celebrated on Saturday 3 June 2017, as part of SF100SG, Finland’s 100-year independence celebrations.
Over 600 people came to the library during the day to listen to storytelling from Moomin books and participate in the different activities.
The opening words of the day were presented by the Ambassador of Finland, H.E Paula Parviainen. Parviainen introduced the famous Finnish cartoon characters Moomins to the audience and highlighted the importance of kindness and tolerance, the values that the Moomins live by and which are also present in Singapore’s multicultural environment.
The day included storytelling sessions in English, Finnish, Japanese and Chinese, welcoming many different people. After the reading, children and their parents could meet Moomin in a meet and greet at the storytelling stage. Furthermore, children had a chance to do Moomin coloring, watch Moomin animations and participate in lucky draws, giving them a chance to win Moomin themed prices.
Originating from Finland the Moomins have been deeply loved around the world for the past six decades, since the first book by creator Tove Jansson was published in 1945. Moomin storylines are filled with adventure and pensiveness, but you can also find love, importance of family, bravery, tolerance, and loyalty in Tove Jansson’s works.
“The Moomin characters are a vivid representation of the wide range of human emotions, but they are mostly kind and good natured and keen on helping and promoting a message of peace and forgiveness. This message perfectly fits the needs of today’s world,” says Katarina Benedetti, Project director of SF100SG.
The Moomin stories have been translated into over 50 different languages, and have given inspiration to animation series and movies. In Asia, in addition to Japan, Moomins have a strong fan base in Korea and China. Singapore is a new market for the Moomins, but they are steadily gaining popularity through different events organized in the city.
“The culture of kindness that Singapore is promoting happens to be a perfect environment for the Moomins. They are welcoming by nature, they are accommodating, they are gracious and helpful. They make mistakes but they learn from them,” says Benedetti.
On of the many visitors who came to experience the little piece of Finnish Moomin-haven brought to Singapore was Rachel Chan who came to the library with her son Asher Lim. Rachel found out about the Moomins when she was looking for books to read for Asher, and now they are both eager Moomin fans.
“I wish my childhood could have been spent in a place like Moominvalley. It is otherworldly, but completely at peace and perfectly safe. The Moomins, childlike as they are, solve their troubles as fairly and bravely as they possibly can, which is more than what we can hope for in the real world”, says Rachel.
You can see the Moomin exhibition at Central Public Library until 16 June 2017.
See more pictures from Moomin day here.