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Finland’s 2016 Eurovision Entry

April 9, 2016


Finland is renowned for not necessarily playing it safe at Eurovision.  In recent years, the announcement “and now Finland” evokes a collective sense of “what’s in the box this time eh?” among a satisfyingly unprepared audience.

This year Finland is taking a year off from obvious shock value.  Look out 2017.  But this year, singer and kick-boxer Sandhja is bringing her own patented brand of 1990s Girl Power to Finland’s worst housing estate.

According to this video at least.

I’m assuming this is Finland’s worst housing estate.   Finland retains something of a positive reputation for having a humane and comprehensive welfare system, and I don’t want to think that there are worse housing estates than this.

Inside one of these grim apartments, unattended children live sickly and dangerous lives.  A girl tries to offer a hot recuperative beverage to her brother as he lies wrapped up on the sofa.   Social services should surely intervene – but instead of more practical assistance – an under-dressed girl group arrives in the broken down rust-bucket of a playground outside.

There’s a horse as well, rhythmically pounding in the central message of the song – that no matter what you’re trouble – you can just “sing it away”.

Now, I’m sure, Sandhja is a lovely person, someone who wants what’s best for the kids, but I’m afraid the message of this video – that those suffering extreme poverty and deprivation should just “sing away” their troubles appears to me to be unspeakably obscene.  Sandhja’s message reminds me of the sort of callous comments falsely attributed to Maria Antoinette or more recent and authentic sociopaths like George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith (until a week or so ago).

Oh, for sure, a positive attitude is great – let’s inculcate all the girl power we can.  But when folks at the sharp end are told that “attitude” is all they need, then any subsequent failure on behalf of these kids to find a way out of this bleak Finnish ghetto can be put down to attitude deficit.  The little brats have only themselves to blame for not singing loud enough.

Sorry if this sounds like a rather heavy-handed and depressing response to what I’m sure is a very well-intentioned exercise.  But I did prefer those heavy metal troll monsters from a few years ago.

Here’s Austria by the way…

Here’s Armenia


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