SPECIAL FINNISH EVENTS
This page highlights Finnish cultural events at the hall.
For rental availability, please visit the page of the room you are interested in, located under the "RENTALS" tab, and check the availability calendar for that space.
The Finnish Heritage Society welcomes you all to our annual Vappu celebrating the spring and Finnish Culture!
DJ, Silent Auction, Food, Balloons, Poetry, Theater, Live Music
Kids Arts & Crafts activities table.
DJ Kat will spin Finnish music of all styles from pop to folk.
Traditional Finnish music from Heikki Koskinen's Pohjolan Pillit:
w/ Kat Eliot, Rent Romus, Bert Carelli, & Steve Heckman
Poems from the Finnish American perspective!
Free Event Admission
No Host Bar, Light Buffet ($20 General, Kids under 12 Free)
Salads, smoked salmon, cheeses, spreads, pasta, breads, and Finnish berry cakes!
About the Silent Auction:
Our Vappu Silent Auctions have always been wonderfully popular. The highest bidders have left with amazing treasures. Due to the small size of our Finnish community the prices have not reached anywhere near the levels one could expect to pay at Ebay or a popular first class charity or antique store. Our silent auction is a bargain hunter’s dream.
All proceeds from this auction go to our historic Berkeley Finnish Hall. The Hall is in a beautiful shape already, but now we are pushing very hard to be able to make the Hall ADA compliant.
For this year’s silent auction we have already been donated several beautiful Finnish items by Mary Ellen MacMuldren from Riku Ploe-Kaijala’s estate. Carolyn Hunt has also given us many delightful things from Wes Ludeman’s collection.
In case YOU, who are reading this, have some item or items which you would not mind donating to the Berkeley Finnish Hall, and make the highest bidder very happy and appreciative, please contact me, Kirsti Bellows. The items do not have to be Finnish, but they should be in good condition. We do not have space for used clothing or shoes. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 510.527.6160.
Vappu is celebrated traditionally on 1 May and marks the end of winter. It is also celebrated as International Labor Day in most places in the world and is one of the biggest festivals of the year in Finland alongside Midsummer's Day and Christmas. Vappu was created in the nineteenth century when engineering students would celebrate and party at midnight on 30 April, while sporting their traditional white caps. This custom has now become widespread across Finland, leading to partying in towns and cities.
Sunday December 2nd, 2018 2 - 4PM
Free Event Admission
$25 Afternoon Buffet
Live Music/Guest Speakers/No Host Bar
Anja Miller: Perspectives on the future of our Finnish-American Community
Michel Wendell: Honorary Consul of Finland
Welcome Greeting by Fred Mork
Music featuring works by Toivo Kuula, Fredrik Pacius, & Jean Sibelius:
Heikki Koskinen (e-tpt, piano)
Kati Pienimäki Schenker (vocal, percussion)
Rent Romus (alto, sopr sax, flute)
Kat Elliot (alto, tenor sax)
Jari Suomalainen (violin)
1:30 pm Kids crafts table
2:00 pm RECEPTION / PROCESSION / ANTHEMS / LIVE MUSIC
2:20 pm Guest Speakers
3:00 pm CATERED BUFFET
- Salmon sandwich: open faced sandwich on multigrain rye bread, with smoked salmon, sliced cucumber, arugula, cream cheese or herbed butter, and red onion.
- Vegetarian sandwich: roasted beet and yam , herbed goat cheese, cucumber, arugula on focaccia
- Ham sandwich: hickory smoked ham, cheddar cheese, lettuce, picked red onions, mustard, herbed mayonnaise
- Kesäkakku & pulla
Coffee, Tea, soft drinks, beer & wine
A musical adventure inspired by the mythic prose of cultural liberation and identity found in the ancient runes of Kaleva mythology
Saturday and Sunday May 25-26, 2019
at the Berkeley Finnish Hall
The Finnish Heritage Society presents the East Bay debut of Rent Romus and Heikki Koskinen’s “Manala” (netherworld), a representation of cultural rediscovery through the lens of music weaving the elements of jazz, traditional folk, and free improvisation inspired by the mythic prose of cultural liberation and identity found in the Finnish and Finno-Ugric folklore and shamanic traditions. Awarded grant support from Finlandia Foundation National and Suomi-Seura-ry via the Ministry of Education and Culture Helsinki Finland, this epic presentation will take place at the newly restored historic Berkeley Finnish Hall presented as part of the Finnish Heritage Society’s spring cultural events programming featuring Romus’ Life’s Blood Ensemble.
What is Manala?
Manala or Tuonela is the metaphysical netherworld in the Finnish Kalevala or Jabmeaivo in Sami traditions. It is a place opposite of the land of the living, a destination for the soul after this life, a place of reflection that contains answers to mysteries of the universe for the Noaidde or Noita (shaman) in Fino-Ugric cultures. It can be very dangerous for a living person to journey there, and only the most experienced shaman may successfully emerge from its dark waters richer in knowledge and song for the experience.
Performing Artists of Life’s Blood Ensemble:
Mark Clifford - vibraphone
Gabby Fluke-Mogul - violin
Max Judelson - double bass
Heikki "Mike" Kosikinen - e-trumpet, tenor recorder, kantele
Cheryl E. Leonard - natural inventions, percussion, cello
Joshua Marshall - tenor & soprano saxophones
Timothy Orr- drums, percussion
Rent Romus - alto & soprano saxophone, flutes, kantele, bells
Safa Shokrai - double bass