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.
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.
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.
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!
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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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:
In Finland, you can find so many edible, little things in the nature and they taste delicious. We have listed three natural recipes for you to read!
For instance, there are wonderful berries and mushrooms which you can pick from the bushes. We have, in Finland, this thing called “every man’s rights”. This basically means that anyone could just visit a forest or field and pick some berries or mushrooms.
My personal favorite are blueberries. Blueberries are sweet, but unlike candies, these berries are also healthy for you. You can combine blueberries with so many different food, e.g., ice cream and pies. It is fairly easy; you don’t have to be a master chef in order to create this delicious blueberry pie. Here’s a recipe.
Second favorite what most Finns pick up from the forest is chanterelle. Chanterelle is a mushroom, tasteful and maybe the most known one. There are some preparations you have to do with the chanterelles before cooking it, but it is certainly worth it. Here’s a nice chanterelle risotto recipe for you to make your friends and family happy.
The third recipe is made from nettles. I know picking nettles could be painful if you are not well covered when gathering them, but if you put proper clothes on and parboil them, you’ll be fine. Here’s one nice nettle soup recipe for you for the cold summer evenings.
There are many benefits from eating these natural foods from the forest. For example, it has been studied that blueberries could prevent cancer, they also increase your brain capacity and easy your metabolism system. Chanterelles also have its own benefits, e.g., full of vitamins and irons.
You can have a perfect three-course meal with these recipes listed above. Start with the soup, then have the chanterelle risotto, and finally the blueberry pie as dessert. Have fun preparing this Scandinavian course meal and remember to eat well!
Do you remember life with “dumbphones”? It’s a good time to get nostalgic, since just last month Nokia launched the new retro 3310 phone. Let’s go back in time to the golden days of Finnish tech giant Nokia when WiFi and 4G were futuristic daydreams.
Before WhatsApp or Facebook messenger even existed, people loved SMS messages, or more familiarly text messages. In fact, the short message service is a Finnish invention. Matti Makkonen introduced his idea already in 1984, but his vision of “text talk” was declined at first. He did not let that bring him down and nearly ten years later in 1992, first text message “Merry Christmas!”, was sent from computer. Few years later, Nokia launched the first text message phone and the rest is history.
In 2008, Matti Makkonen received The Economist Innovation Award in the computing and telecommunications category for the work he made for SMS. Still, his attitude towards the invention was extremely Finnish – humble. He disliked when people called him an inventor of text messages and preferred to be called the one of the first people who understood the demand for the service.
Even though texting was a convenient way to stay in touch, there were a few pitfalls. Sent and received messages were on separate folders which led to extra clicking if you forgot what you had texted earlier, not to mention extremely limited storage space. After a dozen of messages, you had to carefully evaluate which messages were important enough to keep.
The struggle was real when optimizing the message usage, too. One text message could have a maximum of 140 characters and if you went over the limit, you had to pay for two messages. It was usual to shorten words and re-write the messages before sending. Moreover, there was no emojis, so people got creative and created smileys with colons, clauses, and characters. Sweet, huh :3
Smartphone generation might think that old phones were just dumb bricks used for calling. However, this was not the case. Maybe you could not take or send any pictures, but there was something cooler instead – logos and icons! Especially youngsters ordered these pixeled pictures via text message to decorate their phone screens. You could browse the options from the back of a printed magazine to find the fanciest one. The down side was that it was not possible to save icons. Once you ordered new one, the old one vanished into thin air.
The phone offered entertainment as well. Snake 2 was a classic and if you got through Space Impact, your street credibility increased immediately. One popular activity was to listen to the ring tones, which may not have been too entertaining for people around you. There were only few ringtones out of which Nokia Tune was, and probably still is, the ultimate hit. The well-known melody is in fact a part of a music piece Gran Vals. The Spanish classical guitarist and composer Francisco Tárrega wrote the artwork already in 1902. Little did he know that nearly 100 year later the song would make everyone reach for their phones.
Life without a smartphone might sound ascetic, but the brick had some unbeatable features. The battery life was extremely long compared to smartphones. Weekend at the cottage without electricity – no problem! Nokia served you through the weekend without interruptions.
In general, communicating was more relaxed because you could not see when someone had “been online” or if the other person had read your message. “I haven’t read or I did not notice your text” was completely legit reason not to answer. A good way to avoid arguments!
In addition, the old phones were extremely durable. The most legendary phone must be Nokia 3310, a phone that would “survive from a nuclear missile”. The cell did not mind if you dropped it to pavement or dip it into a toilet. Nokia phone has even been recorded to survive a week inside a fish. No wonder internet is full of memes and videos inspired by Nokia 3310!
Memories grow sweeter with time but you cannot deny that the world has changed. Life without smartphone would be like living on a deserted island. Social media and internet is crucial part of people’s daily communication and the good old 3310 has fallen behind in development.