On Sunday we got together at my language partners place. I decided to cook something that has been my childhood favourite dish – buckwheat and cottage cheese. I also brought some Estonian chocolate with kama and found that Prisma sells an Estonian based kohuke (curd snack). During cooking we exchanged some famous songs from each of our countries.
Hearing my language partner and his flatmates speak German to me was very exciting, since I haven’t practised it for ages. I was surprised at how much I understood, even though sometimes the meaning of the texts arrived to me a bit late. I was too scared to answer in German myself this time. I could tell that my accent would be horrible. However, I have decided to at least try and speak German on our next meet-up.
To my language partner I taught the Estonian names of the food we had (tatar, kohuke, kama). However mainly we talked about our culture differences and some common grounds. We even managed to slightly cover such topics as politics and religion. I got to ask questions about some things my German teacher in school had taught and to check their accuracy. Listening to our countries songs anyway, I got a chance to also introduce my country’s anthem and translate it. I also introduced a massive event – Estonia’s Song Festival, which has held a special place in the hearts of Estonians and also touched the hearts of some foreigners.
I definitely learnt to be more confident in my German skills and step out of my comfort zone. I also thoroughly enjoyed listening to the uniquenesses of Germans and their culture.
This picture depicts the Estonian curd snack called kohuke.
(The picture is taken from flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anuwintschalek/8553573899)
After intense learning, we decided to do some relaxing topic related to facts and fun facts about 2 cultures: German and Finnish.
Here are the lists of facts that we discussed so far:
1, German culture:
- In German, “thanks” means no. If someone asks you “Would you like a drink?” and you say “Danke”. That actually means “No, thank you.” But if you say, “Bitte” or “Please,” that means yes. So, to recap: “Thanks” means no thanks, and “please” means no. Wish I had known this before my trip to Germany 🙁
- The middle finger is ILLEGAL. A driver can even report your license plate if they see you throwing up the one-finger salute, resulting in a lovely police letter and a fine.
- Drinking alcohol in public is illegal.
- October festival does not start on October.
- On the first day of first grade, every child gets a giant cone filled with toys and candy.
- People do not sing the whole national anthem.
- People from the north will not understand people from the south fully due to dialects.
- Other countries speak German as well.
- Different names of same food in different parts of Germany.
2, Finnish culture:
- There are more saunas than whole national population.
- Finns love coffee.
- People have to wave hands for the bus to stop.
- Avanto-ice diving is very popular.
- Skiing, ski, iceskating, snowboarding and icefishing are popular hobbies in winter.
- Personal space: 1 meter from each other please!
- It gets colder up north.
Miss me already?
Good news is … I am back 🙂
This time our group decided to meet again at Tuuli’s apartment. We studied lots of new words in both German and Finnish. I would like to share with you guys some few things that we had done so far.
1, Learning new words: Learning theme was food and clothes.
2, Culture exchange:
I have to say that I was quite amazed at how things working here in Europe. We discussed the Finnish schooling system, different types of high schools in Tampere and very interesting topic: kindergarten fee. It surprised me since I thought that it was very expensive to pay for kids in kindergarten here in Finland, however, it turned out that it would depend on parental income. We actually googled that and found out that the fee was actually not that high! German kindergarten also shared quite same system. I assume that it is standard system in Europe?
Siinä kaikki! This is all we did for the second gathering!