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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Even though Finland is a relatively small country, it has managed to top the world rankings in pretty much everything, from education to life satisfaction ratings. Thus, we’ve decided to gather up a few things at which Finland ranks highest worldwide.
If you’ve ever heard anything about Finland, you’ve heard that they have the best education system in the world. Finnish schools have consistently stayed at the top of worldwide education rankings. Most of this is due to the fact that Finns have a completely different system from the rest of the world, when it comes to teaching. Students have only 30 minutes of homework, and only 3-4 hours of lessons per day. Moreover, Finland doesn’t have the traditional school subjects such as mathematics or physics!
Finland has been ranked as the safest country in the world, because of the extremely low crime rates. It’s also worth noting that the Finns’ trust in their police is the highest in Europe! There’s many other safety-related things where Finland ranks highest, including being the most stable country in the world, best governance in the world, the most independent judicial system, safest banks in the world etc.
Finns are the fifth happiest country in the world! The factors that played a role when calculating this were the GDP per capita, life expectancy, perceived freedom to make life choices and other such things. Finland is also a very desirable destination for women, as it is the second most gender equal country in the world, and the second best place in the world for mothers.
As mentioned, mothers’ and children’s well-being in Finland are the second best worldwide, and maternal mortality is the lowest in the world! Furthermore, Finland has the third lowest mortality rate from cancer. It’s also at the top of the lists worldwide for the highest life expectancy at birth.
Last but not least, here’s a couple reasons why visiting Finland would definitely be a good idea.
We already know how awesome Finland is: one of world’s best education systems, clean air and nature, one of safest and least corrupt places on earth, and so on. With so many good things it is no wonder that these celebrities fell in love with the country!
“I love Finland, I love people and their energy” exclaimed the US rapper for Rumba. Snoop Dogg has performed in Finland multiple times. In Tampere Blockfest, probably the country’s most popular hip hop festival, he was even wearing the local ice hockey team Ilves’ jersey!
Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker loves the “crazy” Finnish fans, and especially the lakes: “I love the Finnish lakes! Instead of a dinner after a gig, I ask the driver to get me to a nearby lake. After this I just dive to the cooling and refreshing water, and simply enjoy myself”, he told to Iltamakasiini.
Ashton Kutcher is not only renowned as an actor, but after becoming a father of two, he has contributed greatly to the social welfare. Especially children are close to his heart. Accordingly, no one should have been surprised when he shared in Facebook an article about the state supported baby starter kits, that all the parents receive when getting a baby. Even the caption for the post was enthusiastic: “Finland, you’re awesome!”
This is not the only time he praised Finland. In a Facebook video he recently shared, it was all about how the children in Finland receive free lunches at playgrounds during the summer. At all other times, free meals are offered at the schools, not to mention that they are prepared from scratch. The caption on the post suggested everyone to take example of the Finnishes practices.