Category Archives: EOTO

Japanese Etiquette!

For this meeting Yuiko brought a file containing tips about Japanese etiquette. The subjects were:

Bowing

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.

Punctuality 

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!

Festive foods

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!

Differences in Cultures

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.

Traditional festive food

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 foodthis 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!

Japanese Etiquette

Joni and I decided to share Finnish and Japanese culture respectively.
I created this:

We talked with it.

[Bowing]
Joni asked me “Are there any differences depending on the degree of bowing?” That was a good question! As he said, Japanese uses it differently based on the situation. The deeper you bow, the more serious you are, but be careful not to overdo it.

[Punctuality]
It seems that punctuality is important for Japanese. For example, if you were told to go your part-time job at 10 am, your boss would expect you to be ready to start at 10 am. It doesn’t mean that you arrive at the place at 10 am.
This silent agreement seems to be similar to Finnish people, too.

[Onsen (hot spring) and Sento]
Just as Finnish people enjoy the time in sauna, Japanese also like to bath in onsen(温泉) and sento(銭湯).

We had a great time. I was glad to notice Finnish and Japanese people seemed to have some common points.

German foods and idioms

Thank you Simon! Now I know many foods that I will never try.

I’m obviously just kidding, but I think I speak for all of us when I say having raw meat on your sandwich just can’t be called food. Instead, currywurst sounded like something I would try. And I was somewhat surprised to hear that döner kebab came from Germany. Simon showed us pictures of all the different meals and told us what’s in them. One of the more interesting ones was the pork knuckle that looks like after eating it you won’t have to eat for a week.

Then he told us about German idioms and expressions. They had some really funny ones and we also found some similar ones to Finnish versions, like “donkey’s bridge” or “aasinsilta” in Finnish.

Similarities and differences

We had a really fun topic today! We talked about differences and similarities in our cultures. Again, I was especially excited to hear about Russian weird habits because I was expecting them to be quite similar as the Finnish ones. And I was right. We had sooo much in common with them it was quite funny. We both are kind of distant and we like our space. And of course the alcohol culture has a lot of similarities.

Simon told us about German culture and we compared things like hugging and kissing and when it is acceptable. We discovered we have some difference in how our need for personal space differ. Germans hug a lot more although kissing on the cheek is a bit weird there too. But German people also need space. Even though they might be a bit warmer to the touch, they still need permission to do that.

Holidays

I was so excited to learn about this topic! We talked about holidays and how we celebrate them in our countries. Daria started by telling about Russian holidays. I saw a lot of similarities with our Finnish holidays. And we all celebrated labour day on first of May. Then we talked about Finnish holidays like laskiainen and Runeberg’s day and how we have some special pastries for those holidays.

Learning Russian

(The meeting was a while ago but just noticed I didn’t post anything about it so here we go)

Today’s topic was learning Russian. Daria started with just basic greetings and telling us about cyrillic letters. I was surprised how many familiar words there are being Finnish myself and speaking English too.

We learned the numbers in Russian and some drinks and foods too.

Some words I learned:

Fruit – Frukti

Peack – Persik

Lemon – Limon

Wine – Vino

Tea – Chai

Hi – Preevyet

My name is… – Meenya zavoot…

Russian Basics

This meeting we spent mainly with Daria introducing us to the basics of the Russian language. She taught us typical greetings as well as the intonation. I had a lot of problems with the Russian alphabet because most of the letters are completely different. The pronunciation, on the other hand, was not as difficult for me as the alphabet would suggest, because there are many words that are similar to English words.

When I was at school, I once did a one-week exchange with a student from Warsaw. That’s how I learned the basics of the Polish language.  I noticed that there are some similarities between the Russian and Polish languages. For example, “beer” is called “pivo” in both Polish and Russian.