Paljon onnea vaan,

paljon onnea vaan.

Paljon onnea Sari,

Paljon onnea vaan!

That’s the Finnish version of the happy birthday -song. Today it’s my birthday. My first birthday away from Finland. I’m 21 years old now.

Last night I celebrated my birthday with couple of my friends. The plan was to go to a club, but before that we had pre-drinks at one of our friends place. They surprised me with a yummy chocolate cake. While we were drinking, we played my Dutch-friend’s card game where you need to make animal sounds. It’s really fun especially as a drinking-game. We continued the party at the club and the night turned out to be great. Couldn’t ask more better birthday party.

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Today, on my actual birthday I have just slept a lot and watched tv-series. But…my roommate surprised me in the morning with chocolate and Happy Birthday -greeting card. Thank you!

It’s almost May and final exams are getting closer. In less then in a week I have to have a essay done and prepare for exams. Still, I haven’t forget Finnish traditions.

On 1st of May there’s Finnish May Day, vappu. I have written about this day earlier in my post: Cultural mix-up. People drink sima (which I made this time myself) and eat doughnuts which we call munkki, and tippaleipä. For kids there’s also helium balloons and paper streamers for decorations or just to carry it around you. On the 31st of April around 6 pm in Helsinki there’s a statue called Havis Amanda which a certain local university’s students put a graduation cap on her. When the cap is on everyone can wear their graduation caps till the vappu ends. Also university students wear their university’s jump suit. There’s certain colours of jump suits for each university depending on what are you studying. For example, if you study psychology in University of Helsinki you will have a lilac jump suit, but if you study psychology in University of Tampere you will have a red jump suit. Of course, I won’t be able to ever wear any jump suit because I decided to study in a university in London. Not regretting anything.

A week before vappu there was a picnic to celebrate the day. Picnic happens to be a part of the traditions during vappu. I had invited my friends to join me for the picnic. Most of them were really busy – and still are – but luckily couple of my friends were able to join with me. It was windy that day so it turned out to be really cold. My friends had to leave, but we, Finns, struggled to stay even though it was freezing. “Satoi taikka paistoi!” (meaning: “Whether it’ll rain or it’ll be sunny!”). That’s what we say when we do something without worrying about the weather. In the end it was time to get somewhere warm, inside. We went to the local pub. I remember the bartender looking at me strangely. I realized she was wondering about my graduation cap. Weird Finns, huh. We talked, and had couple of pints of beer, some had wine. It was really nice to meet other Finns living here and get to know them.

I have a lot of catching up with my studies, but today I’m not going to worry about it. It’s my birthday!

Hyvää kansallista veteraanipäivää sinne Suomeen!

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