Finland: ‘PKN needs the right guidance’

The punk group Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät from Finland needs “the right guidance if they are to participate at Eurovision.” Professor Jacqueline Schenk from the Erasmus University in The Netherlands, specialised in Psychology & Orthopedagogical Sciences, has told that to ESC Daily.

It’s probably the most discussed group of musicians in this years Eurovision Song Contest: The punk-rockers of PKN from Finland. And the main theme about this group is if it is the right thing to do. To let a group of mentally disabled people sing in such a big contest:

“It depends on which goals you are talking about. When you consider the goals of the band itself, they will undoubtly do their best and be very proud of their performance that they delivered on the evening. But there might be a different goal by the Finnish audience when they proposed that this band would represent their country. That might be to start a public debate about people with learning disabbilities. So different goals, and reaching these goals will depend on the prepairedness of the society to accept people with learning dissabilities.”

Are the members of PKN aware of the fact they are supposed to be role-models for other people with mental disabbilities? Or is a just a group of musicians that want to be judged the same as everyone else? The latter would be the best way to deal with their participation, even though there are some risks involved:

“I think there is a risk of generalisation when this group gets a bad result. And that would be a wrong generalisation because the population is so diverse. We are not talking about people of a certain height or measurement. A learning dissability can only be measured by someones IQ. But nowadays we are looking at how people can participate in society, in their strenghts and weaknesses. If the result is negative, then it might actually be harmfull. Society might think: see, they are no good, they can’t do much and they should stick to doing the dishes.”

Though they should be judged as all the other participants, it is important that PKN gets the right guidance in their Eurovision-dream:

“In case the band wins, then the question arrises: why did they win? Is that because of the quality of their song and performance. Or because people think if it’s sad? Also, when they lose, the band needs to be protected. I think it depends on how conscienses the media will handle the publicity surrounding this performance, whether this band will reach the goal or not. “


  1. Can’t really understand this point:

    “In case the band wins, then the question arrises: why did they win? Is that because of the quality of their song and performance. Or because people think if it’s sad?”

    Does “it’s sad” refer to people voting for PKN because of pity? This was certainly not why Finnish people voted PKN to represent Finland. I think people here liked what the band themselves emphasize: their attitude. They are a joyful bunch of guys that have charmed the Finnish public.

    It is very unlikely that the Finnish public would turn their backs to PKN if they do not succeed in what they are determined to do: win the contest. After all, with one exception, Finland has not been very successful in the Eurovision Song Contest anyhow. And come on, it is punk rock not your regular Eurovision stuff (ballds in the past, EDM nowadays)!

    PKN has done a great deal to advance understanding of people with disablities in Finland already before the Eurovision project. But they are not in Vienna to advance a cause put to play punk rock to a giant audience.

    • Hello Hannu, great comment. We actually interviewed the Head of Delegation of Finland about this and she told us the same. Her reaction will be online later today!

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