Because this course isn’t just about learning and teaching languages but to also talk about the cultures, we decided to head to the Tampere main library, Metso. I find out that they have a quite large section for foreign literature and it covers so many nationalities, for example French, Portuguese and Polish. Of course we found some Russian literature as well.
I learned Aleksandr Puškin is one of the most famous writers and poets in Russia. Many think that he was the founder of Russian literature. Like Russians’ version of Mikael Agricola. I have never really read Russian literature. I know Tšaikovski and Tolstoi and have seen the American version of Anna Karenina, that’s about it. So it was exciting to know about Puškin. We also looked at the Russian movie section. It was interesting that many of the movie covers looked like old Finnish movies even though some of them were made in the 21st century.
I also told Nadiia about Aleksis Kivi and his famous novel Seitsemän veljestä. Now when I think about it, it’s funny that one of our most famous novels is about seven brothers who don’t know how to read and manage to burn their sauna down (okay, there was more than that, read the book).
Marie and I met at City Toas for our last meeting on Monday 1st of May.
We liked each other culture so we decided that it would be nice to get to know each of our countries a little bit better. Getting to show (and learn) places to visit on the other persons country sounded fantastic. So each one of us made a list of the most turistic places (and the best places we belive there are) and try to show the other person those places, with pictures and also explainin about the culture of the place and what you can expect to find there. I liked this meeting, it was fun, we learned even more about the French/Mexican culture and i think that even though France is quite far from Mexico, I will return some day to visit the places Marie told me about.
These are some of those places she talked to me about:
There ara a lot of famous places in France, so she divided them in regions:
First of all, they have Paris, the capital. There is a lot of things to visit: Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, etc
Then on the first region on the North West is “Bretagne” (in blue)
There is Saint-Malo with “le Mont Saint Michel”
You also have some cities as Brest, Deauville, La Baule, they can go in these cities for a week-end, taste some oysters, molds, delicious fishes.
The second region, South West, is composed by Bordeaux and Bayonne (in red)
The surfers go there to enjoy the waves.
In Bordeaux, you can also visit famous vineyards. And if you go to Bayonne during the summer, you have the feria, everyone is partying in the streets dressed in white and red.
The third one is in the South East called “La Côte d’Azur” (in yellow)
It has some famous places as Marseille, Cannes, Saint-Tropez or Nice.
It’s where we go when you want to enjoy the sun in France.
The last one, represented by a star in the map is les Alpes, a famous place for the ski with Val d’Isere, Courchevel or Megève.
First we decided to meet at Cafe Aitoleipä 12.00. I was there one hour before (because of the Easter someone needed to find out is it open, because internet didn’t tell). At 11.45 I went there again, but it was full. I had time, so I tried to find a better place for us (place where we can at least sit). Just 200 meters from Cafe Aitoleipä there is Pyynikin munkkikahvila, and it was not full. I sent a message to every one and we decided to go to Pyynikin munkkikahvila. < —–There you can get Tampere’s best doughnuts by the way 😉
I went inside to wait others, because NYSSE (Tampere’s public buss) was late again. When everyone arrived we started to test our learning by using Quizzlet. We went through all our previous meetings and tried to remember words what we should have learned. I can tell you that mine were bit lost…
Diego did same thing (but of course he tried to remember Finnish words) and he was pretty good. Great job Diego and thank you for our learning 🙂
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.
Topic for the seventh meeting was differences between Finnish and Spanish ways to celebrate.
In Finland is common that when you are young —> your parents organize your birthday parties and all your classmates come to celebrate you to your house. After elementary school, parents are not so ambitious to organize those anymore.
In Spain things are pretty different. When girl turns 15 —> her parents spent a lot of money to organize her birthday parties. There is two ways to do it:
Parties abroad for few friends
Huge parties for 50 to 100 people
More common way is to organize big parties. One show is dancing. There is a rule that dad and daughter dance first and after that other guys can dance with the girl. Other custom is to buy 15 candles for a girl. She gives all those candles to her most important people when they eat birthday cake. Sometimes there is fights when someone doesn`t get a candle (better to choose wisely).
Last week before the Christmas holidays! This day I went to Ryoko’s place after taking an exam at school. We were mostly just chatting in Japanese and Finnish.
I told Ryoko about the JLPT exam that I had just taken. To be honest, I’m not sure at all if I will pass or not. Some parts were easier than I expected but the listening part was definitely harder than I thought it would be! I will only be getting the results in February/March, so the wait is kind of long… When I get the results, I’ll either start studying for the hardest level (N1) or try to retake N2 in case I didn’t pass this time. Ryoko will be of great help to me again then 😉
Other than that, we somehow ended up talking about refugees and foreigners in Finland.
I learnt some new words as well!
移民 （いみん）immigrant (which has a somewhat negative sound to it)
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 !
For our 3rd cooking meeting, it was my turn to teach a recipe. I asked my group what did they want to eat and ask me to make a : Quiche Lorraine.
So I bought the ingredients and print the recipe before to go to Tiilinkatu where the girls live. First, we decided to translate the recipe and discussed with a tea about our exchange because it’s almost the end and also about the Lapland because the German girls went there two weeks before our meeting and I was going there the week after.
at 7pm we decided to start to prepare so I saw how to prepare the mix and after to cook the meat etc. This is a kind of remix because we didn’t have the right cake mould but the taste was the same !
I think that my teaching session was a success because everyone said that now, they can do the recipe easily so my anxiety disapper. I hope they enjoyed their plate and will do the recipe again for their firends !
Because we like done various things and as I said before, we like learned our culture but also discover together the Finnish culture. So we decide to meet in the Ice Hockey stadium to watch a match of the Tampere’s team : Tappara. Our seat was really nice because we were high so we can see everything !
During the break we tried finnish food and enjoyed to look the supporters of Tappara playing, dancing etc.
It was my first hockey match so I didn’t know the rules or nothing so I asked Xavier because he went already there. So I learned some basics, enough to understand the game.
We really enjoyed the match and we were absolutely focused on it. I loved the atmosphere with competition but not too much, the music and everything ! I discovered a new sport and I think that it’s one of my favorite because I enjoy watching it, it was not boring. During the breaks, we also talked about the sport in our country.
For example, which sport we prefer or which team we support. I explained that in Paris, when you are a supporter of the team against Paris-Saint-Germain and that you are in the stadium, you really need to be careful because the fan can be mad with you and go until the fight.
After a 2 week break Alex and I met again for coffee. I have been away for my brothers wedding and had taken the opportunity that my trip home afforded me to introduce my friends here to some Scottish sweets.
I gave Alex some tablet to try which is made from sugar, condensed milk and butter it is then later infused with vanilla of whisky -in this case vanilla. As has been the common feedback with those that have tried it, it tastes a little like caramel. Below is an example of what it looks like, this is not the actual one I brought back as that has all gone!
The conversation then moved to Alexs’ thesis work and the differences between Austrian and Scottish university education. The grading systems are different in Austria than to Scotland which are in turn different to Finland, needless to say upon my arrival here I was very confused as to the grading of my work.
Our next meeting will be meeting number 10 the minimum requirement for meetings. Hopefully we will have time to meet more often however between exams and thesis work I foresee this being difficult.