Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas everyone!

So there is my another Christmas in Finland but this time there is no snow AT ALL! I would call it 'the green Christmas'. According to our neighbour Christmas without snow in Finland is called 'the black Christmas'.
Sounds scary but it's about darkness, the shortest days in year are really dark without snow. I enclose two photos taken in our yard: two from today and one from the last year Christmas Eve. The difference is apparent:-) Have a Merry Christmas no matter white or green or black.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Independence Day vs. Santa Claus

Today, on December 6 Finland celebrates the Independence Day. In the evening as each year this time ca.2000 invited guests take part in the Presidential Independence Day reception (so called Linnan juhlat). It is broadcast live on the national television and is one of the most watched programs on the Finnish television. The event used to be held at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki but this year for the first time in Tampere at Tampere Hall.
So have a good Independence Day Finns! Enjoy watching the presidential ball! 
6 December is widely celebrated in Poland as well but on another occasion. It is feast of Saint Nicholas, who died on 6 December 343. Saint Nicholas (Nikolaos) was bishop of Myra.
His hometown Demre nowadays belongs to Turkey. Saint Nicholas is a patron saint of children and is celebrated by giving gifts to children. In Poland and some other European countries it happens on 6 December. In many countries Santa Claus comes on Christmas, in Poland he comes twice:-)
Polish children cannot see Santa Claus as he comes in the night when they sleep, and hides gifts under their pillows or in their shoes. So parents must be very careful while doing the Santa's job.
I remember well these magic mornings ... and today I just forgot the whole thing!
Fortunately there was no problem with my children. We live in Finland and my sons don't know this tradition as I don't keep it alive. I realize how much their national and cultural identity depends on me. They are half Finnish, half Polish and keeping in them this 'Polish part' is my responsibility.
In Poland forgetting this day would be impossible but we live here. I uphold many Polish traditions but this one I somehow missed.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Autumn photos from Myllyjärvi in Espoo

Myllyjärvi is a small lake in Espoo's Röylä district, north of Lake Bodom. We went with kids for a trip to 'some forest' and found it accidentally last week. We walked it around, it's really beautiful, peaceful place and it looks like it is worth visiting during summer. The lake and its surroundings are nature reserve.
There is a small beach and jetty at the shore. 
Take a look:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

snow all year round

There was interesting article by Reetta Paavilainen in Helsinki edition of Metro newspaper on 10th October.
The last four winters were very snowy in Finland and there is still much of unmelted snow piled in some places. The attached photo shows huge amounts of the last winter snow in a snow dump in Maununneva (neighborhood of Helsinki). This snow will not have possibility to melt by itself before the new snow comes. There are plans to fence this area for security reasons. Snow can be melted in different ways, eg. by district heating, by using waste heat of the district cooling, or using waste heat of the power plant. 
Snow from the Helsinki region is dumped in numerous places but these places are not enough. There are plans to create the new places.
Part of snow is dumped into the sea, but snow from the city is mixed with stones and littered.
About the second photo - I took it from the train window at the Pasila railway station. I would not be surprised by such view somewhere in Lapland, but there were piles of snow in the middle of May in the very centre of Helsinki. We'll see what brings the upcoming winter ...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Finns - the cell phone makers

I got this link by Facebook from one friend: Le mappe degli stereotipi europei
I have seen already similar, more or less serious maps of the European stereotipes,
but this time I noticed something new.
Five of the twelve mentioned countries associate Finland with the mobile phones. 
In the wake of recent events concerning Nokia this looks really sad. One month ago Nokia's mobile phone business unit was sold to Microsoft. Since late 1990's until last year Nokia was the largest in the world mobile phone supplier. Nokia is to Finns much more than just a company:
YLE UUTISET (Finnish News) 4.9.2013: 'As well as making a huge economic impact, Nokia has had a remarkable psychological significance for Finnish people. The company has, according to some experts, greatly impacted Finns’ self-confidence.' ... 'After the recession, Nokia became a part of Finnishness. The company’s fortunes have had an impact on Finns’ morale, and self-confidence increased as the company's fortunes rose.' Markku Kuisma, a professor of Finnish and Nordic history at Helsinki University says: 'People don’t generally have an emotional connection to companies, but Nokia has aroused very strong feelings, both positive and negative, because its significance to national identity has been so powerful.'
Link to the whole article in English HERE.
Nokia began in 1865 from the pulp production of cables and rubber, i.o. rubber boots .. so the below picture is a truly bitter joke: (from Comedy Corner)

