Tampere Ambassador: Pedro Silva

Born and raised in Portugal, I lived most of my life in Leiria, a small city in the central region of the country, which is famous for its blood sausage. Later on, I moved to the greater Lisbon area to pursue my degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico - University of Lisbon.

During my studies and more precisely in 2010, I was deeply involved with the local group of a European student organization (Board of European Students of Technology). Due to its activities, I got to know different cultures and establish several friendships across Europe. I also got to know a bit more about the Nordic countries, through a small visit in mid-February to Sweden. All the snow and beautiful scenery set my mind to look for an opportunity in this area after finishing my studies.

As I was finishing my studies in late 2012, MULTI-POS, a European Marie Curie project coordinated by Tampere University of Technology (TUT), was looking for graduates in my field of studies. There were positions available in several countries, but the one that attracted me the most was located in Finland. I got selected and that is how I ended up working as a researcher and PhD candidate at TUT.

Regarding Tampere, I like to compare it to the first time I tried a Marianne mint. This happened for the first time in 2010 at a university fair in Lisbon, where I got handed one by a few representatives from TKK (now Aalto). Initially, I thought it was just a standard mint, but when it bursted in my mouth I was delighted by it. In a way, that is how I like to see Tampere. At first, it might look like any other city, but once you start paying more attention, you realize how great it is to live in it.

First of all, you can get anywhere by bus, which someone like me who was used to several km of traffic jams deeply appreciates. Second, there are straight connections to the airport, making travelling around Europe quite easy. Third, with just a few steps you can be immersed in wonderful nature all year round. Fourth, the public saunas are fantastic places to relax after a busy week, especially during winter times. Finally, there is an incredible amount of cultural offerings throughout the year.

As a Tampere Ambassador my goal is to continue promoting Tampere and Finland to everyone I meet abroad, while at the same time connecting people and potential business to the region. I am also deeply interested in sharing more of my background with the locals, something I have been doing over the last year through Restaurant Day. Finally, as a more personal mission, I want to grow the Lindy Hop society in town, with the help of other people from Swing Team Ry. Lindy Hop is a dance from the late 20th Century that I fell in love with when I moved here. My goal is to share this joyful dance with locals and help spreading the name of Tampere in the international dance scene. Here is a video from earlier this year, when we stormed the streets of Tampere with a famous choreography in the Lindy Hop scene.

All in all, I want Tampere to become an even brighter place to live in.

Our Lindy Hop activities at the park during summer. Serving homemade Portuguese delicacies during the latest restaurant day. A photo I took from Kaupinojan Sauna in the beginning of March 2014, my “Welcome to Tampere” card.

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