I have been a little homesick lately… There’s this Carnival of light at my old job, Linnanmäki, which is to celebrate the last week before the amusement park closes. It’s just so beautiful to see all those bright, colorful lights around the park when there’s dark. It’s the 10th year of the carnival…and I’m going to miss it!
That’s not only the reason why I miss home…also because there’s almost nothing related to Finland in here! Last Sunday there was this Diwali, Indian festival (don’t ask what’s the purpose of this celebration…), at Trafalgar Square. Even though it wasn’t that great (as I expected), still…why can’t Finland have these kind of fun festivals to celebrate something (because we are Christians…and it only would be another reason just to get drunk).
On the left photo: my friend taking pictures, on the right photo: Indian God, Ganesha (the elephant statue, not the one behind it)
There were so many Indians that it was hard to find my friends…
Indians seems to have so many celebrations (well, there are quite a lot of Gods to celebrate), and we, Finnish, are Christians who just celebrate Christmas and Easter…okay, we do have other celebrations as well but not as big festivals like Indians have. We also have Vappu and Midsummer. Vappu is celebrated during the last day of April and the first day of May. The meaning is to celebrate all workers but the highly educated people have taken it as its own. So basically 30th of April young students go out to get wasted! Special meaning is that you can wear your graduation cap, valkolakki (the white cap) during Vappu.
Here’s a pictures of me wearing the cap from last Vappu
There’s also the Midsummer. Juhannus. It’s also about drinking…we love alcohol too much, I know…but when it’s Midsummer, we gather together to watch a huge bonfire (kokko), and enjoy the summer and each others company.
All these people have come to watch the bonfire. It’s big, isn’t it?
My only link to Finnish culture is my church here, Merimieskirkko. There’s a little shop where I can go buy Finnish products (not cheap though…), and sauna! You have no idea how important sauna is to Finns! There’s also going to be Scandinavian Christmas Market around the area, where my church is, in November. I can go see Santa Claus!
Well, I’ll fly back to Finland on Christmas holidays. Hopefully it’s going to snow during my time there…so I can take picture what Finnish winter looks like! Also I can’t wait to eat Finnish Christmas food. One of them is joulukinkku (Christmas ham). Trust me, it tastes good if you know how to do it.
Of course, most importantly, I can see my family and my dearest friends. But I have friends now here – they are like a family to me. I even got this beautiful dress…
I have always wanted something like this…Thank you Jaishaal!
We have been also cooked food from different cultures. I finally had the chance to eat Indian food…and I totally humiliated myself in front of all my friends (Indians and my roommate, Pakistani). You know Indian food is spicy. First our chef, KC, didn’t want make it spicy but I insisted, and he put there “little” bit of spice. I was so excited how good the food was that I ate it a lot very fast…then it exploded in my mouth. Now I’m a joke of my Indian friends…
We also had next day Spanish food. Empanada and Tortilla de patatas. It was so good! Thank you Laura for cooking it, muy bien!
I have had the chance to “taste” many different cultures. Even though my heart and soul belongs to Finland, I want learn and experience more about other cultures.