Tag Archives: Christmas

Pre-Christmas party

Hi!

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!

With love,

Maria

Christmas concert

Hi!

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!

Hiragana and festivals

Hi!

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. 😉

With love,

Maria

Culture exchange – Italian and German girls´diary pt.5

Hello!

For this culture exchange day we decided to meet friday 24 of March at the Watami Sushi restaurant to discuss about our different culture eating a good sushi. We talked about our main festivity and how to celebrate them. For example I discovered that in Germany there is a festivity called “S. Nicolaus” where german people use to put during the night between the 5th and the 6th of december a pair of boots outside of the door waiting for San Nicolaus that will put inside some sweets and tell some stories. In the south of Italy, where I live, we don’t have this habit but for example the 8th of december we celebrate the “Festa dell’Immacolata”, during that we use to start to decorate our houses and make the Christmas Tree because it means that the Christmas period is starting. About the Christmas event more or less we have the same habits but for example we use to eat “arrosto” (a roll of meat with cheese, vegetables and ham inside) or other dishes like “lasagne” (kind of pasta cooked in the oven), “Panettone and Pandoro” (two typical Italian sweets); in Germany Anna told me that they use to eat the “Martinsgans” (Stuff goose), the “Glühwein” (mulled wine), “Christstollen” and “Plätzchen” (typical german sweets). Other different festivity are for example the well-known “Oktoberfest” (typical german festivity where the main topic is beer celebrated on September) and “Tag der deutschen Einheit” (National Unity day celebrated the 3rd of October) in Germany and “Festa della Liberazione dal Nazifascismo (Liberation day from Fascism celebrated the 25th of April) and “Festa della Repubblica” (Republic day celebrated the 2nd of June) in Italy.

We discuss also about our different time to have meals, for example we have breakfast at the same time in the morning because of the school/work (usually 6.30/7.00 a.m.), but in Germany they have lunch at 12.00 and in Italy we use to have lunch at 13.30/14.30 and about the dinner time, in Germany they use to have it at 18 but in Italy we use to have dinner at 20.00/21.00.

It was a very interesting day today because we found a lot of differences but also many common things between us and both of our countries have a lot of typical dishes for every festivity. Anyway the sushi was very good but we ate a lot so after our meeting we come back home full of food in our stomachs to have a nap and rest a little bit.IMG_20170324_144651_935

See you soon, bye bye 🙂

10/ Christmas Market

Four our last appointment, we decided to go to the little Christmas Market. In fact, to see each other in another meeting will be complicated because we all have exam, trip and go back home in different dates.

So we met each other in front of the Fazer coffee with 4 of us and a Russian friend of Tanja and Magdalena. We went to the chocolate shop and after to the coffee shop. We decided to not learn vocabulary because we preferred learned culture by talking. And I’m happy that we were thinking in the same way.

So we discuss food, Christmas, and our daily life in our home country. This time we also talked about Russia because the German girls and me went in Saint Petersburg so we were asking the Russian girl about language or her daily life here.

 

To make an overview of our semester just in a word I will say : surprised. In fact, I didn’t know what can I expected from this course. I wanted something cultural but not learning or teaching in a way to organized because I was afraid to be born. But I had the perfect member that is to say in a same way of thinking. We made a preliminary plan with some ideas that we did as the cooking event, the coffee meeting but also other things and every time something new. We learned vocabulary but also the recipe, talked about the prejudices and compared it with the reality so the culture in general and the quotidian life of every member and I think this important because there is some part of the culture that is general but not something that we did. So I liked it because now I can imagine a day of each member.
I was afraid to teach because it was my first time but it was easy because we all understand easily and even we different culture we were nit judging but totally in a way of learning and discovering.
The another part that I really liked is the fact that we also talked about the Finland and finish culture. But also compare our experience here so the things that we liked or not and things that surprised us for example.

Now I delete some prejudices that I had on the germans and discover a new country. Thanks to this course I wanna go to Germany to try some food and discover this country. Of course I want to return in Spain too, nd my door is open to be guide in Paris !

1/ Christmas Culture

In my group’s first appointment, we met in a pub that every member of the group know : Mallashovi.

During this first appointment, we first present ourselves so we are 4 members : Xavier the only man who comes from Spain, Magdalena and Tanja who come from Germany and me from France.

After that, we start to talk about our life here in Finlande and the differences with our quotidian life in our hometown. Then we focused our discussion on the Christmas traditions in each country.

For example, the german girls talked about their incredible market -Christkindlmarkt -where you can find food, hot wine, present and most of the time artisanal things. I already heard about that because you can find some in the east part of the France, close to the german boundary. Xavier about the grapes that you need to eat when the bell ring.

After we discuss the Christmas decoration like Christmas tree but also the “Belen” – the representation of the birth of Jesus with little figurine –

But we realized that according to the country, the date of celebration it’s not the same. For example in France it’s the 24th night and the 25th but in Spain, it’s also in January. And “Los 3 Reyes Magos” are the one who brings presents to the child like in Jésus’s birth.

With this meeting, I was happy that even if we are from different cultures and that English is not our mother tong we can understand each other in a real conversation and not just the basics. I realized that I already know a lot about the Spanish Christmas traditions but I know anything about the German ones.

Teaching seem not that hard because all the member has approximately my age and are here to learn.

