When I was in high school five years ago, I learned the world’s longest palindromic word according to Guinness World Records is saippuakivikauppias. It consists nineteen letters and it is Finnish word for a soapstone vendor. I was like, “Whoa! That is really cool.” And that is the moment when I became intrigued by Finland. After that day, I started to learn little by little about Finland. I learned that Suomi is one of the most difficult languages in the world. I learned that Finland has the world’s best education system. I learned that Finns are the world’s biggest coffee drinkers. I learned that Finland also has hundred-thousand lakes, making it as the country with the most lake in the world. Those little trivias make me more intrigued by the awesomeness of Finland.
Indonesia also has strong relationship with Finland. Martti Ahtisaari, the former president of Finland, and also a Nobel Peace Prize laureate has helped us to resolve the conflict between Indonesian government and Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (Free Aceh Movement), a separatist movement in Aceh. The conflict had lasted for decades and never been resolved until Mr. Ahtisaari led the peace negotiation between Indonesian government and Gerakan Aceh Merdeka. Finally, a peace agreement is signed after seven months of mediation and negotiation. The 30-year-conflict is finally over. We owe a lot to him, and to Finland.
All those reasons I stated above make me eager more to go to Finland. I love learning something new, and by going to Finland, I will be able to learn something new. A lot. My special interest is music. I have listened to music coming from today’s Finnish musicians. Satellite Stories, for example, is one of my favorite bands. I like their fun and cheerful music, and in my opinion, Scandinavian music, especially Finnish music, has distinctive and unique kind of music. It has different tone that I have never listened from musician from other countries. I also listen to French Films. Learning languages is my interest as well. In my opinion, language is the greatest invention that human being has ever invented. It is impossible to communicate with each other without language. One thing that never fails to awe me is how can be possibly there are millions of languages in this world, some even possess their own alphabet system. Even alphabets amaze me. Alphabets are only characters, but when they are set in correct order, they can deliver a message and the brain can interpret them. It is just amazing. I will be more than happy if I get a chance to visit Finland and learn a thing about Suomi. I read somewhere that Suomi is really hard to learn, but I regard that as a challenge, as a hurdle that I will tackle down. After all, challenges are what keeps me moving.
Even if I have stated that my special interests are music and languages, I don’t mind learning any other thing about Finland, either learning Finnish folk-dance—even though I have an awkward move, singing Finnish folk-song, tasting Finnish local cuisine, experiencing Finnish modern lifestyle or anything. Basically, I crave for learning anything in Finland. That is what motivates me the most.
One last thing that I need to tell you why I am really intrigued by Finland. I once told my best friend that I will go to Finland someday. I told him I will go to Helsinki, settle down there, and marry someone in Finland. I actually do not know why I told him that, but I often dream of it. It is as if Finland had magnet that keeps pulling me. There is no particular reason—yet—why it must be Finland; the place I want to settle down or the place I want to marry in, but trust me, that dream is real. If I get a chance to go to Finland from this programme, I guess I will find the reason.