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Restaurant Day

Ever thought about having your own restaurant or wondered what the life of a chef is like? Do you know someone who cooks so well that they should have their own food let-out? Do you have great bravura recipes that you want to share with others? Or do you just want to show off your cooking skills? The Finland originated Restaurant Day is exactly the chance you have been looking for.

 

The concept

 

Restaurant Day is the world’s largest food carnival, and a movement, that allows anyone to set up a restaurant, a café, or a bar. Pop-up restaurants are opened on four days a year, and wherever people wish to have them: homes, street corners, parks, inner yards, beaches, and even at offices. So far, over 100,000 people have catered 3 million customers in more than 27,000 restaurants, in 75 countries.

Restaurant Day Soup

 

Eat at a pop-up restaurant

 

At http://beta.njomnjom.com you can search for a location worldwide, and see exactly where, when, and what kind of restaurants will be opened. Korean bibimbap in central Helsinki? Sure, why not. Columbian snacks in Turku? Yes please. Eritrean-Ethiopian dinner in the northern Oulu? Count me in! In Finland, the popularity of the Restaurant Day is enormous, and hundreds of places are set up. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Finland, though! The event is growing year by year, and has gone international. Restaurant Day is celebrated at multiple counties in Europe, and you can find pop-up restaurants even in Russia, Canada, USA, and Morocco!

 

People participate in the Restaurant Day to share the enjoyment and not to make profit – that’s why the portions are more often than not very affordable! It is a fun way to try new things even on a budget. You can check out our blogpost about other money saving tips in Finland from here.

Restaurant Day Bibimbap

 

 

Set up your own restaurant

 

To participate in the Restaurant Day, all you need to do is sign up for the event in http://www.restaurantday.org/en/. To make the most out of the experience you should prepare well! Pancakes and strawberries sold from a window to by passers? Fish and chips on a pier? A three-course meal in your living room? A fun concept will draw in customers. However, rather than going for the most exotic idea you can come up with, think about in what kind of a place you would like to eat at, and what would be catered there. Put some thought in the location of the restaurant, too. In the summer parks, street corners and inner yards are popular among people, but in case of a rainy or cold weather, your own home can be an easy and comfortable solution.

 

Wondering what you could cook? Check out some typical Finnish recipes from our blogpost here!

cake and cooks

Best Finnish Novels

Finnish literature is one medium to understand the unique landscape of Finnish mentality. Novels are a window to one’s mind. Even though you did not understand the original language, you can experience the culture since there are several novels translated to English.

We listed our favorite pieces that are available to foreign audiences. Dive deeper into the Finnish culture and devour these masterpieces.

 

Mika Waltari – The Egyptian

 

egyptian

 

Mika Waltari (19 September 1908 – 26 August 1979) is one of the best known and most productive Finnish writers. His production is not limited only to novels – he wrote poetry, short stories, criminal novels, plays, essays, travel stories, film scripts and rhymed texts for comic strips.

Waltari’s bestseller, The Egyptian, is a multidimensional historical story about a fictional character Sinuhe. The events take place in ancient Egypt, during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten of the 18th Dynasty. The novel was published in Finnish 1945 and few years later translated in English. The story is now available in 40 different languages. It is also the only Finnish novel transformed to a Hollywood movie.

 

Sofi Oksanen – Purge

 

estonia nature

 

Sofi Oksanen (7 January 1977 -) is an award-winning writer. She has written five novels and received several international and domestic literature awards from her work.

The Purge is her most known piece. The story handles the happenings during the time of the Soviet occupation of Estonia. The Purge has two strong female characters, old lady Aliide living in the countryside of Estonia, and young woman Zara, who is a victim of sex trafficking.

In fact, the novel is originally based on Oksanen’s play. The Purge is the first play that she wrote. It developed a great success internationally: it is produced now in total in 11 countries. The story came alive also on screen, and the film was a Finnish entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards. Also, an opera composed by Jüri Reinvere is based on the story, and the piece premiered at Finnish National Opera in 2012. The Purge has won several awards, which is not a surprise. The story is gripping.

 

Väinö Linna – The Unknown Soldier

 

unknown soldier

 

Väinö Linna (20 December 1920 – 21 April 1992) is known for his classic pieces that describe Finnish history. His work is part of Finnish national identity. The Unknown Soldier tells a story from Continuation War with vivid characters.

Ask any Finn and she/he has read The Unknown Soldier at school. The novel is inseparable from the society and every Independence Day the movie based on the story is played on TV. The Unknown Soldier is put on the stage as well.

Arto Paasilinna: The Year of the Hare

 

hare

 

Arto Paasilinna (20 April 1942 -) is the man of humor. He knows how to use the language and storytelling to create an entertaining piece.

The Year of a Hare is a story about a man who quits his job and leaves the old life behind. He starts a road trip in the wilderness with a tiny hare cub he found. The novel is translated to 20 languages. You can also enjoy the story on the screen.