Friday, August 30, 2013

the sharecropper's wife - visiting church in Karkkila

Last month I made one day trip to Karkkila - small city ca.70 km north from Helsinki. While waiting for the bus home I decided to check out the nicely looking church at the main square.
The church appeared to be relatively old, it was built in 1781.
I found out, that Christianity arrived in this area (western Uusimaa) already in XII century.
There is old cemetery in the yard around the church. I was surprised seeying such inscription on the gravestone: 'Here rests (name, last name) the sharecropper's wife', or information that sb was a master of the house, and information who was married to whom, altogehter with their children names. If interested, I would get quite clear picture of 'who was who' in this place in the XVIII and XIX century. 
I noticed that the most popular name there was the royal Swedish name 'Kustaa' (Gustaf).
About the church: I share some photos as I found it charming. I would like to mention note intended for parishioners on the parish board: 'During holly masses in the Karkkila church we offer the gluten-free communion wafers. Non-alcoholic wine available on request'. 
That's so mindful indeed!
Summing up I would say, Karkkila and neighborhood is peaceful, quiet and beautiful. An ideal place to visit for nature-loving people. Photo below: stained glass in Karkkila Church: 'Birth of Christ'.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

foreigner forever

I hope to see more of Finland in the future so I could share impressions also in this blog. My friend just came from the most northern parts of Finland. I must go there one day (with a good camera). Amazing sceneries. Anyhow I got some new impressions without distant travels.
I have been living in Finland for about 9years now and I realized I would always be foreigner here. Knowing the language helps a lot but I will never get rid of a strange accent and imperfect pronunciation. Grammar mistakes happen as well. (about learning Finnish I wrote in post: Finnish IS difficult.) But this is not only about language - this is about character, personality, culture, my past, my almost 30years of  living in a different reality. 
I have already accepted my position as the eternal foreigner and I am sure I am not the only one who moved to another country with such feeling. This is not complaining. That's the situation to cope with and I share my thoughts on this subject. Sometimes I face funny situations and sometimes I need to have thick skin. Pardon my foreignity:-) I respect Finnish way of life, culture etc. but I see no reason to attempt to transform into a Finn. It would be ridiculous anyway.
I was buying Finnish gifts for my family, and the nice saleswoman offered me very colourful wrapping paper and ribbon. She explained me, that presumably I would not be pleased with the typical Finnish white, blue or grey tints, cause as she said I seemed not to be Finnish. Nice, talkative young woman, and very attentive:-)
When I talk to a strange Finn, I hear the question: 'Where are you from?' almost always.
I do not feel offended nor hurt. They notice I'm not from here and they ask. It's understandable
Immigration to Finland is relatively fresh phenomenon and it rose tremendously in recent years. There were not many foreigners here 20 years ago. Look at the picture I got from Wikipedia: (Allophones, i.e. residents with another native language than Finnish, Swedish or Sami, in Finland, 1980-2011, according to Statistics Finland)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

blueberries versus pickled cucumbers

When we visited north of Finland I noticed many people collecting blueberries (mustikka). In the Finnish woods there are also cloudberries (lakka) and of course raspberries (vadelma) and the wood berries (metsä mansikka). Later comes sesason for the lingonberries (puolukka) and the northern cranberries (karpalo).
In Poland most people pick up berries for pleasure in the free time but many Finns take it seriously as the summer thing to do.
They are not happy with few baskets but they preserve berries for the winter in the fridges. The berries can be eaten just sweetened eg. with a  porridge or pancakes. They can be used to make a cake, jam, juice, soup, compote or some syrup.
In Poland we used to prepare the pickled cucumbers (ogórki kiszone). Totally different taste than in Finland:-)
Of course Poles make also jams, compots etc. from the berries and fruits, but the pickled cucumbers seem to be the most common preserve for the winter. Today we made the pickles, and the blueberries are in the fridge as well. Two cultures in one home.
Preserves what we made today contain cucumbers, garlic, dill, roots of the horseradish and the oak leaves, all in the salty water. In the 1st picture Antoni at work, cleaning up the blueberries.

