Oitta Beach Picnic

For the last one and a half years, there has been an invisible break in our daily routine.  Collective activities were almost stopped to prevent the rapid spread of Corona virus and its different variants. Therefore, the last whole year (2021) was limited to the necessary visits for our Finnish Gujarati community. 
However, with the onset of summer this year, the situation in Finland - and especially in the metropolitan area where the cases of covid are most prevalent - began to improve.  Cases dropped and vaccinations began to take place on a regular basis.  The easing of the situation in this way provided an occasion for the long awaited Gujarati families of Finland to meet and rejoice together.

Volunteers-cum-committee members of Gujarati Samaj met online more than once and started planning the place and time from June.  July is a vacation time for almost the whole of Finland.  Since all the families make plans in advance, the date had to be chosen in such a way that as many families as possible can meet. There were a number of options that need to be explored to ensure that parking is adequate as well as convenient for public transport.  Considering everything, Oitta Beach was unanimously selected.
Everyone arrived at Oitta Beach at the scheduled time on Saturday afternoon, July 3rd.  Plenty of people were enjoying the sun on the beach and at nearby Angrybird Park.  Gujarati families gather in a field a little away from the beach.  Seeing children flying different shaped kites reminded us of the Gujarat Kite Festival organized on the riverfront. The adults in the meantime enjoyed kho-kho and housey. The children then proceeded to Angrybird Park and the enthusiastic players started playing cricket.
If we are in India, it is said that it is late evening when the sun sets, but in Finland's summer, does the the sun ever set?  Here, without worrying about the time, everyone of us spent time together, rejoiced, and parted, thinking tee would meet again on another exciting occasion! 

 ... and finally two important things:

 1. Corona virus may have been controlled to some extent but it is still among us.  We all have to follow the advice / order of the local authority.  Let's hope that by Navratri-Diwali the situation will be even more favorable and we will be able to come together in greater numbers and enjoy the festivities.
 2. If you are in contact with or know any Gujarati families living in Finland, you need to ask them to join through the WhatsApp / Facebook page of Gujarati society so that they can get information about different activities.

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