Oh I laughed at the dirty santa! Why haven’t I experienced that one! Haha! And perunalaatikko, I don’t understand how she loves it so much….Luiza’s Christmas sounds warm and really flexible and easygoing. The foods were so different once again, not a surprise though. But still in my opinion I think there is so many thing better than perunalaatikko! I learned many foods in Portuguese. I’d like to taste the desserts and the rise with raisins because it just sounds too weird. Oh gosh Brazilians and their dirty Santas, and raisins and everything.
Couple of years ago I spent Christmas alone because I was working long days and my family lives 400 kilometers away. Luiza was quite shocked. For me it was an opening experience, quite meditative also. It made me think about what I really want from Christmas. Such a cliche, but Christmas for me is quality time with my family and little sisters and brother because we don’t see that often. We enjoy eating together and spending time outside and in the forest. And of course we have Joulusauna, in the morning. The Santa might be visiting again, after that we open the presents. This year we made a deal that everyone buys only one present for one family member. I promised to make some joulutorttu for Luiza, this wasn’t the last time we meet. ❤️
In this meeting I was able to teach the others about my German culture. I really enjoyed teaching others about the characteristics of my country, and only then did I see how many differences there really are and you start to think about things that are actually completely commonplace for you.
Since we all like food very much in our group, we also talked a lot about traditional German dishes in this meeting. I showed the others which regions are famous for which dishes and that there are also dishes where people argue about which region they come from. For example, the “Currywurst” (a sausage in a curry spiced sauce). In addition, we also have dishes that seem very unusual for non-Germans. For example, “Zwiebelmett”. This is raw minced pork with onions and is eaten on a bun. Sometimes the “Mett” is even served in the shape of a hedgehog, which of course seems very funny to other cultures.
At the end of the meeting, I also mentioned some typical German expressions. Some of them I thought only existed in German, but we found out that they also exist in a similar way in Finnish. As I said in the beginning, I really enjoyed talking about my own culture!
I’ve been working on my thesis, and somehow we started to talk about it quite a lot. Last time the topic was our future, so this was a nice follow-on subject for that. My thesis is about Tantric Life Coach and creating business around that.
I help people to be more present and compassionate to themselves. Tantra is about allowing, being conscious and aware. The focus is on the body, because it tells us more than our head. People spend way too much time in their heads, not in their bodies or hearts. Body, breath, movemeant, and being present to yourself is the key to wellbeing. General issues are also boundaries, needs and how to communicate those to others. Under everything of that, is the NEED (NECESSIDADE, this was hard to say) to be heard and seen, as an all-encompassing human being. Those moments can be really healing. The subject is sometimes hard to explain and pitch. But in the end I see all the time that people need it, and kind of yearn for it. We are all the same, as precious and loveable. There just might be some layers that will make us forget that, or emotions might be stuck in our bodies, and we need to make them move, so life can go on.
Läsnäolo – Precense – Presença
Valmennus – Coaching – Coaching
Keho – Body – Corpo
Tarve – Need – Necessidade
Tulla kuulluksi ja nähdyksi – To be heard and seen – Ser ouvida e vista
Hyväksyä – Accept / approve – Aceitar/aprovar
Sallia – Allow – Permitir
Trauma – Trauma – Trauma
We talked about our future, goals and dreams today. It was so inspiring to hear Luiza’s dreams and I really did become emotionally moved while she talked about her mother. How terrible things can happen, and still there’s a chance to create a totally new life. As we see, our mind and actions make our reality. Humans are so strong if they just decide.
I’ve been a bit nervous and excited when it comes to my future. I’m about to graduate next month (hope so) and I feel I have been so busy that I have just wanted to focus on school and getting everything done. My dreams focus on being creative, inspiring and helping people to communicate better. I see myself as an artist, laughter yoga teacher, business consultant, dancer and as a life coach. I really want to be an entrepreneur, but it would be calming and safe to find a stable job at least for a couple of months. I also want to study more. Most important thing to me is to find a community, family and a partner. All of those are about love, growing and supporting each other. Let’s see and trust the process. Life is all about enjoyment. Luiza is so inspiring, how she has moved to Finland, wants to learn and live fully. I really admire the relationship which she has with her mom. This meeting was touching and really important to us.
Minä elän unelmaani todeksi – I’m living my dream to become true – Eu estou vivendo para meu sonho se tornar real.
Family and the whole history of family is fascinating. Last few years I have been focusing quite a lot on some kind of tragedies and traumas. How wars and the way of being present and showing love or care to your family affects our being and the way of living. And how we see ourselves and others around us. And what we think we are capable of. And truly about how we can break those barriers. I see it’s all around the questions: “ Am I valuable?” or “Am I loved?” I like to go deep in these!
