The 2nd meeting
Today, we watched a Korean TV show on Kiah’s flat. The TV program, ‘Welcome, is your first time in Korea-Finnish episode”, is very popular in Korea. It is about a Finnish man who lives in Korea inviting his Finnish friends who never been Korea to Korea and traveling together. In fact, both Kiia and Korean, including me, have already seen this episode, but watching it together was a very different and exciting experience. When I watched TV shows in Korea alone, I only watched it from the perspective of Koreans. But after living in Finland for a month, I can get a better understanding of them. If I meet Finnish people in Korea after I go back to Korea, I can be a good guide cause I know the differences and commons between Korea and Finland. In addition, I learned about the exclamation ‘oi’ that the Finnish people frequently use, and the fact that the song inserted into the program was an old Finnish song.
Through today’s activity, I have come to realize that the deeper I get to know a culture, the better I can understand them, and the more I can see the same situation from various perspectives.
The first meeting was in TAMK. Our Finnish friend Kiia wanted to learn Korean. She already knew some Korean artists. She even had a Korean travel guidebook! Beginning with pronouncing the contents of the guidebook, we had a brief time to learn about each other’s language. Kiia taught us the kind of snow we see most in Finland. For example, Roska, Lumi, Lumisade, Hanki, Kinos..
After we finished introducing each other and learning simple words, we made some plans about when we would meet and what things to do together.
We talked about these kinds of things.
The places where we will meet :
- Watching Korean Tv show ‘Welcome ! First time in Korea’ – Finnish episode
- Finnish Museum of history
- International Food day – Finnish & Korean
- Let’s learn F-pop & K-pop !
- Challenge Salmiyaaki, 불닭볶음면 (Korean the most spicy noodle)
- Korean sauna stuffs in Finland Sauna
- Ice hockey
- Watching E-sports (Overwatch)
- Finnish Restaurant
- Korean Barbecue in Finnish cottage
To be honest, I didn’t think there would be anyone interested in Korea in Finland, but I was so surprised to have Kiia, and I’m looking forward to further activities.
This activity was for all of us to participate in a Korean food party. Surprisingly, an Asian resident in Tampere was so interested in Korea that she was planning and hosting a Korean food and culture party, every month. It must have been so hard even for us, Koreans, to do so, that we were grateful to her for planning the wonderful party every month.
We attended the party with Korean potato pancakes and chicken dishes, and Kiia made traditional Lapland dish called Kampanisut. Other than us, there were students from various countries, and all of them were very interested in Korea, so the story worked well and we had useful stories. Among them was a Finnish student who was an exchange student in Korea. We all shared food together, tasted Korean drinking, and played a Korean drinking game.
This activity is also held in Lapinkaraari like the last meeting. This time, Kiia invited a special guest, a friend of the same major as Kiia. We all played Finnish card games together, with some Finnish words written on the cards and a handwritten English translation written by Kiia next to them.
Originally, if someone with a card explaining the word, others have to guess it, but since we were not good at Finnish, we proceeded to play the game first in English and learned the word in Finnish. Through this game, we were able to learn many pretty words such as “star” in Finnish ‘tähti’, and “moon” as “kuu.”
After playing the game, we were hungry and cooked Korean food, fried rice and red pepper paste samgyeopsal together. It was more fun and delicious to be with friends of Kiia and Kiia. Next, we also made a plan to take time to make Finnish food.
Last time we got together in Flat of Kiia, this time we gathered together in Lapinkaari, where most Korean students live. For Kiia, who first came to Lapinkaraari, we all went around Lapinkaraari and introduced her to the public kitchen, the gym, and our room. We gathered in the common kitchen and had tea time together.
During the Tea time, we talked about Korean music and Finnish music that we have been interested in. Kiia was a huge fan of Korean singer Tablo, and she even bought a concert ticket since Tablo had a concert schedule in Helsinki. We talked about Korea’s hip-hop culture, K-pop culture, and how Gangnam Style became well – known in Finland.
According to Kiia, clubs in Finland had Gangnam style every day when the Gangnam style was popular, and when the Gangnam style came out, people climbed up to the table and danced. It was surprising that Korean music was popular even from Finland, a country that required to get 10 hours by plane. We also got to know some Finnish music, which we all like and shared a list.
The fact that Finnish people like drinking is quite well-known. Since Koreans loved alcohol as much as Finnish, we couldn’t miss drinking activity in our plan. So we went to the bar near the school. It was mainly a beer bar, but I drank water because I didn’t drink, and other friends drank beer. In the bar, we learned that beer is ‘Olut’ in Finnish and that ‘I like to drink beer’ is ‘Pidän oluesta’ in Finnish.
In addition, we made Korean and Finnish word cards and played word games. First, we wrote the words commonly used in our daily life. Those who want to win this game have to collect as much as cards when the host calls the word. So if someone wants to win, he has to memorize many words and be fast. Through this game, we could learn and memorize words in a fun way.
This activity was at Cafe Pussti. The cafe is near the Linna building, and very famous for delicious cinnamon rolls. We, who learned in class that cinnamon roll is one of Finland’s traditional foods, headed to Cafe pussti with Kiia. Kiia said that unlike other countries’ cinnamon roll, Finland’s cinnamon roll is large in palm size and features a spice called Cardamon. The taste of cinnamon roll was fantastic, as we heard. We finally said, “Let’s make our own cinnamon roll next time.”
Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite Finnish bread. I don’t think I eat this bread for dinner in Finland, either, but I bought these at Lidl or from a market and ate it at meals. Since we came to the cafe, we learned how to order in Finnish and practiced ordering in person. It was a great time.
Finland has a community for Chinese students, which hosts an annual Chinese New Year’s Day event. There is no Chinese student in our group, but Korea also has a new year’s day in similar period so that we participated in the event. Together we had an interesting experience, making dumpling dough and filling. Kiia, who has never made dumplings before, and we who made dumplings only when we were young, made all different shapes of dumplings, but the taste was all delicious.
In particular, Chinese students brought a lot of Chinese sauces, we explained about the sauces to each other and talked about the foods Finnish people eat on holidays. In Finland, Christmas is almost the biggest holiday, and I found out that with the exception of May Day, Finnish people spend time with their family rather than having a big event on each holiday.
This day we all gathered at Kiia’s flat. It was for watching a Korean TV show together. The Finnish episode of the Korean TV show is about a Finnish guy living in Korea who brings his Finnish friends who know little about Korea. They travel around Seoul and experience many things in Korea. We all laughed together and had time to ask and answer questions while watching TV show together on Kiia’s flat. What we found was the fact that Finnish ‘Oi’ was usually a smiley exclamation and effect sound, but in Korean, the pronunciation is the same as the word means ‘cucumber’. In addition, I could learn the exclamations that Finnish people use when they think or are surprised.
Our first meeting took place in TAMK.
In our first meeting, we introduced ourselves first and then asked each other some questions. In the beginning, Kiia asked why we came to Finland as an exchange student and we asked Kiia why she wanted to learn Korean. Through answering each other’s questions, we discovered that we were very interested in each other’s culture and language. In particular, Kiia brought a Korean guidebook for this day and showed us how to read it properly and asked if it was correct in pronunciation.
After learning basic information about each other, we talked about our activity future plans. We also planned to take time to share Finnish songs and Korean songs, since we all love songs. It was our first meeting, but I thought our future activities would be really fun.