Monthly Archives: November 2017

9. Meeting: Tuntematon Sotilas

Being in Finland in the year of 2017 is something very special. Everywhere in Helsinki and in Tampere I can see Finnish flags and blue and white balloons and bannerets with Suomi 100 written on it. Everyone is talking about December 6th. Some Finns can laugh about jokes about Russia. And you can really feel the pride of the citizens to be a Finn. To be independent, and especially: to be independent for onehundret years now.

This special “circumstance” made me read about the history of Finnland. About all these endless wars, fights and how the country shaped. Today I set together with Pauliina and Riku and we had a look at finnish borders and how they moved during the years. I did not know that Finnland mostly looked like a maiden (ha, I also needed some creativity here). And after the Continuation war 1944, when they lost Karelia, Petsamo and Salla, Finnland now looks like this:

This Continuation war is the war, that the movie Tuntematon sotilas, the unknown soldier, is about. If you hate war movies, you could also call the movie a three-hours-bombing-blood-and-endless-war-movie. It kind of was. And I thought I did not like war movies. But this one actually was very interesting to watch, the three hours did not feel like three hours and the movie was very well directed.

I could really indentify myself with the Finns and most importantly – After the movie I had the feeling that I can really understand some reactions, some behaviors and some thoughts of finnish people when it comes to either Russia, war, independence, the 6th of December, or Finnland in general. I really can.

As a side effect, it was very nice to watch a finnish movie with english subtitles. I never watched a finnish movie before. And I could even understand some words and sentences, unbelievable. Reading the subtitles and listening to finnish language (Okay, I must admit that there were a lot (a lot!) of swear words) was a new and impressive way to get access to the language. I should watch more finnish movies ….

Even though I thought we would just go to the cinema and watch a movie, this evening taught me a lot about the culture and the history of Finnland. I am very moved!


Today was our last EOTO Meeting. It is incredible how time flies and that the semester is nearly over! To celebrate this meeting, we decided to do something typically finish – Sauna. Because, I have a free little Sauna in the basement of Lapinkaari, we went there. During our Sauna-time, we found out, that there are a lot of differences between “the real Finnish sauna” and “Finnish sauna” in Germany.

The first difference is of course, the temperature. In Finland, the sauna Is definitely hotter and people just put all the time water over the oven. In Germany, I think it depends on the people inside, but they don’t do that more often than once in 15 minutes.

Another difference is: time. The time seems to me always as an important fact when you’re in the Sauna in Germany/Switzerland/Austria. In every corner you find sandglasses, showing you how long you’re in there and furthermore it shows how hard you are. Even if you don’t turn the sandglass around, everybody recognizes if you are “long enough” (which means about 15 minutes) inside or not.
The Finish rule seems more like: “stay inside as long as you’re comfortable with it”. And indeed, that’s so right! The Sauna is no competition where you must show how long you can stay, it’s more something you should enjoy as long as you’re able to and as long it feels healthy.

The Finns don’t use towels in the sauna – this is something that’s a real German thing. I guess that we use the towels, because we don’t want to get in contact with other peoples swat – so it’s a hygienic thing. That’s why I highly recommend to all the Finns if you’re going to use the sauna outside your country, use a towel. And keep in mind, that your whole body, even your feet, should be on it – we are really strict :D.

Usually you can decide between two types of public saunas in the German speaking countries. 1) a public sauna, where it’s allowed to wear swimsuits and 2) the ones, where its forbidden to wear something. So maybe that’s another reason why we’re using towels inside the sauna, because if you’re uncomfortable with being naked, you can just hide everything under the towel. Because we use our towels, we don’t have the wooden plates to sit on. So, this was also new to me, but in fact, a good alternative to a towel.

And there’s this other thing, which was new for me: to hit yourself with some twigs of birch. I think we don’t do that, because it would be another “dirt factor” inside the sauna.

Let’s talk about the last difference: talking: usually people are quite in the sauna in my country. That’s why you’re only greeting when you enter and leave the sauna. I don’t exactly know why, but I guess because they really want to relax inside. In Finland it seems more like the people have a real party in the sauna, which gets even more underlined with the fact, that you drink beer inside.

What I’ve learned so far: when I’m back home, I think I will never watch again on this stupid sandglass. However, I will use my towel & speak not that loud, because I don’t want to feel the other people uncomfortable. And for sure, I will lough when people think, that 70°C is too hot 😀

Because we don’t want you all to see us in Bikinis :D, here’s a self-made picture, that shows the differences in the German and Finish Sauna-culture.

