Locks of Love in Helsinki

What does your mind think of when you see locks. Doors and cupboards secured with a lock to protect any valuables. To see a lock on a door or a gate or on an almirah is common. It might generate an extra interest if the locks are artistic or different than normal looking mostly used ones. But if you see normal looking locks on a bridge; serving no purpose at all?

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The beauty of travel is that it throws surprises at you even with the most mundane of things and those wonderful sights you see and observe often makes you realize  how ways of life differ from one part of the world to other. These discoveries fuel you further to go on, explore and educate yourself.

So the locks. Locks – nothing is alluring about locks. They serve a purpose and that’s about it. More locks, more security; that’s that. So when I saw that bridge weighed down by so many locks of all kinds – colorful, rusted, number locks with initials and names of 2 people; announcing their love to the world; it was intriguing. Yeah; I have read about the belief of sweethearts who pad the locks and throw the key into the river praying their love survives…but I thought it was a Paris phenomenon only. Only when I saw at Helsinki; I realized it was prevalent not only in Europe but in other parts of the world.

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It seemed very simple. Lock the padlock; throw the keys in the water and your love is eternal and you’d be together forever. Rakkauden Silta – Helsinki’s Bridge of Love – crosses over a narrow section of the Vantaa river at Vanhankaupunginkoski, just near the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral is where you’d find many locks on both sides of the metal bridge.

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My curious mind set off to read more on these locking affection and love. Such love bridges exist in European cities, the US, Canada, Australia and even South Korea. I chuckled when I read how these were accepted in societies across the world. While few municipalities considered such an act as vandalism and damage to public property; there are few cities which encourage visitors to pad locks. There is also website where users can send others virtual love locks 😮

Fortunately ; for lovers in Finland; Helsinki law allows love locks on its city bridges.

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Why not celebrate and flaunt love in pretty pinks and cherry reds and candy blue padlocks 🙂