“…One of Finland’s largest festivals, Helsinki’s World Village, is a celebration of multicultural tolerance and respect. The free annual two-day event, known as Maailma kylässä in Finnish, has attracted more than 80,000 visitors in recent years.
This year’s festival, which opens at 11 am Saturday in Railway Square and Kaisaniemi Park, features hundreds of music and dance performances, discussions and workshops. Musically the focus is on Africa and the Middle East this time, with headliners such as Nigerian veteran Orlando Julius with UK jazz collective The Heliocentrics, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars, Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila and Finnish-Beninese band the Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble.
The festival will not however include a planned Freedom of Speech Village, which organisers cancelled due to security concerns. The stand was to have included an “I am Charlie” exhibition inspired by the terrorist-hit French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The planned show would have included drawings of the Prophet Muhammad similar to those which have triggered violent attacks in Paris, Copenhagen and elsewhere.”