I had a final meeting with only Haley present, as Yeaeun had already left Finland, and Mariona was getting ready to go. We baked one last chocolate cake, I ended up reminiscing about the course with Haley, and we took a drive around Tampere, looking at some final locations that she was interested in (such as Messukylä old church and visiting Pyynikinranta once again). Afterwards, we stopped by Tullintori and just walked and chatted. It was great fun hanging out with Haley, and I was very sad when it came time to say goodbye. I hope to visit Korea sometime soon to meet up again.
We ended up having a fewer meeting times because most of our meetings were 3-4 hours long, and there was the cottage trip that was around 8 hours. I liked having longer meeting times instead of a few shorter ones, because if things go really well and there’s a lot of fun things to do and talk about during the meeting, it’s a shame to cut it short. Also, some experiences (such as the cottage trip) just don’t fit into one or two hours.
During the course, I learned how to pronounce Korean words correctly and also learned a whole bunch of useful vocabulary for when I visit sometime. During our meetings together I asked for the vocabulary words to be written in Korean, not the English alphabet, so that I could practice translating them at home. This also helped me to learn the Korean alphabet better – I had a sheet of the alphabet with rows of signs, and I tried to memorize a new row every day for about 10 minutes a day on my own. Memorizing them on my own and then needing to translate the vocabulary into sounds after each lesson helped me with learning the Korean alphabet. This was better accomplished on my own, since I’m a bit slow with remembering the signs (I’m learning Japanese kanji at the same time, and didn’t want to get mixed up). I’ve found that learning a new alphabet is all about repetition – going through it over and over again until it sticks to your mind. This can easily be done at home. The part that I really needed help with was the pronunciation and learning new words, which we did together.
I really, really liked this course and would recommend it to everyone! It was so much fun learning about another culture and language from a native, and I was very happy to show them around Finland too. Learning together like this is the best, as it allows you to see the other person’s culture from their perspective and their enthusiasm helps to keep up your own enthusiasm about learning. I hope TAMK keeps organizing courses like this in the future too!
Our thirst meeting Haley, Yeaeun and I went to Essi’s House to learn Finnish and make traditional Finnish sweet bread called Pulla.
Essi bought all the ingredients to prepare Pulla and also she checked the recipe in Internet, so went we arrived we only had to prepare this delicious sweet.
Before started to backing we took tea and coffee and learned the basic Finnish grammar like easy sentences and the different pronunciations. For example:
||Terve, Moi, hei…
||Hei hei, moi moi…
Once we learned this sentences was time to start baking! First we prepare the base of the Pulla and then we started to prepare the shapes of this bread to bake them in the oven after.
During this meeting we learned, not only the Finnish languages, also Essi explained us different issues about the Finnish culture and food. She explain us when and how they eat this traditional food and others ones like Karjalanpiirakka (rice pies) or Joulutorttu (Christmas tarts).
Finally, once the Pulla was ready was time to eat! I had never tried this kind of bread before, because in Spain we don’t have it, but was delicious!!
For seventh meeting we gathered together in house of Iris again to bake so called Korvapuusti – cinnamon rolls. Recipe was in Finnish, so we had another set of words to learn. Some of those I knew from shopping for my own survival during months in Finland, but some of the words were new, and Iris also finally let me know, what does rkl and tl mean 😀
Funny part (at least for Iris) was her asking about amounts of ingredients and asking for help with various things – in finnish x.x So we had training in everyday finnish speaking 😀 We tried our best to guess whole meaning of question and then to answer back in finnish.
While girls were rolling the dough (kneaded by me – I had to do my part of job too), I was filling my white places in vocabulary book, alternately asking Iris and Yuki for those words and phrases in Finnish and Japanese.
Later, we had discussion about religions and age, when people are allowed to marry and drink alcohol. In Japan, they have rather complicated religion, connected with worship of ancestors.
Finally, cinnamon rolls were done and we enjoyed them with tea and some card games.
During this meeting we baked oliebollen. Oliebollen are a dutch delicacy. The closest thing to it that you can find in Finland is munkki. Oliebollen are usually made on the new years day only. We had a ready made mix where you only have to add water so the preparation process was quite easy. When the dough is ready you drop spoonfuls of it in hot oil. The oliebollen stay in the oil for about 5 minutes until they are golden brown. After that you just need to sprinkle them with powdered sugar and they are ready to be eaten!
While shopping for ingridients (mainly just a lot of oil) I learned some useful phrases that might be handy to know when visiting for example a shop or a bakery
Where can I find…? = Waar kan ik … vinden?
How much does this cost? = Hoe veel kost dit?
I would like to have this, please = Ik wil graag deze, alstublieft
Where can I find the fitting rooms? = Waar zijn de pashokjes?
Pay with cash / card = contant betalen / pinnen
Discount / offer = Korting / aanbieding
Price = Prijs
Receipt = Bonnetje
For meeting 8 we went out to watch some football. During the break we compared Finland and Holland in terms of how people make football into a profession. Here in Finland it seems that most people who work for small clubs also have a ”real” job aside coaching or playing. I personally haven’t met anyone who would have a purely football-realated profession here. In Holland most coaches work full time. Also in Holland people have a lot more to chances to make it into the field of football since there are a lot of different football clubs there.
Turns out that I had a box with mix for chocolate flavour cupcakes, icing included! Although is was a special product for Halloween, we didn’t care at all and made it look Christmas style 😀
It’s noteworthy the icing wasn’t as good as expected, well, everything possible expected for a bubble gum flavour! But still it was fun baking up with Melanie. Of course we talked about several things, but the interesting matter here were the cupcakes 😀
In second of December, we went to Paapi’s mom house again to celebrate our Pre-Christmas Party as our usual plan. We had been taught by Julia and Paapi to prepare some traditional Finnish Christmas Snacks which includes Christmas pies with two different toppings and also some gingerbreads! It was really fun and interesting to prepare them and the taste is just amazing!
Since that was a pre-christmas party, each of us has prepared a small gifts to exchange! I got Julia’s gift which is a small house for putting the tea leaf and making a tea ( I don’t know how to call them), it is cool and I like it very much! And I also got a bonus gift from Paapi which is a angel mold for making gingerbread, it is sooo lovely! Me and Meng also brought some small gift for Paapi’s mom and we glad that she likes them!
After farewell with Paapi’s mom, Paapi had brought us to a place for night scene. We can see a large view of Tampere from the swell and it was so beautiful. But it was also freaking cold and we jumped into the car just after couple of minutes!
I can’t believe it was our last meeting for the course, but I believe that’s not gonna be the last meeting in our life! I feel very thankful and glad to meet all of them. We had a lot of fun together and we actually become good friends. I will keep those precious memories in my mind and I believe it will be one of the valuable part in my journey. — THE END ***