Finnish presidential election is taking place at the moment. Nowadays one person can be a president for the maximum of twelve years. This has not always been the case. President Urho Kekkonen ruled the country for 25 years (1956–1982) and plays a significant part in Finnish collective memory. In fact a whole generation of children born in 60’s and 70’s grew up thinking the word ‘kekkonen’ was a synonym for president.
Kekkonen was best known for his special relationship with the leaders of Soviet Union, but he also visited the UK several times. As our digital gallery The Tale of Two Countries shows, he and his wife Sylvi Kekkonen for example met Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and his wife Lady Dorothy Macmillan (in the picture). Kekkonen also visited Queen Elizabeth II and made a speech for her when she was visiting Finland in 1976. In the gallery anyone can share their own memories of Great Britain and Finland. Read memories and share your own here.