 

Tove Jansson: Tales from Moominvalley

 

moomin valley

 

Tove Jansson (9 August 1914 – 27 June 2001) is the mother of beloved Moomins. Her work is not limited only to Moominvalley: she was a novelist, painter, illustrator, and comic strip author.

Her most loved story series is about Moomins, hippo-like creatures living peacefully in a valley. Moomin books are translated to 43 languages and the stories enjoy great international success. Moomins adventures are not limited only to novels: the story and characters live in comics, TV-show, movie, and fan products, among others.

 

 

Check these links for further suggestions:

This is Finland – Top 10: Your favourite Finnish books

The Guardian – World literature tour: Finland

The Culture Trip – Literature from the Land of a Thousand Lakes: 10 Finnish Classics

 

 

Finnish – the weirdest language in the world?

Finnish is quite a unique language with only 5 million people speaking it as a mother tongue. The language has many funny sayings that turn out to be hilarious when translated directly to English!

Here are few sayings and the story behind them.

Matti kukkarossa – Matt in the wallet

 

Matti kukkarossa

 

Nobody can fit in a wallet – except Matt. Matt visits your wallet when you run out of money.

But who is this Matt? Why is it not Steven or John? And what is he doing in the wallet? Many questions arise when you start analyzing the phrase.

There are two different explanations for the origin of the saying. The first one comes from the Bible. Matt may refer to Matthew and the saying to the New Testament. The Gospel of Matthew 28:20 says “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Thus, Matt hangs around even when everything ends. He will stay in the wallet even after all the money is gone.

Matt is also associated with the check mate situation. The origin of check mate comes from Persian language “shah mat”, the king is dead. And indeed, you need money to live. Game is over if you ran out of capital in life.

Other way to describe that you do not have money is to be “persaukinen”, which translates to be “butt wide open”. Let’s not go into details…

 

Mukiinmenevä – Mug-going

 

mukiinmenevä

 

This phrase is usually used in a positive context. If something is suitable for its purpose, it will go to a mug, accordingly mug-going. But wait. What has a container for drinks to do with one’s applicability?

In fact, the mug has nothing to do with it. The origin comes from a Finnish word muka, which is a body for many words meaning something is suitable or fits in. The word reminds of the word mug, muki. During the years, the language has developed, and the word has lost it’s real meaning in people’s minds and became connected to the drinking mug.

 

 

Vispilänkauppa – Whisk trade

 

vispilänkauppa

 

This saying is used when two young people start to date. It describes especially the beginning phase of a relationship, when the affair is not settled. The whisk is the important part here – but we are not talking about the kitchen appliance you bought from a department store.

The origin comes from the history, when young people went to the forest to pick up twigs for whisks. Time spend together in the woods often led to a relationship, which established a phrase to describe the happening of two people falling in love with each other.

Antaa rukkaset – Give leather mittens

 

antaa rukkaset

 

If you get rejected in love, the other person gives you leather mittens. Even though you would have use of leather mittens in Finland during winter time, the meaning is only metaphoric. There is no solid proof that there were a custom of giving mittens in Finland at the time of rejection.

Instead, the Germanic nations had a habit of giving a pair of gloves when they were doing agreements in the Middle Ages. If the gloves were returned, it meant that the deal was turned down.

 

 

Best of Finland: Helsinki, the mesmerizing capital city

Helsinki is without a doubt the liveliest city in Finland. With a striking amount of people from all nationalities roaming the streets, you will never feel far away from home. In every other corner, you will spot some sort of “exotic” market, such as Asian or oriental food stores. Not to mention, the food scene is so colorful and vibrant that it really is difficult to just pick a place to eat. The night life is roaring, the people are friendly, the streets are safe… I could go on and on about all the pros of spending your college years in Helsinki.

Helsinki Cathedral

Since I’m clearly a foodie, I will talk first about the food scene. There’s such a big range of options to choose from, that every time I want to eat out in Helsinki, it literally takes me about 45 minutes just to pick a place. The options vary from delicious, cheap street food to Nordic fine dining, which has been a trend on the rise recently. You’ll find places of all sizes for all tastes, but as always, it’s best to ask the locals for the hidden gems, as those places are usually the best ones! For a quicker solution, I strongly recommend that you visit one of the many market halls in Helsinki (my personal favorite: Old Market Hall). Indoors, not only will you have a warm place to enjoy your lunch break, but you will have many options in choosing your food, as the halls are usually packed with unique local delicacies that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.

Fresh produce being sold at the Old Market Hall

Speaking of things, you won’t find elsewhere, you will spot Helsinki’s observation wheel, also known as SkyWheel, in the center of the city. The wheel is your ordinary run-of-the-mill wheel: youhop on it and you’ll have a really nice view from the top. However, what makes the one in Helsinki special is that it offers the possibility to book a sauna while on it. Yes, you read that right, a sauna on a 40-meter tall observation wheel. There is only one sauna-gondola though, so book in advance!

SkyWheel Helsinki: Can you spot the sauna gondola?

