Here’s a neat postcard from Finland! Shown here is a painting by Zhu Zong-Ci of one of Helsinki’s most iconic landmarks: Havis Amanda. This statue, created by sculptor Ville Vallgren, was put up in Market Square early in the 20th century. It’s a bronze statue of a woman, set up in a granite fountain. Below her are four fish that spout water, and along the circumference are four sea lions. Vallgren’s title for his work is “The Mermaid”, though supposedly she’s in her human form as she has legs instead of a fish tail. I didn’t know mermaids had human forms? Anyway, while this is now a famous landmark, its fame wasn’t conceived without a little criticism. Since the woman is nude, many faulted the creation for its seductive nature… and with the sea lions around, with mouths agape and tongues out, it seemed like they were lusting for her. Regardless, it received acceptance gradually, and it now bears a large part of this fine city’s spirit. After all, where’s a mermaid gonna get clothes? It would have to be mer-made to order. No? I’ll stop. No I won’t. Thank you as always for all your generosity, Päivi!