The audience is said to have sighed with admiration in February 1991, when Tanja Vienonen from Turku, 20, was crowned fresh Miss Finland. Although Vienonen was a strong pre-favorite throughout the race, he himself had not believed in his victory.
At the time, hardly Vienonen or the public could have guessed that a fresh student posing with a glittering crown on his head would become one of Finland's most watched public figures, a Member of Parliament and Minister of Culture. Politics was already sidelined on the night of victory, when the IS stated, referring to the political situation in the world, that “mission violins had hit a time of war”.
Tanja Vienonen became Miss Finland in 1991.
Photo: Kimmo Mäntylä / Lehtikuva
“Tanja says that if she knew the solution to how the war would end, she would be a politician, the IS story describes.
“When I’m not, and I can’t do anything about the situation, I just try to live this life normally,” a recent mission commented to IS at the time.
However, she became a politician eight years later when she rose to parliament as the voice queen of the center. Before that, Tanja Vienonen (now Karpela, formerly Saarela) was in the newspaper columns due to the fast-paced twists and turns of her private life. Especially the male patterns of Karpela, who has been married three times and engaged twice, have been plentiful in the headlines.
- If you could answer with humor, then getting married is not my field. This is not quite going well now, as planned, Karpela himself said in an interview with Radio Aalto in 2009.
Karpela has been married to her current husband, entrepreneur Janne Erjola, since the spring of 2009 and the couple has a child born in the same year. Karpela also has two children from her first marriage.
Tanja Karpela, who received 16,169 votes in the 2003 parliamentary elections, became enthusiastic about the hefty vote on election night.
Photo: Ulla-Maija Lähteenmäki
Karpela left politics after two terms in 2011, when he no longer ran in the parliamentary elections. Karpela, who turns 50 on August 22, has since retired and has appeared in public in recent years, mainly for his work. Known as an animal lover, Karpela now works as a dog trainer.
Another was the life of a fresh miss in the early 1990s. The Turku beauty was dragged from place to place and there were no holidays. The mission organization had promised Vienonen Sundays as holidays, but they were spent in magazine descriptions and interviews. Even before the title of Miss Finland, Vienonen had successes in the field of beauty contests: after all, she had already been crowned Miss Yyteri, Miss Turku and the Sun Girl.
During the Miss Finland competition, Vienonen was an overwhelming pre-favorite of IS readers and won the Hot Line vote organized by the magazine by far. In their comments, readers glowed with Vienonen’s honey-white hair, azure eyes, and radiant essence.
"Would you get in a hat, never!" the recent winner promised IS in an interview.
Interviews during the past few years show how, due to the busy work, Vienonen often only had time to sleep for two hours a night. He also regretted not always having time to eat properly. Dumbbells were always found among the luggage and Vienonen took care of his condition with an aerobics workout.
At the castle party, Tanja Karpela was always one of the most watched guests of the evening. Pictured is Karpela at the 2004 Independence Day reception.
Photo: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva
Career plans are also present elsewhere than in the model world. Vienonen, who replaced the teachers, planned a career in nature conservation and planned to study geography.
When Tanja Vienonen was crowned Miss, she was single and described the man of her dreams as fresh, intelligent and athletic. Of the Machom men, he did not care as a supporter of equality.
During the Miss Year, Tanja fell in love with Simon Kratissis, a dancer with a Moroccan background. The couple got engaged in 1991, but the relationship ended in 1993.
After the divorce, Tanja Vienonen estimates that the relationship has collapsed due to cultural differences, but said that she herself was startled by the racism of Finns towards her dark friend. He said the difference was a joint decision.
“However, people’s opinions have nothing to do with the difference. I live my own life and I don’t let general pressure affect it in any way, ”he commented.
In 1995, Tanja Vienonen married Totti Karpela and took the surname Karpela. During the four years of the marriage, the couple was blessed with two children: a girl born in 1995 and a boy born in 1998.
Karpela also spoke openly about her miscarriage in 1996, when the couple lost their baby when Karpela was more than half pregnant.
Tanja Karpela photographed in February 1997 with her first daughter.
Photo: Pentti Nissinen / IS
Karpela said she contracted postpartum depression when her firstborn was ten months old.
