Our tenth (and unfortunately the last) meeting was only two days before Kurumi left from Tampere. We decided to go to Pyynikki’s sightseeing tower. We spent nice time in cafe and we enjoyed drinks and Pyynikki’s famous doughnuts.
That meeting was different from our previous meetings because at this time we hadn’t planned anything special for our meeting. But as our conversation flew I learnt that I can alwayl learn different things from the other countries and cultures and teach something about my country and culture. We talked for example Kurumi’s experiences during her exchange student year in Finland. She told which has been her favorite places and experiences in Finland. That helped me because now I know which places I should recommend for other exchange students in the future.
We also talked how did our course has went as a big picture. We really didn’t made to make all things I planned before course but I think I have learnt a lot of things of Japanese language and culture. Now I can speak a little Japanese and I can cook some Japanese foods all by myself. I know also many things of Japanese music culture, festivals and movies. I also taught many things of Finnish language and culture. As I taught I hope my poor English improved even a little (but I’m still fighting with it).
As we all were quite busy, we didn’t make to finish our course during one semester. It took a whole academic year. But I am very happy that I took part in this course. This has been one of my favorite courses in a university of applied sciences because studying experience has been totally different from the other courses.
Our ninth meeting was during Kurumi’s last week in Finland. I tried to thought some “must see” places in Tampere and idyllic Tallipiha was one of them. There was my singing gig and after my concert we enjoyed some drinks and Finnish snacks (Karelian pies and Mariannes) at the terrace of the cafe.
We started to talk about Finnish and Japanese fashion and popular clothing brands. I have been many years a fan of Japanese street fashion so that was quite interesting topic for me. We told Kurumi something about Finnish clothing brands, for example Marimekko.
The funniest thing was that Kurumi had a jacket from popular Japanese clothing brand called “Ehkä Söpö” (that’s Finnish and it means “maybe cute”). Before our meeting Kurumi didn’t know what “Ehkö söpö” means but we told her.
We also talk about popular artists and bands (both in Japanese and Finnish cultures). I learnt many new Japanese bands and artists and Kurumi got many recommendations about popular Finnish bands and artist from us.
That meeting was quite similar to our eighth meeting because we didn’t use any notes. But that meeting was also different from our eight meeting because at this time we taught and learnt mostly cultural things, not language.
We decided to spend our eighth meeting in a Japanese restaurant. Maruseki has always been my favorite Japanese restaurant in Tampere but as it is quite expensive we decided to choose another place. We went to a new sushi restaurant called Itsudemo. I was heard that there is very delicious sushi and as everyone in my EOTO-group loves sushi we decided to go there.
There was a sushi buffet but as no one of us were really hungry each of us decided to order only a few bites of sushi. Food was very delicious!
At the same time when we enjoyed our food we started to talk about dialects (both in Japan and in Finland). That was the first studying time we didn’t make any special notes and because of that our conversation went more fluently than before. I noticed that notes are not always necessary in studying. Before this meeting I didn’t know anything of Japanese dialects but now I learnt something. We gave some examples of different dialects in Finland. It was quite funny!
Our seventh meeting was at Kurumi’s place and she taught us to make sushi. I was always wanted to learn make sushi so I was pretty excited! That was the fourth meeting we spent with cooking or baking and that’s why this meeting was quite similar to our previous meetings.
We made maki rolls and I guess that was a good choice because I have heard that nigiri sushis are much more difficult to make. I have always loved sushi but that was the first time I made sushi. Learning was quite easy beacuse I had a very brilliant motivation to learn! Before this meeting I thought that making sushi was much more difficult but now I learnt that I was totally wrong. Now I can also make sushi all by myself!
This kind of practical learning was suitable for me because I needn’t to understand every single word in English. I could just watch and “imitate”!
We spent our sixth meeting at my place. The goal of this meeting was to teach Kurumi to make traditional Finnish foods, pea soup and pancakes. That meeting was quite similar to our last meeting (then we taught Kurumi to bake christmas pastries).
As we were a little lazy (at least I was) we used canned pea soup. As I am a vegetarian I didn’t taste pea soup but Kurumi said it was delicious. We told her that pea soup is very inexpensive food and because of that it is warmly recommended for students.