After this meeting, I was really curious and looking forward to participating in the next meeting.

Our Group

meeting at O’connell’s Bar #8

Last thirsday i met my group in  O’connell’s Bar to see a english comedy. This comedy was for the first part about simple finnish things, like “pikkujoulut” in finland. For example funny thing about pikkujoulut is, that its translation in english is “little christmas” and we don’t why “little”.

The second part of the comedy was made by improvisers, they were five and to find a subject they used hashtag on twitter according to “pikkujoulut”. So we had #blackout #hats #petroleum(strange) … so we choose in these hashtag one random and they made an impovision on that. i was really impressed by their performances because whatever the subject their ideas was good and they plays good too.

Otherwise we talk with the group about our Christmas in our countries and it was interesting to see that for everyone Christamas remains a family event where we eat too much. we talk about our christmas food specialities, and we see that we eat quite the same things, apart for the dessert which remains different for everyone.

http://www.oconnells.fi/

 

 

6th meeting: Christmas

Our 6th meeting was at the 20th of November and it was about Christmas:)

Christmas in our countries are not the same.Czech Republic and Hong Kong celebrate Christmas at the 24th of December, we celebrate Christmas in Russia at the 7th of January.

Christmas in Czech Republic is named Štědrý den, it means “Generous Day”.Dinner is

Vánočka, Czech Christmas Bread

served after sunset (traditionally, it should not be served until after the first star has come out) and consists of carp and potato salad, sometimes preceded by mushroom, sauerkraut or fish soup.

A traditional Christmas bread called vánočka (similar to the Jewish challa).

Czech children believe that Christmas gifts are brought by Baby Jesus (Ježíšek) who comes into the room through the window to leave the presents. Unlike Santa Claus, Baby Jesus is a rather abstract figure with no particular physical image attached to him, and no one knows where he lives. Just like Santa though, he receives wish-list letters from Czech children a few weeks before Christmas.

And this is traditional czech songs for Christmas.

This meeting was interesting for me because traditions areso different in our countries

#10 – Last meeting and Pre-Christmas Party

We’re nearing Christmas, holidays and me leaving Finland.

For our last meeting I invited my students Kaisa and Maija to my own place for having a small Christmas party 🙂 I still have some German Christmas candies, cookies and cakes from my visiting friends so I let them try out these snacks.

As a special treat, I had Glühwein from Germany. It’s flavoured red wine and super typical for Christmas in Germany, they sell it in every store/supermarket during Christmas season and at every Christmas market. It has to be heaten up in a pot since you only drink it warm ;D

While sitting around in the living room of my apartment we were listening to German Christmas songs, read the lyrics, sang along and talked about the meanings. Christmas songs have a wonderfully cozy touch to them, so we had a very relaxing evening with some sweets, wine and good music.

Here you can listen to a nice mix of the most popular German Christmas songs 🙂

>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf_-e9EWPjI

As a little Christmas gift I baked some cookies for Maija and Kaisa like I did for all my exchange study friends, the whole load looked like this 😀

When I asked for feedback they said that all in all, they were able to refresh and expand their German language very well and in a very funny way, which makes me feel glad that I was able to help them out. EOTO was a really new but positive experience to me. I am glad that I chose this course, EOTO is about more than just learning or teaching languages, it’s something that made my stay abroad more valuable.

I even received Christmas presents from my students, thanks a lot, Maija and Kaisa for the chocolate, it was sooo good! ♥ It was very, very fun with you, I could do it again any time! To have all the meetings, to talk and laugh about the German and Finnish language and just to hang out, talk with you about life and universty and walk around in Tampere. It has been a pleasure! I wish you all the best, let’s keep in touch! 😀

With this entry I want to finish my EOTO blogs, hope you enjoyed it, kiitos for reading! Hope we see each other again sometime, somewhere! 🙂

~~~ Theresa ♥

#8 – Christmas market in Tampere and the German holiday calendar

Recently, Joulutori opened in Tampere and of course we didn’t want to miss it, so our location for the 8th meeting was determined easily 🙂

I went to Joulutori on the opening day with another exchange student (Sanne who also did EOTO :D) and found out that there were some German stalls with German-speaking people and food there, so I decided to introduce them to my students.

Lebkuchennnnn 😀

I started our conversations in German only while we walked around and chatted with the stall owners (in German of course haha), so Maija and Kaisa joined and purchased some goods while talking in German, it was very funny because they had to turn everything into German so suddenly, but they did well! 🙂 There were Lebkuchen, Marzipan, gebrannte Mandeln and Krapfen/Quarkbällchen at Joulutori – pretty normal food you can find on any German Christmas market, well done! 😀 I bought some Quarkbällchen (that’s how we call them in the state where I come from but they actually have many different names that German people call them) and treated Maija and Kaisa to try them and they liked it, I’m so glad 😀

After walking around a lot we decided to sit down in a wooden house, drink some Glögi and talk about the German holiday calendar and compare it to the Finnish holidays. We found out that our calendars are pretty much the same with all the Christian holidays. Exceptions like Independence Day or Thanksgiving exist of course but talking about our different cultures was very interesting and fun 🙂 I learn so much about Finland and Finnish culture despite having this set up as a one-way learning/teaching group only, I like EOTO a lot because of this 😀

See you next time!