Our last meeting was great & it was so nice to meet these girls and I’m really happy, that I decided to enroll for EOTO!

Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum

Our last meeting was at the EOTO-Christmas party. I found a funny video with German words, which are difficult to pronounce. This challenge was a great ending to our course. Especially, the word “Streichholzschächtelchen” was very difficult for our group members to pronounce. 

English  German 
Bread bun Brötchen
Squirrel Eichhörnchen
orthography  Rechtschreibung 
Ice skating   Schlittschuhlaufen 
Little box of matches  Streichholzschächtelchen 

 Moreover, we had a great evening with cosy atmosphere and Christmas music, while we ate traditional German “Stollen” and “Lebkuchen”, which is similar to gingerbread. Those sweet things we use to eat during the Christmastime in Germany. Both were new for Diego and Nedas. In addition, we exchanged several Christmas songs from our countries. Maria and I remined Diego and Nedas, that they played a German Christmas song called “Oh Tannenbaum” on the Oktoberfest at the Plevna restaurant.

English  Spanish  German 
Christmas tree  Árbol de Navidad   Weihnachtsbaum/ Tannenbaum 
Santa Claus  Santa Claus  Weihnachtsmann 
Snow  Nieve  Schnee 
Reindeer  Reno  Rentier 
Candle  Candela  Kerze 
Holiday  Vacaciones  Ferien 
Merry Christmas!  ¡Feliz Navidad!  Frohe Weihnachten! 


Comida mexicana

Because our “Each one teach one”-group is very interested in cooking and having food together, Diego showed us how to prepare tacos dorados. Tacos dorados dough consists of corn flour and water. We rolled the dough to equal balls and flatten them into circles with a plate. Then we fried the dough in a pan without oil.  

Meanwhile we boiled chicken and potatos in water and after that we pulled the chicken into thin slices. The tacos were filled either with chicken slices or mashed potato, but Maria and I wanted both in our tacos wherefore we varied the recipe a little bit. Further, the mashed potato was different to the ones we know in Germany, it was less seasoned and less creamy. The tacos were rolled tightly and fried in a pan with a lot of oil.  

The tacos dorados are topped with cheese, cream and lettuce and dipped in salsa. TASTY!

English  Spanish  German 
food comida Essen
lettuce lechuga Salat
oil aceite Öl
corn flour harina de maíz Maismehl 


I assume that many people would write about this party since there are many students there 😀

Yes, there are plenty of blog posts about this party! I shall join the trend.

Our gang was also there. During the party, I tried traditional German Christmas snack that were all ‘sweety’. GOOD AS USUAL XD. Then, some Chinese students brought some spring rolls and onion rings there and I somehow forgot the existence of German sweet. GO FOR ASIAN FOOD! I learnt that cultural background was very important and I should take this into consideration when meeting people from all parts of the world.

I also wrote in Tabea’s friend book. I figured that I was not as creative as I would be. I believed that I should take up a hobby to boost my creativity.

I also figured out that I lived quite close to many Chinese exchange students. That they somehow saw me every Tuesday morning was quite surprising for me to hear. Lesson here is that we should take notice of what is happening around us more than focusing all our intention to cellphones.

I think that is pretty much for what I learnt for this party. The remaining of it, should I keep it to myself only?


Tudo sobre vermelho, branco e azul … [All about red, white and blue…]

My smart teacher, I printed a card with color names. I had to guess what name matched the color. Fortunately, the card was colorful. This made my job easier!
After our classes, we talked a lot about portugal. Meanwhile, preparing food. But this is the material for the post. (I can say that the food was tasty, simple and quick to prepare)

Ice Hockey Game Tappara : Ässät

This meeting it was time for the Ice Hockey Game. Everyone of us wanted to see one of the famous Ice Hockey Matches in Tampere.

We bought some student tickets which were pretty cheap and we had a great view on the Ice.

The Match was pretty interesting because both Teams were playing well. In the End it was 3:3 and it went into the extra time. Unfortunately Ässät scored the first Goal in Extra Time and Tappara lost the Game. But anyway it was so much fun. Also because it was my first time to see an Ice Hockey Game in a Stadium.

This time we also learned some new Vocabulary.