I love to make pancakes so it was such a pleasure to be a teacher when we made them. Kurumi loved them too so I gave her a recipe.
The most difficult thing in teaching was my poor English. (Suprise!) But I hope my English will improve at the same time when I’m trying to use it!
After we were finished eating we started to study phrases like “I am”, “you are”, “he is” (both in Japanese and in Finnish). Before this meeting I couldn’t say “my name is Maria” in Japanese but now I learnt. We also talked small phrases in Japanese and that was different from our previous meetings. We also enjoyed delicious Japanese snacks Kurumi brought us.
In December we had a little pre-Christmas party at my place. We taught Kurumi to bake finnish Christmas pastries. We put plum and apple jams to the pastries. That was the first time Kurumi made christmas pastries and I think she was very good at it!
A month before this meeting Kurumi taught us to make Japanese food. That means both of these meetings were very similar to each other. Only difference was that a month before this meeting I was learning and now I was teaching. The most challenging thing in teaching was English and especially vocabulary. Luckily Eetu helped me if I didn’t know some words in English!
Of course we had gingerbreads and glogg, too!
When we were finished eating we started to study colors (both in Japanese and Finnish). Before this meeting only color I knew in Japanese was shiro (which means white). During this meeting I learnt eleven more!
I had a traditional Finnish Christmas concert in December. I gave a free ticket to my Japanese EOTO-mate Kurumi and she wanted to attend the concert although every song in my concert was performed in Finnish.
The concert was at beautiful “Pikku Palatsi” (that means “little palace”) in Hämeenpuisto. The place look like this (all pics are taken by Kurumi):
That was totally different way to teach Finnish language and culture – I just sang traditional Finnish Christmas carols (for example Varpunen jouluaamuna). After the concert Kurumi said that she hadn’t understood a word but she still enjoyed the concert!
Our third meeting was at Kurumi’s place in Tesoma. She taught us to cook Japanese food. First we made okonomiyaki. It is Japanese-style savory pancake what is containing the customer’s choice of chopped vegetables, bits of meat, seafood etc. It is fried on a hot plate and brushed with spicy sauce.
That was the very first time I tasted okonomiyaki and I really loved it. It was a great pleasure to learn to cook it.
We also cooked miso soup. It was a familiar food for me (because I am a huge sushi lover and it is a common appetizer in sushi restaurants).
Kurumi also taught us to make delicious Japanese-style dessert. I really liked it because Japanese desserts are not so sweet as Finnish desserts. We drank Japanese green tea.
Before this meeting I couldn’t cook any of those foods that we made. So I learnt many new things during this meeting! That was much more relaxed way to learn new things than normal studying.
Our second meeting was a late night meeting in Subway (because it was almost only peaceful place which was open). Kurumi taught us Japanese hiraganas. Eetu was very good at it. As I tried to write with hiragana for the first time in my life we couldn’t help laughing! But I made it to write so many hiraganas and I also learnt to write my name!
We all were very interested in different festivals in each other’s cultures so we started to talk about seasons and festivals. It was very interesting that Japanese New Year is just like our Christmas because New Year is the greatest festival in a year in Japan and it is spent with family. On the other hand, Finnish New Year is very similar to Japanese Christmas because Christmas is usually spent with friends in Japan.
I think it was very nice to study somewhere else than in a classroom or in a library. Late night studying in Subway was something totally different. 😉
My name is Maria and I am from Finland. I made my “Each one teach one” course with Kurumi (who is from Japan) and Eetu (who is from Finland). Our first meeting was in Lielahti’s Wayne’s Coffee because Kurumi and Eetu live in Tesoma and I live in Lentävänniemi.
We got to know each other better and I brought some Finnish sweets (Fazer’s chocolate and salty liquorice). Kurumi prefer chocolate but as she was brave she also tasted salty liquorice!
We also started to study (both Finnish and Japanese) and our first meeting lasted many hours. It was pretty challenging because Eetu was way better in Japanese than me. Anyway, we started from the basics because I knew only a few words in Japanese and Kurumi could only say “moi” in Finnish. We studied basic phrases and numbers.
We really enjoyed our first meeting!