Next meeting was in TAMK and we were studying grammar. New words were family members, months, seasons, colors, question words and introduction in both languages.
After the meeting we started also write some whatsapp messages in Spanish and finish language. That was quite difficult though the things I write were simple (like what I did today and what kind of weather it is). I started watching some Spanish programmes and videos from Youtube to improve my learning. Videos were difficult to understand because people were speaking so fast. I recognize some basic words from the speak especially if I knew the subject of the discussion.
This was our second meeting with Chinese-Finnish-group and we decided to go to a Finnish restaurant. It was quite hard to find typical Finnish cuisine with variety on the menu, but after asking around I got a recommended Pyynikin Brewhouse. Located right next to Koskikeskus mall in a beautiful old brick building it serves local beers and dishes named after locations here in Tampere. I ordered Kaleva chicken skewers and they were tasty. I think this was a good introduction to Finnish restaurant culture and behavior.
Kaleva chicken skewer (kanavarras) with baked potato (uuniperuna) filled with cream cheese
We both love food and eating, so it was very easy to discuss about the topic and we will continue eating through cultures and learning the basics.
Our first meeting was in Purnauskis Cat Café. We went through some basic stuff like weekdays and basic verbs like want (quiero) and speak (puedo) and how conjugate the words. We also practice how to order something like coffee or cakes in both languages.
Spanish is quite easy language to learn because it is mostly written same way as pronounced just like Finish. As a teacher it was surprisingly difficult to think sometimes how to teach things. Sometimes written finish is so formal and people speak more unformal way in everyday life. As a learner it was difficult to conjugate verb, especially if the basic word was very different than the conjugated forms.
During the meeting we discussed also the difference between Spanish and finish culture and that was interesting. Small talk is more common in Spanish culture. On the other hand, finish people say things that they really mean.
Participants: Ramona, Cristina and Sara
For our 4th meeting me and Cristina invited Sara to our place. We cooked for her romanian traditional food named “mămăligă cu brânză și ouă” which in english is mămăligă with cheese and eggs. Every new meeting with Sara is such a nice expirience and we are getting to know more about each other.
After our dinner we drank some hot chocolate and had a talk about what happened with us during this exchange in Finland and how is the finnish culture for every of us. Sara told us about her experience with her finns friends and we talked about ours.
In our next meeting we will learn more things which will help us to have a baisc conversation in spanish and romanian. I’m so excited about it
For the next meeting we decided we wanted to be inside and be warm. This was perfect as it allowed us to chat and still have warm hands. We chose to meet at Junk bar as they have a great selection of board games and an even better selection of ciders. We sat down on some really comfy bean bags and started on our first game.
Alias is a Finnish board game and allows for some friendly competition as well as a good opportunity to learn more Finnish words. I wasn’t the best at it… and I am okay with admitting that. We were sitting in Junk Bar when lots of students were coming in and out and Matti explained it was a snack crawl. You move from Restaurant and collect a different small snack at eat one. Like a pub crawl, but much much better!
With a bit more discussion regarding Overalls and how i can get myself a pair of Turquoise ones without having to do that degree, we abandoned the game and started chatting again. Matti taught us the longest word in Finnish and it took a total of 36 seconds for him to write it out fully on a piece of paper.
“Lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas” = It essentially means to be a jet engineer student.
We decided not to opt for a second drink and head home for the evening after a good laugh and another great meeting!
Following our initial meeting at the module introduction we had made a WhatsApp group chat. This was great as it allowed us to meet and organise freely when we were available. We were all able to meet following a day of busy classes on the 19th September. Matti coming from Tampere city campus, Liselotte coming from Mediapolis and I was travelling from TAMK.
When we met at Koskipuisto the leaves were falling and the air was cold. This was the first week of cold Finnish weather and it is fair to say that I was not dressed for the occasion. With it being cold and experiencing the Finnish Ruska we headed for the Market hall (Kauppahalli). On our way to the Kauppahalli; Matti was able to tell us about the history of Tampere and can be regarded as a great city guide! After all, he has studied and worked in the area for 8 years.