Monday, July 22, 2013

St. Mary Magdalene's feast day - 'Kristus ja Mataleena' by A.Edelfelt

Hi to everyone after few weeks of the holiday brake. We travelled a bit here and there, I will share some photos later, but today is my nameday, so I will write about Saint Mary Magdalene - with the Finnish references of course. I wrote about my favourite Finnish painter Albert Edelfelt in this post: Amazing Albert Edelfelt, but today I want to remind his great painting from 1890 'Kristus ja Mataleena' (Christ and Mary Magdalene).
Edelfelt set the biblical scene of Mary Magdalena meeting resurrected Jesus Christ in the Finnish landscape. Inspiration came from Elias Lönnrot's 'Kanteletar' collection of folk poetry.
Sad expression on the Magdalene's face had the real, tragic reason. Magdalene's model was Edelfet's servant. Her fiancé deceased shortly before. Edelfelt was working on this painting long months.He prepared a lot of sketches to finally gain the scene looking as he imagined. Mary Magdalene looks scared and surprised with eyes full of tears.  
Model for the Jesus Christ was painter Magnus Enckell. He chose him for a model to give Jesus' face more esprit.
The painting is in the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Midsummer at Kaunissaari. Juhannus Kaunissaaressa

Kaunissaari (Fagerö) is island in Sipoo about 1 hour by boat from Vuosaari in Helsinki. The name of the island means 'the beautiful island' and the island is beautiful indeed. Updated information about the island you find here. I will put just pictures from our 'Juhannus trip' last weekend. We set up our tent by the sea. The Moon looked exceptionally big but my camera didn't see it, so it looks normal in the photo. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Have a nice Midsummer! Hyvää Juhannusta!

I have just came back from holiday in Poland. After more or less 10years spent in Finland I do not feel so much like being home there ... neither here. I guess many people that moved to the other country as an adult person share this strange feeling. I was thinking about voting - do I have actually right to decide about Polish issues when I do not live there myself? But I do not want to start heavy subjects right now, I would like to share photo I took from the plane yesterday evening while landing in Vantaa - SO GREEN Finland, so beautiful view.  No wonder why Finns celebrate so much these days - I wish a great Midsummer to everyone!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Moomins

I don't know why I haven't written about Moomins so far. I was reading all the books about them already as a child, and now my sons love the Moomins as well.  
The Moomins are characters of a series of nine books and a comic strip created by Tove Jansson within years 1945-1970. Tove Marika Jansson (1914 – 2001) was a Swedish-Finn novelist, painter, illustrator and a comic strip author. She has also illustrated the Moomin books.
m1.gifThe Moomins resembles white hippopotamuses. The main characters are Moominpappa, Moominmamma, Moomintroll,
the Snork Maiden.
The non-Moomin characters of the series are a.i. Little My,  Sniff, Snufkin, Stinky, Hemulens, the Groke and the Hattifatteners. Each of the characters has its own character and sees the world in its own way. The Moomins and other characters live in Moominvalley somewhere in Finland and have many amazing adventures.
The stories were written for children but I know many adults enjoying reading them. The Moomin World charms with its unique atmosphere. The stories include admirable insights for life, friendship, understanding, feelings, dreams, courage and pondering what really matters. 
All the Moomins books became very successful and have been translated into over thirty languages. The Moomins got also their movie, TV series, theatre, radio, opera and comic strip versions. There is amusement park based on the Moomin books - "Moomin World" in Naantali near Turku, and the Moomin museum in Tampere. 
Below are some of my favourite quotes from the Moomin stories:
"You can't ever be really free if you admire somebody too much."  
"I like stars more than anything else.I watch them as I fall asleep and wonder who lives on them and how to get there. The night sky looks so friendly with all those little twinkling eyes."
"Moomintroll closed his eyes and surmised: How different we all are, really."
"When one’s dead, one’s dead… This squirrel will become earth all in his time. And still later on, there’ll grow new trees from him, with new squirrels skipping about in them. Do you think that’s so very sad?"

(photo nr 1 from http://muminki.pinger.pl/p/3 photo nr 2 from the book: 'Muumilaakson tarinoita')

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Angry Birds .. they are everywhere

