Virpi Hämeen-Anttila

(Photo: Otava)

I am a MA (South Asian Studies) in the Helsinki University and have been a part-time lecturer in Sanskrit and Indian literature and history from 1996 at HU. I have also taken part in the research projects on Indus seals and inscriptions and on rare and endangered languages at HU. I am specialized in Sanskrit and the old Indian literature. My primary language in SAS is Sanskrit (Classical and Vedic). In addition I have a working knowledge of Middle Indian languages such as Pāli and Mahārāṣṭrī and new languages such as Hindi and Tamil. I have translated Sanskrit and Pāli classics (the Pañcatantra, the Śukasaptati, the Jātakas, lyric poetry) into Finnish and published several scientific and popular articles on Indian literature, arts and political and cultural history in English and in Finnish and a cultural guidebook to India in Finnish. Some of these articles can be found in the “Tuhat” database (

My PhD dissertation deals with the evolution of the frame story structure in the Vedic and Classical Sanskrit literature. It presents a view of the reasons for the adoption of this narrative technique and three successive models that shaped its development.

Besides my career at UH, I have been a writer who has published 16 novels, several short stories, a collection of poetry, three novels for young adults and three books of non-fiction. I have translated several non-fiction books from English and French into Finnish and e.g. the novellas of R. L. Stevenson and H. de Balzac into Finnish. I have also worked as an illustrator and made e.g. illustrations and maps for several historical and archaeological works. I have worked as a cultural guide in special tours to India from 2006 to 2016. I have also been active in the writers’ organizations: I have been the chairman of the International Writers’ Reunion of Lahti four times (2007-2013), a member of the board of the Finnish Fiction Writers from 2017 and the chairman of the Finnish Writers’ Copyright Society (Sanasto) from 2012. I have received the Eino Leino – literary prize in 2002 (with my husband) for the promotion of the multicultural view of literature by our translations from non-European languages and the prize of “The Scholar of the Year” in 2004.

My page in the Helsinki University site “365 humanist scholars”:

My page in my publisher’s site:

My blog about the background of my series of historical novels (“In search of the lost twenties”):