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Arvi Lind

Arvi Kullervo Lind
Born December 21, 1940, Lauritsala

Arts student, Finnish Literature and Finnish Language studies 1962–1965, University of Helsinki

Journalism and mass communication studies 1979–1980, University of Tampere’s Further Education Centre
News translator and subtitler, reporter, anchor 1965–2004, Finnish Broadcasting Company
Member of the Finnish language committee 1991–2003, Institute for the Languages of Finland
Honorary member of the Vyborg Student Association 2013

Photo: Arvi Lind
Written by Heta Muurinen
Translated by Joe McVeigh

Captivated by academic freedom

After finishing military service and completing upper secondary school, Arvi Lind began studying at the University of Helsinki, largely thanks to his former Finnish teacher.

There were as yet no student grants in the 1960’s, so things were tight. Students were either provided for by their parents or they took loans.

– I would survive the autumn term with the money I had earned from my summer job, and I would borrow money from my father for the spring term. When I got married in 1967, I paid him back all that I had borrowed.

The first winter Lind was a subtenant, after which he received a place in a Karelian-Ostrobothnian student dorm in Vallila, as he was active in the Wiipurilainen Osakunta student nation. The student nations were in their prime in the 1960’s, alongside the faculty organisations.

The Pamaus revue of the Wiipulainen Osakunta student nation. Arvi Lind is the prisoner in the middle.

Despite what Lind describes as the somewhat sombre circumstances, there were considerably fewer students than today and because of that they were more appreciated.

– The university was a prestigious institution and students were respected.

As a student of Finnish language, Lind was in a small minority: its students were already predominantly female back then.

– It’s difficult to say if my gender was a benefit, but I do remember that the lecturer in Estonian, Eeva Niinivaara, appreciated male students because they knew how to use a tape recorder, Lind laughs.

Student nation activities filled the young student’s free time, and it was due to the nation that he landed his job at the FBC.

– Through the Wiipulainen Osakunta I got a job as a programme assistant in Finnish television, as the FBC’s television branch was called back then. The Wiipurilainen Osakunta had connections with the porter at the FBC, who arranged assistant work for students.

The arrangement was financially advantageous, as he earned a reasonable amount of money, but fatal in terms of pursuing an academic career. Lind dropped out of university in 1965 when he got a stable job at the FBC.

The porter and the salary were not the only reasons he ended up at the FBC, however; Lind had already been interested in journalism before his university studies. For instance, he had been editor-in-chief of his upper secondary school’s student council’s magazine, Juttumylly.

A career in communications also interested the young Lind.

– Communications, as a field, was in its infancy at that time. Companies already had people who worked in that area, but they were mostly retired army officers or grammar school teachers. When my studies started slowing down, I thought about pursuing a career in communications in my friend’s construction company.

As a candidate for the Wiipurilainen Osakunta in the student elections, Arvi Lind’s motto was “better communications”, by which he meant that the university should improve communications with its students.

Fate had other things in store for him, however, and Lind became a journalist.

The Pamaus revue of the Wiipulainen Osakunta student nation at the beginning of the 1960’s. Arvi Lind is the guitarist on the left.


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