The Finnish Association in Belgium
Suomi-Klubi a.s.b.l., the Finnish Association in Belgium, is a non-profit organisation, whose objectives are to establish and promote contacts between Finns living in Belgium, to make it easier for them to settle down in Belgium and maintain their connections with the Finnish way of life and culture. The association was founded in 1979.
Suomi-Klubi a.s.b.l. organises events, creates means and opportunities for its members to share their hobbies and interest with other Finns as well as provides information on topical issues that concern them. The association looks after its members’ interests by conveying their problems and needs to the Finnish authorities through the Finnish Expatriate Parliament, a co-operation forum for Finnish expatriates throughout the world.
Suomi-Klubi a.s.b.l. works in close collaboration with other Finnish and Nordic associations as well as with Finnish authorities and companies in Belgium. Suomi-Klubi is a member of the Finland Society, which informs about services offered to expatriate Finns.
The operation of Suomi-Klubi a.s.b.l. is funded by membership fees, income derived from advertisements in its media and with the help of sponsors. The association operates under the Belgian laws that are enacted for non-profit organisations. The day-to-day operation is based on voluntary work.
The membership fee is paid per household (including spouse and children) or per company (one appointed person).
Administration of Suomi-Klubi a.s.b.l
The General Assembly, held once a year in March, is the highest authority of Suomi-Klubi a.s.b.l. Every member of the association has a right to take part in the General Assembly, and one membership fee corresponds to one vote in the Assembly.
The day to day operation is run by the board of Suomi-Klubi a.s.b.l. There are nine members and also deputy members of the board. Each member is elected by the general assembly for a two year period of office. The names and contact details of the members of the board can be found in the Finnish version of these internet pages: Klubin johtokunta.
Festivities and other events
Fostering Finnish culture among the Finns living in Belgium and getting acquainted with Belgian culture have been at the core of the operation through out the existence of the club.
One of Suomi-Klubi’s objectives has been nurturing the tradition of celebrating the Finnish festivities. The Finnish Independence Day on 6th of December is a very important and emotional day for the Finns, especially for those living abroad. Suomi-Klubi has commemorated this day with balls, cocktail parties and concerts featuring Finnish music.
In November/December the children and child-minded have met Santa-Claus, who comes from the Finnish Lapland, at the Suomi-Klubi Christmas party, where they have also enjoyed Christmas carols, Christmas plays and rice pudding.
At the Carnival time (in February-March) the Shrovetide in Finland is spent going outdoors, downhill on sledges on snowy hills. In Belgium – in the absence of snow - we can go skating and eat Shrove buns by the skating rink. On May Day Eve, at the same time the Havis Amanda statue in Helsinki is topped with a white student’s cap, the Manneken Pis statue in Brussels receives the Finnish student’s cap in the presence of several hundreds celebrating Finns.
On the midsummer’s eve, the Finns living in Brussels go on a picnic in a park, sing and play games. This is just to mention a few festivities.
Suomi-Klubi organises also other events: visits to museums, exhibitions and concerts, guided tours in Belgium, trips to events in neighbouring countries, lectures and courses.
Sports and other activities
Finns are sport enthusiasts. Suomi-Klubi also organises some sports activities and there are also hobby groups for other activities and interests.
For more information on Suomi-Klubi a.s.b.l. and its activities, please contact the president of Suomi-Klubi or other members of the board.