Back to news


A Virtual Kempele Hug

It is a difficult time for everyone in Finland and around the world. Most of the non-essential activities have stopped in Kempele and many of the attractions have been closed until further notice. Unfortunately this is a necessity if the spread of Coronavirus is to be stopped. For now, it is vital that we all stay at home, concentrate on keeping busy while making sure that the kids do their school work. At the same time it is important to maintain some kind of normality in our everyday lives. So as we all become better cooks, dig out the board games or watch a bit more TV than usual, one thing we can do is look forward to the time when the restrictions are lifted.

We Will Be Open Again

When that time comes, Kempele will reopen and we will once again welcome the world with open arms. This is what we do in Kempele. The hug has become part of our identity after a small spelling mistake on a street sign left the Kempele authorities red faced. Instead of replacing it and quietly forgetting about it, it has been celebrated and turned into a local symbol of the warmth that can be found here.

The sign points the way to Kempele’s local sports centre. A place where people go every day to make use of the ice rink, the sports hall or the gym. The sign itself should not have been anything spectacular either. It should have read KEMPELEHALLI or Kempele hall, but a small typo left it reading KEMPELEHALII. Subtly different, but it changed the meaning to “Kempele Hugs You.” While the sign had to be replaced with a correctly spelt one, the old sign has been kept as a souvenir. Now, every time you drive past the sports centre, it brings a smile to the face. A bit like an inside joke that brightens the journey just a bit.

More Than a Typo

During times like these, we want the old sign to have much more meaning than simply pointing to the sports centre. We want it to be a sign of the welcome that visitors can expect to receive when finally return. We are developing new attractions all of the time in order to make Kempele a great place to live as well as visit. So whether you come for the sports facilities, the shopping or the many outdoor activities, you can be sure that you will be greeted with a Kempele hug.

So until the restrictions are lifted and we start to return to our normal lives, we would like to send out virtual Kempele hugs to you all, wherever you are and we wish you well and hope you stay safe.

Ian Walker
CEO Aurora Solutions