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Congratulations Finland!

Submitted by Jakob on 21 May, 2006 - 00:07.My Blog | Music | Politics & Society

A complete surprise, Finland won the Eurovision Song Contest this year and I can't imagine a better or more deserving winner. Finland's never done better than ending up sixth place and that was back in 1973. Best of all, they didn't just win with any song, they won with Finnish trademark music: heavy rock, so this is great news indeed!

The ESC is quite an interesting event in many regards, it's not just a music competition it's also an important part of the so called European Project. The event has grown a lot during the past fifteen years since fall of the iron curtain and the end of the Cold War era. Many of the former Soviet satellite states are now some of the most enthusiastic participants of the event and I do believe the ESC really helps build a new Europe and give the Europeans a sense of commonality. It's fun, and it's quite crazy, some songs are just bizarre, some are extremely ethnical while other songs are more commercial and have more of the sugar-coated teen pop and eurodance feel.

Regardless of whether you like the music or not, it's great to watch and it's a great event. The sense of being European, strengthened by the open borders which are a result of the EU, and events such as the ESC is something I can notice the change myself. Ten years ago I wouldn't have considered myself European but today I do. Even when I'm traveling abroad, in Germany or France I am aware that these countries are our neighbors and we're all European, we all have that in common. On the other hand, the European Project risks raising walls toward other countries, across the Atlantic and to countries south of the Mediterranean, African countries that really would benefit from more free trade and more and better access to our markets to improve their economies. 

The commentator on Swedish TV mentioned the Eurovision Song Contest is going to be exported to the US so you Americans might see a similar event as soon as fall. I'm really curious about how they plan to do it with 50 states competing. Several other countries worldwide are showing interest too so this opens up the possibility of a world song contest, it's a moving idea because it would probably lead to a better understanding worldwide and help us build to a safer and a more fair and just world.

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