My family is so precious to me. I have three siblings. Thirteen cousins, and I’m about to become an aunt, which has deepened our family and made us even closer. It’s beautiful to see the changes and growth processes. Sometimes I miss the parties where almost all of your relatives joined from mother’s and father’s side. I see we Finns are quite private with our things and lives. While we shared our thoughts we studied words, just like always in our meetings, here’s few:
Family – família – perhe
Mom – mãe – Äiti
Father – pai – Isä
Brother – irmão – Veli
Sister – irmã – Sisko
Cousin – prima/primo – Serkku
Aunt – tia – Täti
Uncle – tio – Setä
Grandpa – avô – Isoisä, Pappa
Grandma – avó – Isoäiti, Mummo / Mummi
For this lesson I was asked to bring anything that would be useful for Yuiko on her journey to learn Finnish. It is not the most interesting or fun subject, but still so important for being able to communicate in Finnish.
- Minä = I
- Sinä = You
- Hän = He/She
- Me = We
- Te = You (plural)
- He = They
Since they are not rocket science, but just remembering, we used our meeting to create different sentences and Yuikos job was to pick the correct one and pronounce it out loud. For example “Hän on iloinen” / “She is happy”.
Regardless the subject was boring, the time just flew by (at least for me haha.)
For this meeting Yuiko brought a file containing tips about Japanese etiquette. The subjects were:
Bowing is not customary in Finland, but I already knew a little bit about it. I have seen many foreigners who bow by only extending their neck and not their body. Yuiko showed me how to do it correctly and we practised it together couple of times. I also asked if you should bow with different depth depending who you are talking to. Yuiko explained that deeper you bow, the more respect you show.
We noticed that on this regard, Finnish and Japanese are very similar. In both countries punctuality is very important compered to some other places. It is polite to arrive little earlier than you are supposed to.
Shoes off inside
I believe this is a normal thing in most of the countries around the world excluding USA. It would be very unpolite to walk to someones home with your shoes on. You always should leave shoes to a place reserved for them.
It was very fun to notice how similar Japanese and Finnish cultures are regarding these topics. Yuiko will arrive soon to Finland and I believe she will integrate here just fine!
Meeting number 6! Since Christmas is around the corner we decided to talk about our own Christmas plans and our traditional dishes. Traditional Christmas foods in Russian are Olivie Salad, made of vegetables and ham, baked chicken (or duck) with potatoes or apples, caviar on buttered bread, and many other salads, like Dressed Herring Salad and Mimosa. One that caught my attention was this salad called Vinigrette, which had beets, potatoes, carrots and pickles on it. This was almost excatly the same Christmas salad we have in Finland called rosolli which has beets, carrots and pickles!
German had the most meat filled Christmas foods I have ever heard of, but in a very good way! They had Roasted pork, beef rouladen, potato salad with bacon, pork schnitzel and a whole lot of Christmas pastries! Yummy!
We told about Christmas foods in Finland which include a lot of casseroles, ham, rice pudding and pastries. We went around to hear how everybody said Merry Christmas on their own language.
Russian : С Рождеством!
German : Frohe Weihnachten!
Finland : Hyvää Joulua!
In this meeting we focused on cultural differences between Finland, Russia and Germany. I enjoyed it very much because I am a person who loves to learn about foreign cultures and countries. We have found that there are many similar cultural behaviours between Russia and Finland. It could have a historical background, as Finland was once part of Russia in its history. However, we all agreed that the behaviour in our countries is rather cold when it comes to greetings and dealing with strangers. It would have been interesting to see how a person from another country, for example from a Mediterranean country, would have seen this.
I really enjoyed seeing that our cultures and countries are so similar in some things, even though they are thousands of kilometres apart. Nevertheless, there are also many ways of behaving that are natural for us but are seen as very “weird” in other cultures.
Yesterday’s meeting was our 6th, and the topic was very interesting: traditional festive food! Since Christmas is coming closer and we could already feel this great atmosphere, we decided to discuss what traditional dishes we make in our countries and in our families. To be honest, I got very inspired because I love cooking so much and will definitely make something that guys showed me today! Some of the traditional Finnish Christmas foods are casseroles, and there are also different types of them. Two of the most served ones are Rutabaga (which is a root vegetable) and carrot. They are served hot and coated with breadcrumbs and butter on top, mmmm! Then there are also baked ham, Christmas bread, rice porridge, and really cute Christmas pastries. All in all, everything looked so delicious.
Then I showed guys some traditional Christmas Russian food, which is Olivie Salad, made of vegetables and ham (this is the most traditional Russian dish ever and everyone makes it for Christmas and New Year’s Eve), baked chicken (or duck) with potatoes or apples, caviar on buttered bread, and many other salads, like Dressed Herring Salad and Mimosa.
Then Simon showed us some German Christmas food–this is where the hunger was unstoppable. There are so many great dishes, such as Roasted pork, beef rouladen, potato salad and pork schnitzel…
We also shared how to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in our languages. In Finnish, Merry Christmas is “Hyvää joulua“, while in German it’s “Frohe Weihnachten“. In Russian, we say “С Рождеством!” and for New Year’s Eve, we say “С Новым Годом“.
It was a very nice meeting, and we are looking forward to Christmas already!