Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Vappu Celebrations

Well, it finally came: the greatest celebration in Finland! Vappu! It's said to be the closest thing to a Carnival type event, that occurs yearly just before the 1st of May [that's on April 30th]. Vappu National Day is is a pagan holiday which dates back to the days of the Vikings

It truly surprised me to see so many Finns gathered in on area [the Finnish being as reserved as they are]; it was the greatest concentration of Finnish students and people that I had seen since I came there to Turku.

On this day, we got a case of beers and trotted to the top of the museum hill to a park, where all the Finns were scattered onto the green warm grass, enjoying, drinking, and socializing. After which a speech was given in from of the museum and in front of thousands of Finnish students and past students who capped their heads with their white graduation hats [making the entire street white!]. Then they all proceeded almost like clock-work to a statue which they bathed and capped with a gigantic white cap that students are challenged to try to steal. This happens every single year!

It's this type of tradition that got me envious of this country - tradition to such a meticulous level that old people from years back with their stained white caps still came out to fulfill it. In Trinidad, you do see national commitment to that level: A Holiday is just another reason to drink, but in Finland, a holiday is another reason to drink AND to fulfill traditions!

For more pictures see:

Monday, 28 April 2008

Finland: Last Days [Cafe Art]

Well our Last day of class in Finland wasn't as exciting and group-oriented as in France; but it was a sad day never-the-less. Biljana had insisted that after our last "Finnish-Language" class, that we all head down to this "wonderful", "beautiful" place, called "Cafe-Art".

Being the art and caffeine enthusiast that I am, I couldn't resist. The small going-away, last-day-of-school party consisted of Biljana, Slavica, Kris, Mark, and I. The place turned out to be quite nice, with art everywhere, and right alongside the river aura, giving it that "romantic feel", the coffee was nothing less than artistic, and tasted pretty good.

For more pictures see:
  • Finland: Last Day [Cafe Art]

Friday, 18 April 2008

Indo-Pak Biryani

Cooking with the girls; or for the girls; or more like...watching Kris cook for the girls.

Anyways, this was a night well-spent, cooking Indian/Pakistani Biryani for our dear Finnish girl-friends: Anna, Anniina, Marianne and Maria [those names are quite similar when I think about it] . They are truly the best Finnish people we've met!

Kris, Marcos, Wasiq, Salman and I, all chipped in to make this happen, and it turned out to be a wonderful afternoon with great food by great chefs! We even taught the girls how to eat the traditional Indian way: with their hands and with lots of spice and hot flavour!

For more pictures see:

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Switching Focus

And let there be light! Finally spring is here in Finland, the snow is melting, it's a warm 2 degrees Celsius at night and 7 degrees at day, and the days are getting brighter. There was the switch over to the daylight savings hour last Sunday, and now all of a sudden the nights are quite bright up until 9 pm :|.

There is even a midnight sun sometimes visible in Finland in midsummer. It is a phenomenon occurring in latitudes north and nearby to the south of the Arctic Circle and south and nearby to the north of the Antarctic Circle where the sun remains visible at the local midnight. Given fair weather, the sun is visible for a continuous 24 hours, mostly north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle. [source].

Anyways, it's becoming brighter, happier, warmer and livelier [with the concerts in Turku, and the girls dressing down in general ;)]. Here's my watch at 7:40 pm, and the sun still bright behind those clouds [i tried to be a bit artistic here, but the watch spoiled it].

The switching focus: