For our 6. Each one Teach one Meeting we decided to go to the Stable yard Christmas Market in Tampere to get into Christmas mood and get to know the difference between the German and the Finnish Christmas traditions. That’s why we met there on the 26.11.2016 in the afternoon.
At first I unfortunately had to discover that they don’t sell any mulled wine or Glögi with alcohol at the Christmas market, which was really surprising, since in Germany they sell mulled wine nearly on every stand. Inka also explained us why. The reason is the strict alcohol law in Finland. People are only allowed to sell alcohol in cafés, restaurants, shops or in general in closed destinations. That’s why it is prohibited to sell them outside at the Christmas market. Besides the seller also needs a certain certificate for which they have to pay for. There are three types of certificates, A, B and C. If somebody has the A certificate he is for example allowed to sell every kind of alcohol. However if you only have the C certificate you are only allowed to sell beer. Furthermore every sales person of alcohol has to take part at a certain course, where they learn all this things. I have already heard about the strict Finnish alcohol laws. Yet I haven’t imagined them to be that strict. Besides there were also other differences between this Finnish Christmas market and the one in Germany. In Germany we have for example much more stands with things to eat and I was also surprised to find a tent to sit inside on the Finnish Christmas market.
While looking around the market we discovered some Finnish specialities like blueberry pie, joulutorttu or pipari, which is according to Inka a typical Finnish Christmas cookie. Besides we were also talking about the food we have for the Christmas evening. My Finnish Each one Teach one partner explained that they always have mashed potatoes which they bake in the oven or mashed carrots mixed with rice porridge and also baked in the oven. These dishes are completely different from the ones we have in Germany. There we always have potato salad and sausage or goose with dumplings and red cabbage. When I mentioned the potato salad and sausage Inka explained that they always have this kind of food for Vappu. This is a national holiday on the beginning of May.
Furthermore we also discovered some nice Christmas decoration in the market and realized that they are really similar to the one we have in Germany. We also found these sticks with leaves called “vihta” with which the Finnish people are “hitting” themselves during the sauna to stimulate the blood flow. Inka told us that she uses them sometimes and that it is not as bad as it sounds. Besides we also went inside a chocolate shop where we discovered some really nice looking chocolate, of course also salmiakki and Inka always translated the ingredients for us. After that we talked about some German Christmas words and I also learned “Hyvää Joulua” which means “Merry X-Mas”.
At the end I asked Inka about the 6th of December which is a national holiday, where Finnish people celebrate their independence. She explained us that on this day every Finnish person watches how the president greets a lot of celebrities, politicians and other important people and they have a kind of a party on TV.
To sum it up I have to say that we had a really nice meeting, where I learned a lot of things about the Finnish culture and Christmas traditions, but could also pass my German Christmas traditions to Inka.
On the 23.11.2016 I went together with my sister Katrin to her Each one Teach one partner Evelina. The reason for this was that I was afraid not to be able to arrange 10 meetings together with my group, because it is always difficult to find a date where everybody of us three has time and I only have a few weeks left until I am going back home to Germany.
We met at Evelina’s apartment to watch a typical Finnish Christmas movie called “Joulutarina”. This film is according to Evelina a really popular one, which she has already seen a lot of times. While drinking Glögi and eating grapes we watched the film in Finnish, but with English subtitles. The film was about a boy who had lost his parents and sister in a cold winter night during Christmas. The village he lived in decided that every family of the village should give a home to the boy for one year and on Christmas the boy changes the family again. The boy was really good at carving small toys out of wood, which he gave the families he had been to as a present on every Christmas to thank them for their hospitality. The years went by and one year came where the harvest of crop and fish was really bad. That’s why none of the families where able to feed an extra mouth and the boy has to leave the small village to live with a nasty lumberjack, who treated him really bad in the beginning. However after some time they became friends and the boy still brought presents to the families in the village every Christmas. When the lumberjack went away to live his last days in peace and he left a big amount of gold behind. That’s why the now grown-up boy decided to deliver all children of Finland with presents on Christmas day. Through this Santa Claus was born. I liked the Film, because it was a really nice story. In Addition I was sometimes even able to understand some Finnish words like numbers or small sentences, which I was really proud of.
After the movie we talked a little bit more about films in Germany and Finland. However we realized that I don’t know the Finnish ones and she doesn’t know the ones we have in Germany. Yet we managed to find out that the film we have watched even exists in the German language. Afterwards we talked a little bit more about hockey and we told her about the hockey game we went to and asked her about the rules. Evelina explained us the rules and that hockey is really popular in Finland and nearly everybody is watching important games. It is comparable to soccer in Germany.
