All posts by Venla Niemissalo

Tallipiha & The End

Our last meeting was both extremely fun and kinda bitter, since it was the last time I was seeing my group members. We went to Tallipiha christmas market, which was, once again, a new experience for me.

I really liked the small old buildings and all the handcrafted stuff they were selling there. My personal favourite had to be the tiny chocolate shop – it smelled incredible there. It was too bad that all of the shops weren’t open, because Tallipiha is a great example of finnish christmas traditions. I would recommend it to anyone, especially foreigners.

Later we went for a coffee. This time we didn’t really learn anything special language-wise but we talked about christmas and what we would do and what we normally do in our home countries. It was very nice, as usual, especially because there was a quartet playing Bach there. Cool!

This experience in general has been a good one to me. I did learn some basic spanish and was able to strenghten my english, but I think the most important thing was that I learned a lot about new cultures. I made new friends from all around the world, and couln’t be happier about that. I think I will definitely keep on learning spanish, this was a great kickstart for that. Thank you to everyone in our group for this experience! Adiós! Buena suerte!


For my second last meeting with the group we went to a museum called Vapriikki. Since I’m new to Tampere as well, I had never been there. Personally I loved it, because there’s no such place in my hometown.

We managed to go through almost all of the exhibitions even though we had quite little time. This meeting was mostly about us teaching the others some finnish history, since so many of the exhibitions moved around that theme. These included for example the Tampere 1918, The Tammerkoski Rapids and story of Tampere and my personal favourite, Six artists on Tammerkoski. We were able to discuss finnish history and compare a little with other countries. Once again, at the same time as I was able to teach other people stuff, I learned a lot myself.

Also most of the explanations for the exhibitions were in finnish, so this was a nice opportunity to translate and help others learn a bit finnish as well. Even though I mostly felt like this teaching experience was also a huge english lesson for me, since many of the word were hard for me to translate or explain. A lot of brain work went to it!

Dia De Muertos

In the start of november (as usual, a bit late with my posts..) we met to celebrate Day of the Dead, which is a mexican holiday that focuses on remembering those already deceased.

Sofia and Paola had prepaired a lovely evening for us. We made a makesift altar from pastries, water, candles and paper. Those are meant to represent the four elements. Normally there is flowers, but Finland in november isn’t the best place to get fresh, beautiful flowers. At the same time, Paola had (yet again) showed her great skills, and made us these beautiful skulls to colour in.

Nevertheless, the atmosphere was great; we drank some hot cocoa, sat around our cozy, candlelit “altar”, and talked about the Day of the Dead, which was a new thing for me. This was interesting for me, since I am really interested about the cultural side of things and learning as much about other countries as I can.

For the language learning part, we played a  game.  A person has to say a word, and the next person has to say a word that starts with the last letter of that word. Easy to play, hard to explain. I think it was a nice way of learning new vocabulary- both spanish and finnish. For me it was really kind of hard to find spanish words to say. I did recognize many of the spanish words thrown around though, so once again, baby steps.



Kivi, paperi, sakset! … and the same in Korean

Today we had our fifth meeting at my place. The evening was not hosted by me though, since we had a Korean night. Sohee came to my place a little early to prepare us bibimbab (which was delicious by the way :)) I was proud of myself for handling the heat – I can still say that I like spicy food 😀 Sohee had also made us little cards with our names in them in korean. Cute!

After that we played a game Sohee said is pretty common in korea, which is based on Rock, paper, scissors. It’s a bit hard to explain, but it contains a lot of uncomfrotable positions, some hand-slapping and a lot of laughter. We mixed it up a little by always having to say the “rock-paper-scissors”- part in a another language. For example us finns had to say it either in korean: “gawi-bawi-bo” (geez I hope that’s somewhere near right) or in spanish: “piedra-papel-tijera”. It was fun!

Lastly, Pao taught us about the meanings and differences of spanish verbs ser and estar. As usual, Paola had made us a wonderful paper (or picture) with explanations and examples. I think it was actually the simplest thing we have learned so far, and still I’ll probably have problems with it 😀 Baby steps!

Me and Sohee both hurt ourselves while preparing the food 😀 Toothpaste and bandages to the rescue!
I got to escape the game and eat candy for the sake of this picture (not staged at all)

All in all, it was nice to get to know korean culture and more of our group. A lovely evening! WP_20151027_18_46_36_Pro


Meeting at Pala cafe

For our fourth meeting, the 10 of us had to split to two groups. Both meetings took place at Pala cafe, and our meeting consisted out of me, Emilia, Sohee and Paola.

Sohee taught us some very basic things about korean language. For example we learned that the korean numbers are pretty easy to learn, but the way words are pretty hard to form or write – at least for us westerns. 😀

Then we learned some funny things about the finnish language. For example I recommend everyone to look up Kuusi palaa – it has so many meanings. The girls thought it was pretty funny. The finnish language has never felt weird or funny to me, but now that I am trying to teach it, I cann see their point.


Suomalainen ilta/ A finnish night!

This week we had our third meeting, which was hosted by us, the finnish girls. We all prepared some food for the evening, including meatballs, mashed potateos and karelian pastries. We also served them some Salmari (an alcoholic beverage that tastes like salmiakki) – almost everyone seemed to actually like it, which was surprising! As we were eating and having a good time, we also learned some basic finnish phrases like “Hyvää ruokahalua” or “Kippis” (or as Ani would say, “Hölkyn kölkyn”).

Then it was time for some teaching and learning! Paola and Sofia had made us these awesome kind of summaries of spanish pronunciation! So for the rest of the evening we just learned how to pronounce things, learned new words and teached them some new finnish words. As always we also compared and talked about cultural stuff a lot, which is always nice.

The thing that I like the most about our each one teach one- meetings is, that the teaching or learning does not feel dull or boring, it just feels like hanging with a bunch of friends!


First meetings and parties!

Last week our big group of ten people gathered around for a first meeting at the Coffee House near Keskustori. We had a great first meeting. We got to know each other better and discussed what we wanted to learn and experience on this course. We have people from Finland, Germany, Mexico, Korea and Maleysia from this group, so it was very intresting to compare things about our cultures!

Ultimately we decided to learn spanish, finnish and maybe some german too! And most of all to learn from new cultures. That’s the most exciting thing for me 🙂

This tuesday we had our second meeting, which was a Mexican Independece Day party thrown by our lovely girls Paola, Sofia and their mexican friends. I can probably say that we all enjoyed ourselves. We ate some great food, get to know new people and had a fun night together. Unfortunately it was raining but nevertheless we had a great evening. I learned a lot about Mexican culture and some new phrases to use 🙂 Thank you girls for inviting us! 🙂