Helsinki Pride week a success

This year’s Helsinki Pride week began on Monday at the Three Smiths Square in Helsinki and ran until today.

The event, which was organised by social services and support group for sexual minorities HeSETA ry, focuses on working life matters from the perspective of the LGBT community. Some of the events lined up to raise awareness of such issues include panel discussions, seminars and documentaries.

It is the ninth consecutive year Helsinki Pride has taken place in the Finnish capital. Before that, the host city was alternated. Dating back to 1975, umbrella organisation SETA held annual meetings and celebrated what they named Freedom Day; this has now developed into Helsinki Pride and attracts around 30,000 visitors yearly.

The festival also focuses on young adults and youths, with a number of events organised for LGBT people between the ages of 13 and 25. The festivities will be brought to an end with the pride march through the city centre on Saturday. Last year more than 8,000 individuals took part in the march.

Over the years, the march has attracted controversy – in 2010 protesters made their way into the crowd and attacked participants with pepper spray and smoke grenades.