In December 2009 Finnish company Rovio from Espoo (nowadays Rovio Entertainment Ltd.) released a video game for the iPhone called Angry Birds (AB). The success of this game is enormous. It has since been downloaded so far over 1 billion times worldwide. There were created many versions and special editions of the game, but the birds became successfull not only as a game. The characters are extremely popular and used for the TV shows and animations. There is "Angry Birds land" in Särkänniemi amusement park in Tampere and "Angry Birds Activity Parks" arranged by Holiday Club).
The AB character playing hockey was the official mascot of the 2012 Ice Hockey World Championships. The Angry Birds brand market has grown like crazy over just few years and it looks like spreading the brand image still goes ahead.
I will list here only the products I have come across in Finland: there are Angry Birds board games, books, puzzles, playing cards, various kinds of toys (plush, plastic, rubber), clothes, rucksacks, bags, school accessories, belts, caps, bedclothes, towels, mugs, plates, shampoos, soaps, table-cloths, serviettes, party costumes and masks, helmets, sledges, sweets: candies, chocolates, chewing gum, lollipops (link to Fazer's AB offer) ... and Angry Birds advent calendars.
Angry Birds-branded soda drinks (offered in four flavours) got in Finland more consumers than Cola and Pepsi last year. Helsinki OP Bank has in offer credit cards with pictures of the Angry Birds characters. Finland’s leading coffee company Paulig has introduced the Angry Birds coffees (Early Bird and Explosive Espresso).
I decided to write about the Angry Birds' phenomenon after seeying the Angry Birds doughnuts in the corner grocery store ... 
(Here's link to a web page with the Angry Birds Inspired products)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

National symbols of Finland

Flag of FinlandI was thinking about the Finnish coat of arms - a crowned lion holding a sword. Why lion in Finland? I have just checked that it was created in the 1580's after King of Sweden John III became "Grand Duke of Finland" and the lion became linked with the grand-ducal coat of arms. While looking for these information I came across the other symbols of Finland. Quite a lot of the more or less official ones, take a look:
Finland's national flag: a blue Nordic cross on a white background,
national anthem: Maamme (eng. “Our Land”),
national epic: Kalevala,
writer: Aleksis Kivi,
poet: Johan Ludvig Runeberg,
composer: Jean Sibelius,
animal: Brown Bear (fin. ruskeakarhu),
bird: Whooper Swan (fin. laulujoutsen), (displayed on the Finnish 1euro coin),
fish: European perch /fin. ahven),
tree: Silver Birch (fin. rauduskoivu),  
flower: Lily of the Valley (fin. kielo),
fruit: cloudberry (fin. lakka, hilla, valokki or suomuurain),
stone: granite (fin. granitti),
insect!: seven-spot ladybird (fin. seitsenpistepirkko). It is also symbol of the Finnish Swedish People's Party, 
musical instrument: the Kantele, 
horse: Finnhorse (fin. suomenhevonen), dog: Finnish spitz (fin. suomenpystykorva), 
and the last but not the least ... a national personification of Finland is The Maiden of Finland
(fin. Suomi-neito). Below: Suomi-neito on the picture from 1906, and the famous painting by 
Eetu Istoby, Hyökkäys (eng. Attack) presenting Suomi-neito fighting with the Russian eagle. Painting comes from 1899, time of Russification in Finland.

Monday, April 15, 2013

in the middle of April

This is my 10th winter in Finland and on the basis of my observations I can say, that there was not extremely much of snow this year, but temperatures were too low too melt it. It is just cold all the time.
I went to Espoo today (unfortunately without camera) and I saw few persons walking on the ice on the bay. I would say it was risky. Temperatures are not enough low to keep the ice strong anymore. Daytime temperatures are over zero.
In the pictures: Koivukylä, Vantaa
in the middle of April ...

Friday, April 12, 2013

about golden hand, green thumb and the redheaded women

There are people who can repair anything, and to make a wooden table, build a summer cottage, connect electricity, whatever. In English such person is called 'handyman' or 'jack-of -all-trades', in Poland we have phrase 'golden hand'. I used this term to describe someone in Finland and no one knew what I meant. I was sure it was international saying. In Finland 'handyman' is called 'repsikka' and 'jokapaikan höylä'. So I checked what kind of similar sayings are in use in Finland.
First what came to my mind was 'a green thumb' (vihreä peukalo), what I heard also in English in version of the green fingers or a thumb. If someone has a green thumb it means that he has talent for growing plants and flowers. I do not have a green thumb and when I put seeds into soil, I get few straws of sth in few weeks. Our neighbour has a green thumb and gets amazing flowers on his balcony every summer (for example 2m high sunflower last year despite his balcony gets less sunlight than our).
I have found most popular English colour idioms here. Part of them seems to be international like the green light, to be green with envy, black sheep.
Here's few Finnish sayings that include colour, which I found interesting:  
- harmaa aine literally 'grey substance' (software) term for knowledge and skills, refers to the brain's grey matter, (brain cells).
- mustasukkainen means literally 'in black socks' and this is not idiomatic but the main word for 'jealous'. There is another Finnish word containing 'black' (musta) for being jealous: 'mustankipeä'. 
I wonder why black?
There is popular saying, that forest is Finland's green gold (metsä vihreä kulta). Writing in a nutshell: the three-quarters of the land area is forest, forestry and forest industries have crucial importance for Finnish economy. (more on this subject in English I found here and here)
Continuing with colors ... 
There is Finnish saying that redheaded women do not go to heaven (punatukkaiset naiset eivät pääse taivaaseen). 
I have been thinking where this came from, there some articles in internet. Most of the hypotheses about this saying is combined with redheads' reputation of being a fiery-tempered.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Flag days in Finland ... and few words about Mikael Agricola

