Yesterday afternoon our EOTO group attended the Independence Day Reception at Tampere City Hall. The programme consisted in a choir, a speech, a theatre work and a light buffet dinner. I was impressed by how big and elegant the city hall was.
The buffet dinner consisted in typical Finnish food (Karelian pie, reindeer pastry, 100 vuotta vanha cake), and wine.
Here is some vocabulary that we learnt during the evening:
English- Spanish- Chineese- German
- Birthday- Cumpleaños- 生日 (shengri)- Geburtstag
- Cake- Tarta- 蛋糕 (dangao)- Kuchen
- Wine- Vino- 葡萄酒 (putaojiu)- Wein
- Reindeer- Reno- 驯鹿 (xunlu)- Rentiere
- Farewell- Despedida- 告别 (gaobie)- Abschied
- Present- Regalo- 礼物 (liwu)- Geschenk
- City hall – Ayuntamiento- 市政厅 (sizen ting)- Rathaus
- Theater- Teatro- 剧院 (juyuan)- Theater
- Banquet hall- Sala de banquetes- 宴会厅 (yanhui ting)- Festsaal
- Independence – Independencia- 独立(duli)- Unabhängigkeit
- Party – Fiesta- 派对 (paidui)- Feier
- Elegant – Elegante- 再见(zaijian)- Elegant
After having dinner, we took several pictures at different places of the city hall and also at the photocall they had installed for TAMK, UTA and TUT students.
Once the party was over, it was time to say goodbye, and Loy gave each of us a Malaysian keychain as a farewell gift.
I really liked the Each One Teach one course, because in addition to meeting great people from different countries, and knowing more about their culture and their language, in each meeting we did many different funny activities, although the worst part is that I’m going to miss a lot all of the members of my group. It was a pleasure to meet all of you! Who knows, maybe we will see each other in the future in each other’s country!
This meeting was our last one, and Michelle was soon in a plane going home. We wanted to check how the EOTO spring party was, but unfortunately we got there too late, and the Olympics had already gone by. Also, most of the snacks was eaten so we decided to take a bus to the city centre to grab something to eat.
We both felt like fish and chips so we went to Aussiebar in Hämeenkatu. It was re-opened only few weeks ago and I had not been there since their relocation. We spent there hours, talking about everything. I’m going to be an international tutor this autumn so I asked Michelle if she had any tips for me. She told me that I should inform my exchange student about the TAMKO card before arriving to Finland, since it’s easy to apply it online. Also, she mentioned that there are warm clothes to be loaned from the social counsellor’s office.
We also talked about Michelle’s exchange experience. I asked her what she is going to miss about Finland and the answer was easy: Carelian pies with egg ‘n’ butter. What she will definitely not miss was the weather. Since we live in the Nordic countries, the climate is colder and it feels like summer never comes. Michelle felt like it was still winter as for me it was spring. It was interesting to see how the cultural background influences one’s mindset about seasons.
We had a very nice EOTO experience and we got to know each other well. The last meeting was pleasant and we bid farewell to each other with a warm hug.
That was the last meeting. At this meeting the main point was to find out what are all the things that we have in common despite of the language. One of the main reasons to make this EOTO was to clarify things about the independence of Cataluña, to understand why do Catalonians want it and why Spain doesn’t.
After hours of talking we found something that we already knew, our cultures are not that different as they want us to think. We all love food, we all love sun and actually here in Finland far from our homes we find our similarities more accentuated than our differences. After all we are Spanish, we are smiley, dark haired, brown eyed, foodlovers, Spaniards. Maybe Catalonians are a bit more polite, a bit more refined because they are our natural borderline with all Europe, so they can be seen as a bit more Europeans, but they are still Spanish.
It’s been quite worrying, how we discovered that in Madrid the independence issue has been transmitted in a different point of view. While we were talking about what we know of the political issues different ideas came to our minds. Pablo helped me to understand their position and I tried to explain ours. At this point what we ended thinking was what kind of solution would we need.
“Jóvenes, haced política, porque si no la política se hará sin vosotros” (Antonio Machado).
“Young men, make politics, because if not, politics will be made without you”(Antonio Machado).
It’s quite amazing how a few days talking and listening to a friend as if he was a teacher made learn fast and easy thousands of things at the same time that we became closer friends. This is a new approach not only in the education dimension but also in the personal dimension.