After some more talking it was already pretty late and we headed back home. To sum it up you can say that it was a really nice evening with a good film and interesting conversation.
On Friday I had my 6th EOTO meeting with Sam and Diego. This time we decided to do something typical Finish and went to the Rauhaniemi Sauna since some of us haven´t been there yet. The weather was really nice so we had the perfect conditions for it to jump into the lake afterwards.
Since the Sauna is not the best place to do actual studying, we decided to not learn Dutch/German or Spanish this time. Instead, with the Christmas season coming up, we decided to talk about the different ways of celebrating Christmas at our home country.
And to be honest….we were a little surprised of how many similarities there are in celebrating it. We all actually expected a lot of differences, especially in Uruguay since it is a very different culture from the Central-European one. I told the guys about how Germans celebrate Christmas and what kind of activities we do around the season and then they started telling me theirs.
Diego said that they also exchange gifts at the night of the 24th. But instead of doing it in the afternoon before or after dinner, they actually do it at midnight. Before that they would eat dinner together (which includes a lot of meat of course) and listen to some music with the closest family. Also, there are fireworks on the 24th so some of them watch that also. On the 25th they visit the rest of the family.
In the Netherlands they also exchange gifts on the 24th Sam said. They would meet with the closest family and eat turkey or some other meat for dinner and place the presents under the tree before the exchange.Sam said the Christmas markets are not as big as in Germany, after I told them that they are a very big deal in the Christmas season in Germany. And on the 25th and 26th they also go and visit the rest of the family to spend some time together.
It was really interesting to hear how the guys would spend Christmas together with their family and celebrate it together. It´s nice to know that there are actually not that many differences.
It was again a fun evening with the guys and I´m looking forward to meeting number 7!!
We decided to take a walk in Tampere without knowing where to go, just walking ahah 🙂 we walked for 5km around the city and we talked and laughed a lot!
As we both love Christmas, we were having a conversation about the Tampere Christmas tree and we both are a bit disappointed.. we were expecting an awesome big tree with a lot of lights on, but it’s no what we were expecting.. we wanted to feel more and more Christmas coming with that tree!
She asked me what we say when talking about the weather in Italy, like “che tempo fa?” which is similar to what’s the weather like? We talked about our adventures with taking the wrong bus and going in the opposit part of the city ahah but no problem when you have the bus card 😜
We talked about the temperature in Italy and in Mexico and of course about the Finnish darkness 😱
While walking we arrived at the small lake near UTA and I told her that few days ago it was frozen and a ball was stuck in the ice!
It’s always great to spend time with her and have fun together!! Oh and in a few days we are both going to Lapland and we both can’t wait!!
For our 6th meeting we decided to walk around the streets of Tampere, the ones which take us to Kalevan kirkko and UTA, another part of the city that we haven’t explore before. We shared our experiences discovering Tampere, Ari took once a different bus when it was already dark with her friend, and I ended up in cemetery one day, hahaha.
As I saw that the afternoon was quite cold and it started getting dark, I ask Arianna about how to talk about the tempo (weather), so she taught me che tempo fa?– what’s the weather like?, and some vocabulary: freddo-cold, caldo-hot, neve-snow, vento-wind… We discovered that we prefer cold weather than hot, since in places where is cold you could always wear more layers on, but it’s really difficult dealing with the hot.
We also discussed how to say ordinal numbers, it surprised Arianna my interest in them since their use are not so common, but she helped me with them even when they are also easy.
We both are excited for our respective trips to Lapland, and we found curious how she is going when I’m coming back to Tampere. We were talking about winter activities, and she told me that she use to ski in Italy, something new for me, because I didn’t imagine that this sort of activities could find in there. We’d love to go to ice skating for one of our meetings!
24.11.2016. Having lunch in TAMK together is a good way to learn more! Due to there are many exchange students who are Spanish speakers and also few of Italian speakers, during lunch time we could meet them in the cafeteria and have a practise-test meeting. So, our meeting was successful for practising what we’ve been learnt.
Talking about food again, specifically pizza, Ari was scared when another Mexican girl and I told her that we usually add some ketchup when eating pizza. She looked at us as more or less as we were talking about committing a sin or something like that, hahaha!
Then I ask her how pizzicato was correctly pronounced, since my sister’s teacher of Italian taught them in a way that sounds obviously incorrect; as I suspected it was incorrect as my sister was taughtJ.
