Multi-cultural Easter weekend in Finland
Here in Finland there is a colorful mix of religions: Christians, evangelists and the Orthodox Church. ⛪️ Most Finns, however, belong to Christianity. How the religions differ, so are the customs at Easter, of which, due to Corona, you have only heard very little this year! 🦠
I spent Easter Sunday with my exchange girls Laura (Portugal) Aria (Mexico) and Suvi (Finland) with a wonderful dinner. 😋 Each of us has tried to bring his local customs into the food.
Main course 🍽 cold Austrian platter, mixed salad, roasted vegetables and “bacalhau à brás” from Portugal
Desserts 🍮 typically Finnish at Easter is Mämmi (baked malt pudding) with vanilla sauce and pasha (yoghurt curd cream with fruits), Germstriezel and from Portugal 🇵🇹 “salame de chocolate”
Also an original Finnish @fazersuomi nougat could not be missing, which is hand-filled into a real chicken egg and then peeled like a real egg 🥚. You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/NPvtCcINJlI
Finally, we dared to try fiery sweets from Mexico 🇲🇽 The four of us discussed the Finnish Easter customs in a cozy atmosphere.
A slightly different learning unit took place in our Meeting # 5: Instead of holding it as usual at the table and armchair in a cozy environment, we decided to do this unit on the bike. We took advantage of the warm spring-like weather on the Thursday afternoon before Palm Sunday to go looking for Easter eggs all over the city of Tampere. Said and done! – On our way across the city, we particularly attached importance to terms in the outdoor area, which had to do with bicycles and pedestrians. So after a short time I received the directions only in Finnish, such as turning: left = vasen (to the left = vasenmalle), right = oikea (to the right = oikella), straight ahead = suoraan In a playful way, I learned a wide variety of terms from everyday life. We also discussed the following terms: bike path = pyöratie, pedestrian path = kävelytie, street = auto-tie, motorway = moottoritie, bicycle = pyöra, safe path = suojatie and also the term ambulance = ambulanssi, in the hope that this will not be the case having to call for help on the next bike tour.
Our fourth unit of each one teach one was first completed together, then separately. At a meal together, my tutor Suvi told me about the typical Finnish holidays and events that are celebrated around the year. We discussed the upcoming festivals in more detail, such as: Joulu, Pääsiäinen, Juhannus, Wappu and so on. We then went into more detail about the Juhannus Festival. In my home country there are also midsummer celebrations with large pyre, but the importance here is not as strong as in Finland. To clarify the typical customs of this celebration, Suvi showed me the Finnish TV series “Karjalan kunnailla”, so one episode only revolves around the “Juhannus” festival. In this episode it was also shown that women collect eight different flowers on that day in order to find their great happiness. The custom of going to the sauna in the summer houses is also clearly shown and how nature shows its most beautiful side at this time of year.
I think it’s really nice to personally immerse myself in a culture with its customs that is relatively new to me and to be able to collect and take them with me not only in linguistic form but also with personal experiences for the future.
Hello at all,
today I want to talk about my third Finnish-English Meeting with Suvi. This day was not only sitting inside and study finnish language. – No, it was more than this. We had a really active and funny sunday, combined with studying and language skills. First we started to go sledding with the pulkka (sled) on a childrens toboggan run, where we dared to go down both routes alongside the children 🙂 Now that the weather allows us to process the snow into wonderful works of art, we have let off steam artistically in the snow. We built a cave out of many individual snowballs, in which we finally put a candle and lit it.
During the construction of the light art work, we also talked about Austrian cuisine and the dumpling culture from my home country and decided at short notice to combine the evening Finnish unit with Austrian cuisine. So we made Waldviertel potato dumplings filled with cheese and minced meat.
When we were strengthened, we started to write down those Finnish terms that had already come up during the preparation of the food, such as: Schein (possu, porsas), milk cow (nauta), beef (naudanliha), minced meat (jauheliha). In the course of this, we also discussed other ingredients, namely those that are to be found and picked in the forest yourself: chanterelles, porcini mushrooms, mushrooms.
After adding the ingredients, I surprised Suvi that I could recite the numbers she had already learned with me by heart. The new topics for this unit were the days of the week and the time. After we had noted down all the terms needed for this, I tried to name various combinations of times. Examples of the time were 8:25 PM, 5:30 AM, 8:45 AM, and 5:15 PM. At the time, I already knew some compositions from other languages, but it is very difficult for me to memorize the individual words for it, as these cannot be derived from any of the words that I usually know. However, I have created a booklet for this language course in which I can clearly record all the learned content in writing and, if necessary, read it.
For our second unit “Finnish – English” we met for coffee in the Tullintori shopping mall. Today more basics of the Finnish language were on the program. Since numbers accompany us very often in daily life, regardless of whether it is when paying at the cash desk, reading and recognizing bus numbers, telephone numbers, at birthdays and much more, these were on today’s program.
We started with the digits 1-10 and were able to move very quickly to various combinations of multi-digit numbers. Here I was able to find a good connection to other languages, since the counting method is very similar to that in Finnish. At first I struggled a little with the pronunciation of the individual numbers, but I was able to combine and pronounce multi-digit numbers very quickly. In a little exercise in which I was given a wide variety of numbers, I was able to practice the correct composition and pronunciation. I was particularly astonished that words and combinations are necessary for such short terms in German and for Finnish numbers.
It continued with the spelling of the date and month name. These are helpful for naming and writing your own and someone else’s date of birth. I found it particularly exciting that some month names can be derived from seasons or activities in this season, such as “kesäkuu” (June, kesä = summer), “heinäkuu” (heinä = wheat, high season for agriculture) and “syyskuu” (syksy = fall / autom “). When we had discussed these terms, I tried to combine and pronounce the most diverse dates of birth with number, month and year. At first it won’t work without written help, but the more I repeat this content of the lesson, the better I will remember these basics.
For our first “each one teach one” lesson, we started with a practical application. Our goal was to have a Finnish tasting evening. We have already agreed in advance that we want to go grocery shopping together, but only want to buy typical Finnish dishes and then taste them. Said and done! We went to the K-Market together to choose the food and dishes there. The large selection of the most diverse brands of individual product groups immediately overwhelmed me. You won’t find such a large selection in my home country. So the first big question for me was what should we buy if I don’t even know the basic terminology of the individual dishes. However, with the help of my tutor, we were able to differentiate and clarify some ambiguities and terminology in the business. Fortunately, I don’t have any intolerances or allergies that I have to pay attention to and take into account.
The shopping basket full of Finnish delicacies from all areas, starter, main course, dessert and drinks, we made our way home. We did our Finnish tasting in a private apartment. With the individual dishes cooked and arranged on the plates, we set about the definitions, terms and ingredients of the individual dishes. That evening I not only got to know the typical Finnish dishes I had bought, such as “musta makkara” (blood sausages), “kalakukko” (filled bread), “peruna muussi” (mashed potatoes) and “lihapulla” (meatballs), but also basic terms such as bread, fish, various drinks and also types of cutlery and inventory. As part of the dinner, we also took up other exciting and useful terms and put them into writing.