There are many days in year when I see Finnish national flags flown from the public buildings and at the numerous flag poles around. There is one flag pole in our yard, and it seems like every week I see the flag there. Today also. I have just checked how many flag days are in Finland and I got this:
By law, the Finnish flag must be flown from public buildings on the following days:
February 28, day of Kalevala and Day of Finnish culture, May 1, Vappu, Second Sunday in May, Mother's Day, June 4, birthday of C.G.E.Mannerheim, also Day of the Finnish Defence Forces, Saturday between June 20 and 26 June - Midsummer Day - Juhannus, and Day of the Finnish Flag, December 6, Independence Day, + Days when Finland holds elections or a referendum, and the day the President of Finland is inaugurated.  
Days when flying the flag is an established custom:
February 5, birthday of J.L.Runeberg, March 19, birthday of Minna Canth, Day of Equality,  
April 9: on this day Mikael Agricola died and Elias Lönnrot was born, and today Finland celebrates the Day of the Finnish language.
April 27, National War Veterans' Day, May 9, Europe Day, May 12, Day of the Finnish Identity, Third Sunday in May, memorial day for the war dead of the Finnish Civil War and World War II.
July 6, Eino Leino Day, and day to celebrate poetry and summer, October 10, birthday of Aleksis Kivi and Day of Finnish literature, October 24, Day of the United Nations, November 6, Day of the Swedish Identity, Second Sunday in November, Father's Day, 8 December, birthday of Jean Sibelius and Day of Finnish music.
So today there is Day of the Finnish language. Mikael Agricola - 'father of the Finnish written language' died 456 years ago. He was incredibly intelligent, pre-eminent and hardworking man.
I would like to write few words about him.
He was born in Pernaja (Pernå). He was very gifted and eager to learn, and already as a young boy he was sent to the Latin school in Viipuri (Vyborg). He continued studying in Turku (Åbo) and in Wittenberg in Germany. He was i.a. student of Erasmus of Rotterdam and Martin Luther.
In 1554 Agricola became the bishop of  Turku. In only 3 years! he translated the New Testament into Finnish and wrote the prayer book and hymns for the Finland's Church. This work was a basis of the Finnish orthography and spelling. He published nine books of altogether ca. 2400 pages
- in only 10 years. He died suddenly in 1557.
HERE's good link to detailed Agricola's biography in English.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

so we have April

Yes, we have. I attach a photo taken from our kitchen today. The flowers fit to the month, and pay attention to the multi-coloured sun rays above!
I would like to see different middle of the picture of course but spring is obviously coming no matter the snow. It just feels in the air.
This year the whole Europe experiences very cold spring. In Germany March this year was the coldest since 1883. Storks were on their way to Belarus as always in March after wintering in the South but this year they came back to Israel to wait for the warmer weather. The Polish storks seem to be more persistent - most of them already came back but many of them are weak. They have problem to get food as there is still much snow and cold temperatures. Problem with finding food have also bears and badgers who have already woken up from hibernation.
So this year also Poland and the other European countries experienced the 'White Easter'.
Hope it will repay with a beautiful long summer:-)

fot.1 me, fot.2 Patrick PLEUL/PAP/DPA

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter! ... greetings from the ice-floe

I wrote about celebrating Easter in Finland in the last year post Easter, Midsummer and Christmas traditions in Finland, so I will not go on with being surprised at the Easter witches today. 
Few days ago I was making pre-Easter cleanup and I came across Easter postcard which I got from mother-in-law few years ago. I kept it because it amused me. It shows two chickens flowing on an ice-floe on a river. The ice-floe during Easter time seemed to me amusing and unrealistic few years ago but not anymore. Now I know it is every year reality:-)
BUT this year in Poland there is also snow right now! Incredible! I do not remember snow in Poland during Easter. Never. In late March there used to be already flowers and green grass everywhere. 
Despite snowy scenery let's still enjoy this special season, 
I wish everyone Happy Easter and the real warm, green and sunny spring coming soon