Ruska = The red leaves that appear for a few weeks during autumn.
I hadn’t had the opportunity to visit the Kauppahalli yet so it was a lovely surprise to see the variation of stalls and food we were later going to eat…
We settled on a pastry and after a very educational conversation about the Finnish fascination with Rye bread it was fair to say this product will now be added to my weekly shop. As we sat on the bench eating our different pastries we spoke about cultural differences and in particular Finnish student lifestyle. With my fascination with overalls we discussed that if you are in a long term relationship with your partner you will swap the lower half of your left leg overalls and sew on the opposing colour. In my opinion, much more of a commitment than marriage…obviously joking (kind of).
We then headed for the Ratina area and had a walk around when the typical Finnish weather hit! We parted ways and looked forward to planning our next meeting.
For our fifth meeting but not the last one, Jessie organized a trip for us to take a cruise to Tallinn. Estonia is a country opposite Finland, while the capital Tallinn is located at the northern end of Estonia, on the south side of the Baltic Sea. This is a historical city, like Toledo of Spain. The old city is not big and can be finished in one day, but we have experienced a special local culture here. In addition to local Estonian, Finnish, Russian and English are well understood in Tallinn. Here we can see a lot of Russian elements, like Russian dolls, Russian costumes… We also tasted the local special food: reindeer meat, although it tastes similar to beef. Now, we are looking forward to our trip to Lapland.
Today is my birthday(Oct.9th). I wanted to invite everyone to eat Chinese food, but there are very few local Chinese restaurants in Tampere, and Bettina is a vegetarian, so we decided to go to sushi. The sushi restaurants here are all run by Chinese, so we could also taste a little Chinese food at the sushi restaurant. Now I want to talk about the cultural differences about birthdays. In Spain, everyone will buy some pizzas and drinks to a party at home, then go to the bar for a few drinks. People who have a birthday in the Netherlands should buy a cake by themselves for everyone to eat together. In Italy, friends are paying for the birthday person, and he or she only needs to enjoy it. In China, the birthday person invites everyone to eat and pay the bill, the guests give gifts.
Learned some words today: Cheers + Happy birthday in German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian. Write the name of Julia in Chinese. Say “The food is very good, I can’t eat anymore.” In Spanish and Italian.
There’s one thing that must be done in Finland is the sauna. So tonight Jessie invited us to a Miami sauna party for the third meeting. It sounds very strange, a sauna in the bar. First, we went to the apartment of another German friend. We discussed various styles of music, Russian and German, and tasted the Finnish-made vodka. Then we walked to the bar, just like all the schools, there was a place to hang clothes when entering the door, and we needed to take off our shoes. It’s worth mentioning that this was a traditional Finnish sauna. Although there was no lake after the sauna, most Finns are naked.
Words learned today:
Vihta: is a birch whisk used for whipping oneself or each other in a sauna. Birch leaves release essential oils that can heal inflammations and clean the skin, while whipping does wonders to your blood circulation.
Löyly: The steam you get in sauna when you throw water on sauna stove is called löyly. It is believed there is löylynhenki, the spirit of steam living in each sauna providing a decent heat for its users. But you should be careful not to piss off löylynhenki, as it can easily burn off your ears!
October 1st is China’s National Day, especially this year is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country. Celebrations were held around the world, including Finland. There are fewer Chinese in Tampere, but there were still small cultural performances. So we went to watch this show that day, which was also an opportunity to know about Chinese culture. Performances include poetry reading, zither playing, chorus, Chinese dance, etc. At the same time as the performance, we explained Chinese cultural activities such as musical instruments, dance, and acrobatics. After the performance, we discussed traditional Chinese food and decided to go to my apartment to cook one together, not the complicated one, but the simplest scrambled eggs with tomatoes. Through the cooperation between Jessie and me, we cooked two large bowls of scrambled eggs with tomatoes, which was very delicious.