Kavita Pillay

Kavita Pillay wears a red coat and stands near a sign that says "To the ice" in Finnish.

‘It’s never too late’: How learning Finnish taught me to embrace vulnerability 


It’s relatively easy to get by in Finland’s capital, Helsinki, without speaking Finnish. But meeting an American opera singer and a refugee from Iraq here taught reporter Kavita Pillay to embrace the vulnerability of learning a new language. 

Blue and white flag flutters in the air against the sky

Finland’s national word ‘sisu’ conjures new meanings for tough times

An Indian woman in a sari and glasses and an Indian man in a suit and glasses sit for a portrait.

Love conquers caste for this couple, but Indian marriage traditions continue in US

Caste in America
Jani Toivola at the Finnish parliament.

He’s the other politician with a white mother and a black Kenyan father

Global Politics
The door on the side of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany. In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses here sparking the Reformation. The original door was destroyed in a fire, but this black bronze door marks the historical spot.

Did Martin Luther’s reformation 500 years ago leave its mark on today’s eurozone budget crisis?

What's billed as the "largest Jesus statue in the world," Christ the King in Swiebodzin, Poland.

Story: The fight for Catholicism is on in Poland

Lifestyle & Belief

“I don’t think you’d find an older person in Poland who’s not going to church, but I think that younger generation is rather like me. I’m not going to church. I don’t believe in God. I consider myself an atheist.”

The Secret Behind Finland’s Super Smart School Kids? Recess.

Lifestyle & Belief

Finland has one of the most successful public education systems in the world. And Finnish school children, on average, get more than an hour of recess a day. Is playtime the secret to their success?

Extended Use: Europe’s Old Churches Finding New Life as Starbucks, Circus School

Arts, Culture & Media

Many of Europe’s churches are struggling to stay open. A new movement called “extended use” is trying to save the old buildings. The plan includes using some church buildings for circus schools and Starbucks shops.

Finland’s Nuclear Waste Disposal Dilemma

Health & Medicine

A vast network of tunnels is being constructed beneath the Nordic countryside in Finland. It’s intended to safely store nuclear waste for up to a thousand centuries. Eventually, officials say, there will be no surface trace of the tunnels below.

The World

Comedy in Singapore: Can the Much-Restricted Nation Lighten Up?

Conflict & Justice

The Asian city-state of Singapore is known for its strict social laws, including a ban on chewing gum. It’s not known for its sense of humor but as Kavita Pillay reports, Singapore’s government want people there to loosen up.