I decided to start talking in Spanish to encourage Ari join us to the conversation, and as I knew she has a good level! Unfortunately, I’m still be a beginner in Italian, so for me only some words and simple structures are suitable, even when Italian and Spanish are pretty similar. It was good that also my friend knows some Italian, so she mention that for say good luck they say “in bocca al lupo”, that resulted interesting to me because most of idioms than we use in our languages has a story behind them, but when I ask Arianna she said to me that she not sure about the origin of this. After, I also told her that another idiom in Spanish for success when you have an event is “mucha mierda”, which literally could mean “lots of shit”, but that comes from years ago when carriages were used, so in big events they could know how successful has been the performance in relation of how many horse droppings could be seen. We were laughing too much after that!!
Our second music meeting was in the Tampereen konservatorio. Actually meeting is probably not the right word I should use regarding that day. We were together in one place, one room, attending the same concert but Jasper was on the stage and I was there just in an auditorium. It was his concert and I came to listen.
They played also The Kitchen Revue by Bohuslav Martinů. It was nice to hear something from the czech author here in Finland. Honestly I didn’t know it before, but now it is part of my playlist because I found out I really like it. You can hear a short part of it in the video.
7.11.2016. After leave the piñata be dried for two days we could continue with another hard part: decoration. As most of us know, some items are quite expensive in Finland to buy them, including colour paper that we could use to decorate it in a traditional way. So, since decoration in piñata is completely free and is based basically in imagination and creativity, we decided to use whatever with colour available in my apartment: lots of candies packaging, haha. Was completely fun trying to decorate it, it seemed a bit weird for us at first but is a beauty star with many meanings for us 😀
For our cultural learning we talk about parties, an important topic actually for future references. When I talk with my friends about Mexican weddings, how many people go to them and for how long they are, they are a bit surprise, so I wanted to know if in other countries could be the same as in Mexico, and apparently Italy is one of them. Every time I meet with Arianna and talked about our traditions it amazed me more how similar our cultures are. She told me that weddings for example could last until about 5 or 6 next day morning as in Mexico. But something even more interesting and which I’d like to do if I go to a wedding in Italy is jump into a swimming pool! I’ve seen this sort of things in some films but until Ari told me some people in fact do it during their parties I believed it.
Also, we talked about addresses, because in the book I’ve been working with I saw that there no many information compare with Mexico. Actually, when I came to Finland and I was request for my address most of the times I was asked if they had to write down all of it in order to be possible for me receive something, and I had to explain that is really necessary. In Mexico we have as usual street and number, state and country, but we also have colonia, municipio and localidad, so I found easy the way Italy is divided.
Now that our piñata is ready we are only waiting for the perfect time to break it!
During all those EOTO sessions, it was Essi that constantly taught me something about Finnish culture. This time, it was my turn. I thought of something that is made quite often in Switzerland and which every chocolate lover has to try at some point – Chocolate Fondue. The idea behind it is basically the same as a normal Fondue: Melting cheese in a special Fondue pot and dip some bread on special forks in the melted cheese. The difference to chocolate Fondue is that instead of using cheese, chocolate is melted instead and bread is replaced by several types of fruits.
I made calculations for four people, I thought a little bit more for both shouldn’t be too bad. However, what started as a joy of combining fruits with chocolate ended up with an overfilled stomach and the inability to look at chocolate for the next two weeks.
Afterwards, we were only sitting on the couch with a cup of tea in our hands, not being able to move. Walking home later that evening turned out to be the best exercise after that amount of chocolate.
I think I have to overthink my culture contributions in the future, or at least stay with the described amounts. Nevertheless, seeing Essi happy while enjoying the Fondue made me smile. Afterall, I had a wonderful evening and I am looking forward to sharing these kinds of evenings a couple of times more in the future.
After getting to know each other in our last meeting and noticing, that Iina and Mikka are quite serious about learning German, we saw this meeting as a trying out where the both are with their studies. Iina had already had a German course in the past while Miika just started his class this year. Nevertheless, we wanted to try out what they remember/have learned so far so we can help them with the next steps.
To get this information we started to ask them some basic questions like:
Wie heißt du? (What’s your name?)
Woher kommst du? (Where are you from?)
Wie geht es dir? (How are you?)
Wie alt bist du? (How old are you?)
Surprisingly the whole trying out took us no longer than 15 minutes and for this reason Saskia and I had to come up with something to teach them next, even though we had not prepared anything.
We decided to help them extend their vocabulary. Here are some examples of the new words we taught them:
das Buch –> the book
der Stift –> the pencil
die Flasche –> the bottle
leben –> to live
sprechen –> to speak
machen –> to do
haben –> to have
langsam –> slow
In addition we also went through some useful phrases i.e.
Ich verstehen das nicht. (I don’t understand that)
Entschuldigung ich bin zu spät. (Sorry, I am late)
Although Saskia and I were not prepared properly for this first lesson we did our “job” alright and could help our Finnish friends with their German studies.
Nevertheless, for the next time we will be prepared!