Tag Archives: traditions

Chinese food with friends

Our third meeting was at Li’s home near Lukonmäki.

Li, Cui, Huang and Sisi had made some traditional chinese food because of their friends 20th birthday! Me and my boyfriend were invited to join also and it was so much fun! I was suprised how birthday party starts: first you sing, then birthday girl/boy blows away candle and then do somekind of prayer.

It was my first time eating chinese food; there were sushi, põ, tomatoes with sugar, pumpkin…  I feared they would be very spicy but suprisingly they were not. I really liked pumpkin and põ.

We discussed some table manners and differences between China-Finland. In China, the oldest person/-s start the dining, then the younger ones (grandparents->parents->you->your younger siblings). It’s done so to show respect to your elders. Dinners are also very lively in China while in Finland, you eat in silence because Ruokarauha (food peace?).

We also discussed dinners in diffrent holidays, traditional foods, table wear’s in finnish and chinese. I love how observant they are: they make good points that made me laugh when I realized how anti-social and shy we finnish people are.

Kuvan mahdollinen sisältö: teksti

Our Chinese friends made some very good questions I have to think through for our next meeting (like why finnish food is usually so salty, finnish small talk..)

Pre-Christmas party with EOTO

Christmas time means pre-Christmas parties and for our eight meeting we went to the EOTO Christmas party which was at Solu. There were many other students from around the world who were also participating the EOTO course. Many students had brought some traditional food and snacks from their home countries to share with everyone. At the party me and Jocelyn talked about Christmas traditions in Finland and the Netherlands.

 

In Finland we celebrate Christmas on 24th December, Christmas Eve. In the morning of the 24th there is a children’s TV show where Santa Claus takes calls from children and they also show traditional Christmas animations and movies. Christmas is spent with family. Many families go to church on Christmas Eve and for most of them Christmas is the only day of the year they go to church. Some of my family members go to church in some of the Christmases but not always. Personally, I don’t go to church because I have resigned from the church.  In the evening, after the church or some other activities, there is the Christmas dinner which consists of oven-baked ham, root vegetable casseroles, mixed beetroot salad, smoked salmon and many other different salads, meat and fish dishes. At some point, usually after dinner, Santa Claus comes for a visit. Santa Claus’ visit is usually a tradition only if there are young children in the family but some families hire one even when the children are older and don’t believe in Santa Claus anymore. Children sing songs to Santa Claus and then Santa Claus brings presents to everyone. The presents can be placed for example under the Christmas tree by family members if Santa doesn’t visit. After Santa Claus leaves the presents are opened and the rest of the evening is spent with family. Rest of the Christmas (25th and 26th) is usually spent with family and I personally visit my grandparents and my boyfriend’s family on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

 

 

In the Netherlands the Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Day 25th and the second Christmas Day 26th. I already posted a blog about Dutch traditions and I told about Sinterklaas. On Sinterklaas’ Day children get presents so it is not a common tradition in the Netherlands to give presents on Christmas Day. Christmas is more spiritual and it involves church. In the Netherlands Christmas is also spent with family and it includes a Christmas dinner. A Dutch Christmas dinner usually includes roast pork, vegetables, homemade bread and pepernoten.

 

Although very similar, there were surprisingly many differences between Finnish and Dutch Christmas. It was nice to get to know more about Dutch traditions and the pepernoten cookies that Jocelyn had brought were so good I’m going to buy them too!

Finnish traditions and holidays

This time Elisa and I drank some coffee, tea & chocolate cake and we talked about something that really interest me: Finnish traditions. First, I taught Elisa about some Dutch traditions and after that she told me about Finnish traditions. It’s funny that the traditions are so different but also a little bit the same.

Loppiainen/Epiphany

The first Finnish tradition we talked about was Loppiainen or Epiphany. This takes place on the 6th of January. This is basically the day when they take their Christmas decorations away.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday takes place the Sunday before Easter. On this day kids dress up as witches and the pick out a tree branches. The kids decorate the tree branches with feathers. They will go from door to door to say a poem to wish the people good health. In exchange for saying that poem they will get some candy. This holiday kind of reminds me of the Dutch holiday Sint Maarten.

Vappu/Laborday

Vappu is on the 1st of May, but the celebration last for a week. This is a communistic celebration. In Tampere there is a market at central square. During this holiday there is also a lot of nonsense stuff like a lot of balloons and fart pillows. A lot of people will drink champagne and make their own sima. There is also a lot of food like Munkkis.

Last eve of April

On the last eve of April, a lot of young people will go out and drink all night. They always put a hat on the maid of Finland statue.

Juhannus/Midsummer

Juhannus is an ancient Finnish holiday. It always takes place on the Saturday between the 20th and 26th of June. The main festivals during this holiday take place on Thursdays. A lot of Finnish people will go to their cabins in the forest and celebrate it over there. In Tampere there is a festival called Underground Midsummer. There is always a bonfire and there are dances. For example, the midsummer dance. There is also a myth that if you put seven different flowers on your pillow, you will see your future husband in your dreams. This is something some of the younger girls do.

All Saints day

This day takes place on the 1st of November. A lot of people go to the cemetery this day to light a candle.

Independence Day – Suomi sata

Finnish Independence Day is on the 6th of December. This year it’s a really special year for Finland, because Finland exists 100 years this year. In 1917 was the independence of Finland from the Russian republic. Before being a part of Russia, Finland was a part of Sweden. During Independence Day there will be a reception where the president and famous people shake hands.

 

New Year’s Eve

On the 31th of December it’s New Year’s Eve in Finland. This means fireworks and getting drunk. Some people will melt a horseshoe and the shape will predict the next year.

It was really interesting to hear about the Finnish holidays and traditions. Like I said before, some of them I celebrate as well, but there are also a few holidays I have had never heard of before.

 

 

 

 

1. Meeting: Plevna, local food and getting to know each other

Hello everyone! 🙂

My name is Helena, I am 23 and I am from Germany. Like some others here, I am in Tampere until December for an exchange. I am so lucky I get the chance to stay here with you all and that I met Pauliina! Pauliina is from Finland and we are a pair at the Each One Teach One course.

For the first meeting, Pauliina and I just wanted to get to know each other. But while doing that – Not missing the chance to taste some local food already!

So we went to Plevna – A very nice restaurant in the Finlayson area. It is a brewery and a restaurant and they have many different beers from tap as well as a large selection of german and finnish food. And – what a surprise – There was a finnish and a german menue!

Perfect for our purpose and we enjoyed a craft beer and Pauliina had some very tipical german Currywurst. I had a finnish dish called “Plevnan Pyttipannu”. A very delicious mix of potatoes, sausage and a cream sauce. While enjoying these big portions of nice food, we thought about all the different things we could do while taking part in this course and we came up with many ideas. If you follow this blog, you will definitely get some more impressions ;-).

It is so nice to meet Pauliina. She told me a lot about different Finnish food. About different eating habits, about food she likes to cook and food she does not like. And some different drinking habits in Finland. What different beers and types of liqueur there is. And so did I. I tried to give her some ideas about dishes in Germany. All these little talks and hints just showed me that there is so much to discover and eat and drink and do in Finland – And I am happy to get to know this with her.