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In Washington, A Spectacle Of Shouting Finns

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The Finnish group Mieskuoro Huutajat, or Shouting Men, performs in Washington, D.C. i

The Finnish group Mieskuoro Huutajat, or Shouting Men, performs in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood. Jenny Gold/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jenny Gold/NPR
The Finnish group Mieskuoro Huutajat, or Shouting Men, performs in Washington, D.C.

The Finnish group Mieskuoro Huutajat, or Shouting Men, performs in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood.

Jenny Gold/NPR

In Dupont Circle, a neighborhood in downtown Washington, D.C., people eat lunch on benches as the Finnish men's choir Mieskuoro Huutajat, or Shouting Men, appears.

The group got its start 20 years ago, and has been enchanting audiences with their renditions of traditional songs. In Washington, their performances are street art.

Unannounced and unsmiling, they walk into the Dupont Circle park wearing black suits, white shirts and black ties made from bicycle inner tubes. The 23 men follow one another in single file around the fountain.

They do not sing the words — they shout them.

The founder and director of the group, Petri Sirvio, says his guys sometimes seem displeased, but they take satisfaction from a good performance.

"Of course, if you succeed in a good piece of art, you are happy," he says.

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