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Juhani Lillberg from Finland: I am struck by Yakutia!


Last week, big festive events were held within ‘Winter Starts in Yakutia’ Festival. The festival was visited by many people from different parts of the world. Here is an interview with our guest from Finland, President of International Association of Snow and Ice Sculpture Juhani Lillberg.

- Juhani, what do you think of Yakutsk?

- I am pleasantly surprised that, despite the fact that by European standards quite a small number of people live in the capital, Yakutsk, here is a sufficiently large number of theaters and museums. I visited several museums and theaters, a symphony orchestra concert. Yakutsk has a wide range of cultural attractions, and masters of ice and snow sculptures struck me with their talent and skill.

- What feelings do you have after tasting the Yakut national cuisine?

- Each nation has its own national cuisine; we have our own original one too. But the Finnish is not as rich as the Yakut cuisine. It is good that you have such a wonderful gastronomic festival "Taste of Yakutia" for the promotion of national dishes. I can say that the Yakut cuisine is very tasty and nutritious; all dishes are cooked from organic local products. I come from Finland, and as you know, Finland is also a northern country, so meat and fish dishes are predominant in our diets.

- The Yakut people have Lord of the Cold - Chyskhaan, the Russian people – Ded Moroz. Do  you have fairy-tale characters like that?

- I really liked the image of Lord of the Cold - Chyskhaan.  For the Finns most important fairy-tale character is Santa Claus, who is originally from Lapland. In December, about 500 charter flights bring tourists, so that people from other countries can be able to visit the homeland of Santa Claus and holiday events with his participation. You also have a great potential for development of tourism and attracting foreign tourists.

Press Service of the City Administration