German-Finnish | 2nd Meeting

Meeting on October 24th 2020

This time Niina came to my apartment. We initialized a shared word document in which we henceforth put all our vocabulary and grammar exercises. But as my apartment here in Tampere covers an impressive space of 12 square meters and has one wooden chair in it, we soon went outside, starting with a walk by Näsijärvi, the lake which is very close to my apartment.

Because I am not only going to learn the Finnish language but also to get to know the country, culture, and people as well as I can I have to voice a few thoughts about this lake. First: It is huge, and it is beautiful. “The land of the thousand lakes” did not promise too much and I could watch it all day. Just some numbers: In Hannover, we have the Maschsee (“Masch lake”) which is 0.78 km² big. Näsijärvi covers 256.12 km². That’s for that 😂

But back to our meeting: We mainly taught each other the numbers, weekdays, colors, and useful phrases. Later that day we decided to head to a café again (🌝) and settled there for a while, working further on our document, and talking a little more about our past travel destinations and current travel goals. The only thing that still confused me a little at this point is the – in my opinion – only as “abusive” describable use of ‘i’s and ‘ä’s. But hey, I think I kind of got used to it by now 😀

We also talked about some traditional holidays and events as well as history and current politics in our countries. Of course, I also told Niina about our German Schützenvereine or “marksmen’s clubs”.

“Although they have their origins in town militia, today they are revolving around shooting as a sport but rather have a more social than sporting purpose. They have absolutely nothing to do with the German military and most commonly historic weapons together with air rifles, air pistols, and crossbows are used. Very important are the local, annual Schützenfeste (“marksmen’s feast”). Almost every city and smaller village have their own Schützenverein and own Schützenfest. People of all age and population groups are attending it in the summertime to celebrate.” – from German-Russian | 7th meeting, published on November 23rd.

One thing that stayed in my mind was Vappu on May 1st, which here is also a celebration for spring (this starts earlier in Germany of course), students, and workers. Students wear their colored overalls (haalarit) from which you can tell to which course of study they belong (I still must get myself one of those). Then there is dancing and singing and there even is a famous song, ikuinen vappu, just about this day which I learned in a later meeting of ours. All in all, it sounds pretty cool and I am super glad I was able to extend my stay here in Finland until July next year, so I can take part in this one. I am definitely looking forward to it!

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