Finland from my point of view – the land of thousand lakes

    Sanya Mihailova, Goce Delchev University, Macedonia

    Hi. Let me tell you my story of living in Finland. My name is Sanya Mihailova, I’m a 24 years old woman, economist by profession. In 2015 I decided to follow my big dream to live abroad and voilá, here I’m in Finland, the country of thousand lakes. So, you’d probably ask why exactly Finland? My friends would probably say, “well since you’re a Christmas baby and Santa Claus is from Lapland, which is in Finland, it’s kind of logical decision 🙂 “. I could say it is half true, but still it sounds crazy, right? Well, you probably guessed that’s not strong enough reason to pack yourself and go to live in the North. This is how my story begins…

    It was summer 2015. I just finished my university studies, completed my practice work and it felt like I need some vacation and distraction from all those obligations and job-finding obstacles. In the night of my graduation party, I received an invitation from my aunt to come and visit her here in Finland. My response was a big YES.

    It was the most perfect moment of coming in Finland. August, sun is shining and the day seems to be endless. Nature is blooming with its all untouched beauty, it’s impossible not to fall in love with it.

    For the first time in my life I got an impression that this is going to be my second home.

    I had so many tours here in Tampere, the city where my aunt is living already for more than 20 years and where I live for more than one year. I’ve met so many breathtaking monuments like for example Näsinneula – amongst the tallest of all the Nordic observation towers with height of 168m. From there you have the feeling “the world is mine”. It turns around all the time so you can basically see the whole city from the sky. Finns consider Näsinneula as the heart of the city. Nearby you can visit the Planetarium, Delfinarium (but not anymore they have been moved to Greece last year) and the Angry birds land, yeap they are from Finland. The whole complex is actually called Särkänniemi adventure park.

    Then you have the Pyynikki tower, is a place marked as must go and try the best donuts in the world. There is such an interesting word for them in Finnish “munkki”. It was my first word that I’ve learnt in Finnish. It has two meanings, the first one is donut and the second one is a monk. The central square is the masterpiece of Tampere, where are built magnificent buildings with ornate architecture such as Palanderin talo,Town hall,The old church and The theatre of Tampere.

    After one month of living here as a tourist, I’ve noticed that Finland is country with high moral values, opportunities for development and remarkable honesty. For the first time in my life I got an impression that this is going to be my second home.

    I must say that I adore its unique “personal space” concept.

    Here are some interesting facts. I must say that I adore its unique “personal space” concept. Although for some people this is strange behavior I find it kind of sweet. It is funny to see at 7 in the morning people waiting for the bus with obvious distance from each other and even when you get in the bus unwritten rule is “no sitting next to each other”. They also have an etiquette “antisocial lifestyle” which is not true because you can always have a small talk about the weather.

    As much as you meet them, soon as you realize that Finns are well educated, informed, friendly and helpful people. Finns are also crazy for sauna. They consider it as a necessity and place where you relax, hang out with other people. It’s the most social event for them.

    Now something about the drinks and food. Believe it or not, Finns really know how to drink coffee. I’ve never seen it before in my life a nation that drinks more coffee then here. It’s all about the coffee. And is not that you drink some small cup of coffee but there is always a big large size of coffee cup on the table and of course cinnamon bun or so called korvapuusti, perfect match. It feels like coffee is their addiction.

    The second place goes to the milk consumption. It’s substitute of water literally. The most usual morning routine here in Finland is that you cannot start your day without “puuro” – porridge with all of its variations salty or sweet. In my opinion Finnish cuisine serve many delicious dishes such as blueberry pie (mustikkapiirakka), salmon soup (lohikeitto), rice pie (karjalanpiirakka), oven pancakes (pannukakku), blueberry buns (mustikkapulla) etc.

    Also there is some traditional holiday food. For example, Christmas is not Christmas without Christmas tarts (joulutorttu) and gingerbread cookies (piparkakku) and 1st of May they have holiday called Vappu, where is eaten baked rye porridge (Mämmi) and drink (Sima). Finns also adore casserole, they can make it from whatever you like potato, carrot, meat and whatever you imagination likes. However Tampere has his own special dish called Mustamakkara – blood sausage, and you better close your eyes when you try it. It doesn’t looks pretty but it tastes well.

    Finnish language skills are my superpower.

    The last but not least is the Finnish language. My first impression was that it takes an eternity to learn it. However as soon as you start learning it you get assumption that is challengeable language but quite logical language, although it has 15 singular + 15 plural forms of converting the words that can get into your nerves. It took me 10 months of learning in order to understand what people says and still I express myself like a 10-year old child I’ve never been so happy to learn foreign language. If you got the motivation you’ll learn it. Nothing is impossible. Whenever people ask me now “What’s your superpower?” I reply Finnish language skills are my superpower.

    Sanya Mihailova

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