“In addition to hormonal functions, the reasons were also general exhaustion and the miscarriage I experienced. Post-pregnancy depression comes as a complete surprise to many. I think we should talk about it a lot more in the counseling centers, ”Karpela told IS in 1998.
News about the couple’s relationship wasn’t always a beautiful read. Two years before the wedding, on Midsummer 1993, Tanja Vienonen suffered from the wheel when her blood alcohol content was measured at 1.07 per mille. Vienonen claimed to have fled his violently behaving male friend and filed a criminal complaint, but later withdrew it. The court sentenced Tanja Vienonen to 75 days for drunk driving.
The most terrifying of Karpela's male relationships was his relationship with the then Minister of Finance Sauli Niinistö. Declared to be an impartial widow, Niinistö and first-term MP Karpela managed to keep their relationship secret for almost a year before the media got a head start in early 2001.
The dating broke down at times, but began again and led to an engagement in November 2003, when Karpela served as Minister of Culture.
The engagements were canceled the following summer.
Karpela is said to have explained the difference in “cleaning technical matters”. In 2010, Karpela clarified his original explanation in an interview with Radio Aalto:
"I threw a joke about myself, that I am cleaning vimmainen. Who can stand it? ”
In the book Mrra of Mäntyniemi published in 2018, Karpela recalled his time with Niinistö with warmth. According to Karpela, the media's interest in the couple took a heavy toll.
“The media was actively following our common time and I found it extremely difficult to do so in between,” Karpela said in the book.
Tanja Karpela and Sauli Niinistö represented for the first time together in Kangasala at the summer opening party in June 2001.
Photo: Reijo Hietanen
According to Karpela, Niinistö's sense of humor and ability to handle the media eased the situation.
"Although life has taken us in different directions, I value that time a lot, because different events in life raise us, giving precious memories."
In 2006, Tanja Karpela married film director Olli Saarela after a short date. Karpela took the surname of her new husband and soon the skin of both was adorned with love tattoos taken together.
Happiness did not last long, as the divorce papers were filed in November 2007 and the divorce took effect in the summer of 2008. Both also removed the tattoos taken together after the divorce.
In a 2009 IS interview, Karpela did not want to specify the reasons for the resignation, but said the couple had really tried to continue their alliance.
“Then it not only succeeded, but we tried really - and hard,” Karpela commented.
Shortly after the resignation, in the summer of 2008, Tanja Karpela was reunited with a Helsinki-based businessman when the duo were seen boating together and Kylie Minogue at a concert. The man was revealed to be Janne Erjola and the couple's relationship progressed at lightning speed. The ex-husband marveled at his ex-wife’s quick movements.
“If you immediately announce a new relationship to the whole nation, it seems that you can then get over the divorce through it. Let's sweep everything under the rug that way, ”Olli Saarela commented to IS and added:
“Many times a new relationship is a patch after the previous relationship is over and immediately enthusiastic that here this is now a surefire! I don't believe in it myself, because during a long relationship, however, a relationship is formed that you can't just forget about it. ”
Minister of Culture Tanja Karpela and Member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen discussed in the plenary session of Parliament in the spring of 2003.
Photo: Matti Björkman / Lehtikuva
However, it was different, because Tanja Karpela and Janne Erjola have been together for more than a decade. The couple, who married in April 2009, have a son born in September of the same year. In the autumn of 2008, Karpela praised IS for Erjola's warm attitude towards his children.
“Janne fell in love with the whole package. I couldn’t even think of living with someone who wouldn’t get along with my children and who my children wouldn’t accept, ”Karpela commented at the time.
Many marveled at the rapid movements of the closed lovers and especially the fact that only three months after the meeting, Erjola moved to the MP and his children.
Janne Erjola and Tanja Karpela have been having one since 2009 and have a child born in the same year. Picture from 2010.
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva
Karpela told his close circle that he knew Erjola was right for him.
“I’ve never been afraid to make solutions. Some people choose a familiar hell out of a desire for comfort rather than an unknown paradise. Life does not help, decisions must be madeIf you do not dare, do not live. I am a person who lives in an instant. It would be sad if old would think from the life that I have left to live the "Karpela commented IS for 2009.