Next up, my favorite monument, probably ever: The Sibelius Monument… there are no words. For some reason, the sight of that monument really stuck with me after seeing it the first time. It’s a monument that was created in the 60s by Eila Hiltunen, and it’s made of over 600 steel pipes which form a shape that resembles a wave. The partially abstract monument was created in dedication to the renown Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius, from which it also got its name. There’s truly aren’t words to describe its magnificence, you have to go and see for yourself.

The Sibelius Monument: Passio Musicae

Not to be cliché, but you absolutely have to visit some of Helsinki’s museums. There are a few boring ones, of course, but Helsinki is home to some of the most unique museums. Art museums are very big in Finland, especially contemporary ones. Personally, I would recommend that you check out Kiasma. I thoroughly enjoyed walking through all the beautiful pieces of Finnish contemporary art. Another museum you have to see is the Design Museum. Let’s face it, Finns are known for their minimalist designs, so going to Helsinki and not visiting their Design Museum would be like… like going to Hawaii and not going to the beach! Unheard of.

Marimekko: colorful and bold Finnish apparel

As somewhat of a side note, I also have to mention the lovely Suomenlinna, which is technically not in Helsinki because it’s on an island just off the coast. It’s a 15-minute boat ride from Helsinki’s shore, and totally worth the visit. Suomenlinna island, literally translates to Finnish Fortress, named after the old fortress sitting atop it. In fact, the fortress spreads out through 6 small islands. The fortress was built in the 18th century, and is nowadays in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Other than the fortress, the island is quite lively with people, either residents or tourists, and there are some fantastic views that deserve endless Instagram pictures! Let’s just say, there’s a reason Suomenlinna is one of the most popular tourist attractions.

Suomenlinna: Uncanny resemblance to the hobbit houses in Lord of the Rings

Obviously, there are many, many, many more things to do and see in Helsinki (there’s an Olympic Stadium!). But I simply cannot condense all of that information into one simple blog post. When you do visit Helsinki though, make sure to walk around on your own a bit and explore the wonderful city. You will, without a doubt, discover many of the secrets it holds.

Best of Finland is a series of blog posts that Edunation has created in order to familiarize our readers with the main attractions to be found in Finland. The blogs will be all about the Finnish destinations in which you can study through Edunation, both the big cities and small towns.

Finland-China Collaboration and Universities of Applied Sciences

During President Xi Jinping’s visit to Finland last April, the world was taken up by an uproar. The Giant of the East and the tiny Nordic welfare country were discussing extensive partnership and cooperation projects.

 

Two months later, the Finnish prime minister Sipilä and the Team Finland delegation were visiting China. Many successful contracts were signed, among them a cooperation agreement between Arene, the Rectors Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Scienes, and the National Centre of Schooling Development Programme, that operates under the Chinese Ministry of Education. Read more below!

 

Pääministerin Kiinan delegaatio

Photo: @FinPro

 This is a freely translated version of the original Finnish article published by Arene at http://www.arene.fi/fi/arene/ajankohtaista/arene-kirjoitti-yhteistyosopimuksen-kiinalaisten-kumppaneiden-kanssa.


Arene Signed a Cooperation Contract with Chinese Partners

 

Throughout the Finnish prime minister Juha Sipilä’s stay in China, more trade, investment, and intention contracts were signed than ever before during a Finnish-minister-lead Team Finland visit. All in all, no less than 54 contracts were made.

 

During the trip, on the 29th of June, the Rectors Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, Arene ry, signed a contract with Finnish universities of applied sciences and the Chinese National Centre for Schooling Development Programme (NCSDP). NCSDP is an organisation that works closely with the Chinese Ministry of Education. Prime minister Juha Sipilä and the vice president of General Administration of Sport of China (GASC), Gao Zhidan were present when the contract was signed.

 

Before finalising the collaboration agreement, negotiations about its contents were held in the Finnish embassy. The negotiations were participated by the president of Arene and the rector of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (SeAMK) Tapio Varmola, Specialist Mika Tirronen from the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Customary Relationship Manager Tanya Chen of Tampere Univeristy of Applied Science, and the Chinese partner representatives NCSDP Director Chen Feng and the Head of Department of Innovation and Development Zhimin Liu. The shared goal is to establish a FINLAND-CHINA Innovation Center on the field of higher education and research.

 

“This is an excellent opportunity for Finnish universities of applied sciences. A similar UAS system is being developed to China. To reach the objectives, both sides are committed to enhancing the cooperation and collaboration forum in education, as well as in economy, between China and Finland. On the side of Finland, the Innovation Center could be operated based on a network”, stated Mr. Varmola. “The purpose of the contract is to improve innovation by developing education, the joint effort of education and economy, and the education of teachers. We also brought up the topic of admitting more Chinese students to study in Finland. Both sides were emphasising the aspiration to concrete progress”, he commented.

 

The over 60-person Finnish business delegation that travelled to China had all together hundreds of meetings in just a few days. In the meetings, based on the declaration of partnership that was made during visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s in Finland last April, collaboration projects and schemes were discussed. The prospects of team work on sectors of energy, clean tech and digital solutions, winter sports, and education.  

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