Greetings from the Patron 2013

Trading has throughout the history imparted information and created relationships between different regions. Our cradle of European civilization is Mare Nostrum while Greek culture enriched the Roman. Latin cultural influence has been transmitted to us both directly and through the important Hanseatic cooperation, and formed an important foundation for our present life. Mare Balticum is our sea.

Latin is the language that was the most alive in biology lessons at school for my generation: betulas, pinus sylvestris, fragaria vesca, campanula rotundifolia were part of our forests, summer's wild strawberries and cat bells! My father is a doctor and his Latin was useful even on a trip to Italy in the 50's. I personally feel it over and over again, the charm of ancient Rome, which is transmitted even through today's lifestyle.

Knowing and learning our own mother tongue is important to us. It lays the foundation for learning other languages. Languages have always a strong cultural element that let us know a bit about the history of the mankind.

Athenis Finlandiae in Jyväskylä hits at the crucial moment. It seems that in Europe, including Finland, the economic difficulties have replaced the culture and the meaning and importance of humanism. Culture, humanity and respecting the individual are always extra bonuses in trading in particular.

I wish enthusiastic discussions at Athenis Finlandiae -week,

Elisabeth Rehn

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