“Hard! Rock!” Our VP of Business
Development came into the office last Monday morning, singing at the top of his
voice, punching the air with a devil horns salute. Australian friends had sent me lots of emails
over the weekend.
Finland’s heavy
metal monsters Lordi had won Eurovision.
How embarrassing for
Finland, they
wrote. Wrong. Way wrong.

Australians,
with their embarrassment of sporting success, just can’t understand. Finns love their winter sports. Finland
didn’t win any gold medals in the Winter Olympics 2006 although it came
painfully close with six silver including a down-to-the-wire silver in the Ice
Hockey against their bitter rivals and neighbours Sweden. Finns love
athletics.
Finland
didn’t win any gold medals in the World Athletics Championship 2005 even though
Helsinki hosted the event. Finns love ice hockey, but only managed
bronze in the Ice Hockey World Championship 2006 (gold to the Swedes … again).
Finland
even got bumped off as the world’s most transparent country by
Iceland.
Finland
was aching for a success.

We had been out for a non-Eurovision dinner party and were heading home
when we started getting text messages – “have you seen the Eurovision voting?”. We switched on the TV and listened to
the votes pouring in, listening to the Finnish presenters getting increasingly
apopleptic.

Results were announced and the phone calls started. Very drunk Finnish friends, yelling at the
top of their voice, saying they were heading outside to put out the Finnish
flag.

It was Lordi stories all week on the news, in the press. Lots of interview in English – Lordi speak
with a very broad Lappish accent and they say that it takes away from their
fearsome image when they speak in country-Finnish.

And then a free concert Friday night. When Lordi won, they held up a
poster “Torilla Tavatan” which means “let’s meet in the market square”.
Helsinki Harbour was crammed with over 100,000 people. Lots of long
hair. Lots of black. Untidy, unkempt and rough. Lots and lots of
drinking. A few people opening bottles of beer with their teeth. It all
made sense. Finland is not an ABBA country, Finland is not a country of
clean cut, happy blondes. Finland is Lordi. And they had been
vindicated. That’s why the whole country is celebrating.

Lordi came on stage and rocked out. They ended with a final riotous chorus. “Hard! Rock! Hallelujah! Suomi!
(Finland)
Suomi! Aarrrggghhh!”

Peter Fray

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