(ice)Hockey – Eishockey-  曲棍球 (qugunqiu) – Hockey (sobre hielo)
Hockey stick – Eishockeyschläger- 曲棍球棍 (qugunqiugun) – Palo de hockey/stick
Game – Spiel- 游戏 (youxi)- Juego/partido
Tricot – Tricot- 经编 (jing bian)- Camisola
Team – Mannschaft- 队伍 (duiwu)- Equipo
Referee – Schiedsrichter- 裁判 (caipan)- Árbitro
Ice-skates – Schlittschuhe- 溜冰 (liubing)- Patines de hielo
Goal – Tor- 入球 (ru qiu)-  Gol
To play – spielen- 玩 (wan)- Jugar
Whistle – Pfeife- 哨子 (shaozi)- Silbar
Cheerleader- Cheerleader- 啦啦队 (laladiu)- Animador

The Next Meeting is going to be at the Gala for the Independence Day of Finland.
This is going to be our last meeting.

An afternoon with the Moomins

Our third meeting took place at the Moomin museum in Tampere-talo. There is a free entry on last Friday of every month between 15-19. Moomins are really popular in Finland and also around the world. Last time I visited Moomin museum I was around 10 years old. The exhibition was really nice and very well executed. Sadly, due to copyright issues it’s not allowed to take pictures in Moomin museum. I recommend Moomin museum to anyone who is interested in Moomins and the story behind the books.


After visiting the museum, we named the main characters in Finnish and Dutch. Names turned out to be quite similar with each other. The Dutch ones are also similar or the same with the English names.

We also did a Moomin character test that is found on the official Moomin website:

According to the test result I am Moominpappa. I partly recognise myself of the description below and it seems that Moominpappa and myself are both quite party people!


Joulu/Weihnachten/Christmas is coming!

Yesterday we went to the EOTO pre-Christmas party at TAMK. While we listened to some Finnish Christmas songs and had some Glögi. (finally, I tried it!) Different people had some good snacks with them. Helena (another German Girl), also brought some German things and luckily, she had too much, so we could all try and I explained something about the ingredients, how you bake it, when you usually do that and that most of the grandmas don’t want you to eat the candies before Christmas, which leads to a sugar-overload in week after Christmas, because of course, they were baking so much! At the top of the blog-post you can see some more German Christmas candies – self-made Christmas cookies, which are quite variegated. In Finnland it’s common to have some Christmas-chocolate in a box, which includes a lot of different chocolate types (suklaa rasia). Besides the German candies for Christmas (you can see them in the picture) and Glögi, we also had some Asian food like spring rolls, onion rings and fried chicken. It was delicious and I guess, Hang liked it more, than the German Christmas candies. 😀 I also brought my friend book for the girls to write in.

Let me sum up some German and Finnish Christmas habits, we talked about:

I think in every country that celebrates Christmas, it’s normal that there are a lot of Christmas trees (Joulu kuusi). In Germany, some families still have real candles on the tree (like mine :D). We also have the real candles on the advent wreath. It’s also not only a wreath, it can be any arrangement with four candles. The four candles are for the 4 Sundays before Christmas. It’s allowed to lighten a new one each Sunday till it’s finally Christmas and the four candles are lightened. It’s like the advent calendar for the anticipation and preliminary for Christmas. Little children get some self-made calendars, which are filled with candies, something to play and little toys, which got decided by the moms, who fill the little presents (lahja). I think in Germany this is still quite common and Tuuli told me, she also had it as a child, but nowadays people mostly buy some ready ones with toys or chocolate. She also told us, that they don’t really have the Christmas cribs. In Germany a lot of families, or at least the families who really celebrate Christmas, have one. It’s usually made from wood and shows Joseph and Mary and little Jesus as a Baby. The decoration in Finland is quite rare, Tuuli told us. But it’s common that children in kindergarten and primary school perform the Christmas story. In Germany, we have this as well in the kindergartens and churches.

Christmas cookies 🎄🍪

It´s time for Christmas Feelings on our EIGHTH meeting…Christmas advanced in great steps. We decided to make some typical German christmas cut-out cookies (in Swabian we call it “Ausstecherle”). There are different kinds of these cookies, for example ones with chocolate or colored sprinkles on it. But we decided to make some with jam between two “cookielayers”. Since we had neither a rolling pin nor rotary cutters, you can imagine how pretty they became (I think they were the ugliest and biggest ones I have ever made 😊). Anyways, we had a lot of fun and that’s the main thing 😊. Here are some pictures of our artwork:

While the dough was resting in the fridge for at least 30 min, Flóra taught me how to ask the way or describe the route/way in Hungarian (in the simplest possible manner). And as always, I found it hard to pronounce some letters, but it is getting better every time. Skill comes with practice!! 😊

Sziasztok! 😊