Dear Friends,

The past year has again been exceptional. Concerns and restrictions caused by the pandemic have continued to affect our daily lives. We have learned and adapted to our new situation.

This year has also been filled with much hope. Vaccinations are proceeding. The world economy is recovering. We have experienced happy reunions. Many of you expatriate Finns have been able to meet your loved ones after a long wait.

As expatriate Finns, you are valuable ambassadors for Finland and Finnish culture throughout the world. For many, you are the first and perhaps the only contact with Finland. The contacts and knowledge you receive from the world, as well as the vast spectrum of work you do on behalf of Finland, benefit your homeland in a concrete way. I am delighted that many expatriate Finns and people of Finnish heritage abroad cherish Finnishness and the traditions associated with it.

One of these great traditions is Independence Day. December 6th is a day of celebration for all of us Finns and people of Finnish heritage. I would like to wish all expatriate Finns and people of Finnish heritage around the world a very happy Independence Day!

Sauli Niinistö President of the Republic of Finland