Thursday, March 21, 2013

spring season has come (only according to lunar calendar so far)

Eh, I was late ... The March equinox when night and day are nearly exactly the same length of 12 hours marks the first day of spring. It occurs between March 19 - 21, this year it was yesterday on March 20. So according to calendar, there is already spring! But looking at the temperatures and amount of snow, instead of the spring I can seen a lot of frustration around
People used to enjoy a bit warmer weather in the end of March. No one expects flowers in March in Finland, but daily temperatures below -10'C are hard to tolerate. 
Yesterday my sons spent half evening defrosting potting soil (kept on balcony) to grow our Easter grass.
3 and 2 years ago there was much more snow than now, but it was not so cold. I send picture of our block of flats from 20 March 2010, look at the amount of the snow layers ... there was much snow that year still in April and a bit in late May as well, especially in shaded areas, ditches and forests. Hopefuly this year will surprise us again - with sudden hot long summer!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

frosty March again - part 2

I read in today 'Metro' newspaper that the bears in Helsinki ZOO have already woken from winter sleep! This news made me smile a mile wide. Reading this I was riding metro passing Kalasatama and suddenly I noticed a man fishing under ice in the middle of snowy bay. 
My good feeling caused by the awoken bears came back to the normal level in one second. 
But I hope that the bears' instinct was right and the weather forecasts predicting heavy frosts in March are wrong:-) 
I managed to take a quick photo, the quality is not good but I send it anyhow. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

frosty March again

I noticed that every single year here in Finland I naively expect spring in March.
This year was the same. Last week was so promising, sunny, with temperature close to 0'C and suddenly on the last Sunday morning there was -17'C. I checked up the weather forecasts and all of them inform about upcoming frosts and major snowfalls in later March. Temperatures in North Karelia and North Savo dropped last weekend to -30'C, and the weather forecasts foreshadow even -40'C this winter. We'll see ...
The photo below shows the snow dragon from our yard. According to my friend this is rather Loch Ness monster. No matter its name, I did not expect to see it in March still in its top condition.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jesus tape saves!, wife carrying and the blue moment

The longer I live in Finland the more Finnish language I learn and more surprising phrases 
I encounter. I will mention few ... 
Sininen hetki  - the blue moment. It is name for a winter light phenomenon just before sundown, when the sky has a light bluish color.
Karhunkieli - bear's tongue. One day I heard some woman strongly recommending 
'a bear's tongue' to another women during shop conversation about kitchen cleaning. It is abrasive cloth to scrub, scratch and scrape tough stains. The real bear's tongue can be really abrasive, 
I don't know. I wonder who came up with this name?
Eukonkanto/akankanto - wife carrying:-) is a sport(!) first originated in Finland. The idea is the obstacle race of male competitors carrying their female teammates. Wife Carrying World Championships are held annually in Sonkajärvi. The official track is 253.5 meters long, has two dry and one water obstacles. The minimum weight of the carried wife is 49kg and age over 17y.
Jeesusteippi can be translated literally as a Jesus tape
It is a silver duct tape, a duck tape or a roadie tape - all phrases in use. 
There is also Finnish saying: 'Jeesusteippi pelastaa' what means 'Jesus tape saves'. I have seen few people on the street in t-shirts with this phrase printed. The tape earned its name from countless number of its usage.
In the English language it has also names: riggers' tape, hurricane tape and 100-mph tape, due to its military usage. It was used during the Vietnam War to repair or balance helicopter rotor blades. Duct tape was also used in emergency situations during spaceflights, 
i.a. it saved lives of the Apollo 13 crew during their famous flight to the moon.
So I think this tape truly deserves its Finnish name version - a Jesus tape:-).  
(photo from http://www.sahkoautot.fi/forum/t-62358)

Below beautiful photo of the blue moment (photo from here

I will add here more peculiar words or phrases when I hear the new ones.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Vasa Museum in Stockholm ... Vasa-laivan Museo

While trip to Stockholm I recommend visiting the Vasa Museum. It's really worth seeing, the Vasa ship is soooo huge and impressive. The 69 meter-long warship Vasa sank on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628, and was salvaged 333 years later in 1961