On last Saturday we were with the student organisation KISA in the National park Koli. We just paid for the bus and the park was free. It was around 60 students. When we arrived in the park we had two options. The first one was just follow the whole group of students or split and then go in own way. Me and my friends we just left the main group and we prefered walking and seeing the national park in smaller group. It was more easy, there was less people and more calm. One of my friends had a map and he chose the perfect way for the visit of the park. We visited almost all the tops of the hills in the park and we had very nice views. It’s amazing see all the lakes with the small islands, dense forest and a lot of shades of the green on the leafs. For me it was the view of the typical Finnish nature and very nice day in the last month of the being in Finland.
Actutally I was really suprised that the weather and conditions and the whole nature environment have changed so quickly and so radically. I still remember the time when everything was aboslutely white, under the big layer of the snow. The trees were without leaves and at 4 pm. it was almost darkness. Now, when I can write this post on the balcony, almost at 7 pm. and sit, feel the sun and see the green trees is it for me almost unbelievable, that this radical change was so fast. This whole semester was for me like 2 months, not like almost 5. Maybe it’s because I tried to enjoy every day and every day I did something, so I didn’t have time to think about the time.
In this picture you can see two photos. Both of them I took on the same place. There is just one big difference. TIME. The picture on the left side I took on 18th January. The picture on the right side is from 4th May. And I really can’t decide, which season is more impressive and which one I love more.
Me and some of me friends decided to visit Estonia, concretely capital city Tallin. We took the bus to Helsinky and then ferry to Tallin. It was really long and tiresome way, but it was worth it. Tallin is very amazing city. Especially for me, it’s something between Czech Republic and Finland. Some small, historical and old streets recalled me Prague. I was also one day in Riga. I think that on Riga you can see more Russian influence, while on Tallin you can see Finnish influence. The small hide pubs, historical center, medieval restaurants, everything is very nice.
We had the opportunity to visit the city with guide. Every weekend at the noon in front of information center there is a tour guide, student, and the ticket is free. So you can just follow him and listen the talking about the capitol city Tallin. I listened this girl and I heard some speaking Tallin inhabitants too and I must say, that I think, that it’s true that Estonians are really sarcastic and they like dark type of humor. In the Czech Republic we are sarcastic too, especially me, so this style of humor I really like and I don’t have a problem with it. Another no cultural or historical experience for me was visiting the restaurant Kompressor. My mum, my grandmum, and honestly also me, we do really tasty pancakes. But in this restaurant I have had the best pancakes ever in my life. When you will visit Tallin, it’s absolutely mandatory to visit this restaurant!
And what else instead of the good food? I visited the KUMU – Art museum of Estonia. If you are insterested in the contemporary art, you will be very pleasantly surprised. Especially when you will see the exposition of the Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda.
With the school course Russian business environment we had the opportunity to visit Russia. This course was one intensive week in Kuopio at school and the second intensive week of the learning was in St. Petersburg in Russia. Honestly I didn’t expect that the trip to Russia will be so beautiful and so nice experience for me. This trip has everything what perfect trip should have. We have learned something new, there was a lot of free time for seeing the whole city, enough time for entertainment, there was also cultural part of the trip and spending the good time with the friends. We have learned some interesting informations about Russian business from Russian businessmen point of view. Very enriching and interesting informations about hotel management and the concept of Sokos hotel in Russia. Then we had a lot of good meals. Honestly I think that almost of my photos from this week are photos of food. We lived in very beautiful, exclusive and modern hotel, and the bed, which was there I still miss. We saw cultural show with typical Russian dance and singing. Unfortunately this programm was not allowed to take on video or take the photos. But it was very nice sample of the Russian culture. The trip was very nice also because of the group composition and very nice and helpful teachers. On the beginning I was little bit skeptical about this trip, because as an inhabitant of the postcomunist country I didn’t have really nice feelings about Russia. But suprisingly I perfectly enjoeyd this time. And this week we finnished in the typical Russian restaurant with the typical soup borsch. So big thanks to Savonia university that gave us this big opportunity!
Yesterday it was four months of living here in Finland. Now I have just one month left here and I created the bucket list, the list of the things and activties what I want to do before leaving. And now I realized that the end of this great semester is really close and I repeated all my trips and experience from this amazing time in my mind. And what was the biggest and most amazing experience for me? Probably the trip to Lapland. The winter nature in this part of country is so amazing, almost magical. I saw at first time in my live reindeers, I drove the dogsled, tried the snowshoes. There were so many activties in this week.
But especially for me the most Finnish experience was, when I finnished sauna, which was situated next to the frozen lake, I saw the small wooden cottages and over my head the amazing and big aurora! It was something what I will remember for my whole life. It was so plastic, moving, so green! I had the chance to see aurora in Kuopio also, but it wasn’t so magical experience as in Lapland. It was not so possible to take a photo of it. And my opinion is, that no photos can show, how amazing this natural wonder is.
And what was also the big and very cold and winter experience? The swimming in the artic ocean after sauna in Norway! The Finnish nature is absolutely amazing and perfect, but I miss here just one thing. Mountains! And I really enjoyed them in Norway.
Aisti – A cultural kiss was non-profit multicultural event with food, music, fashion, dance. The main task was to apprise the erasmus students, students and everyone with the enriching culture of many countries, with the different types of the food, music, dance. The program was at first the tasting the food from different countries and try something new. After food & drink there was the show part of this event. At first there was fashion show, dancing, and then the performance of the each students. There are so many people with the amazing talent. Singers, piano player, guitar player, historical dance. The program was very enriching. But the most beautiful thing on this event was, that all of this was the hard work of the students. It was perfect example of people, especially students , what they can do, when they have great ideas, they are not affraid to start something difficult. There were many students with many amazing ideas and together it was one special project. It’s different from my point of view, because I saw the whole event from the beginning and I could see the people working and do possible and also inpossible for this special event. Because I was the part of the people who were working on it. In the Czech Republic I also work like a make-up artist and hairstylist so I helped with the fashion show. And now I’m so thankful for this impressive multicultural experience!
After the break without the english lessons we had the opportunity to have the lesson with the visiting teacher. It was teacher from Spain. I was in Spain for many times, almost of my visits were on holidays, when I was child and it was with my family. Almost of these visits were of the same place. The typical family vacation at sea. But I was two times in Barcelona and I really love the Spanish temperament, the warm weather, amazing Spanish quitar music, beautiful cities, the architecture from Antonio Gaudí. I don’t remember so much about the Spanish people,because I was still child, but the visits of Spain were benefit for me on this lesson.
After the introduction and small talk on the beginning we started the topic stereotypes. Especially national stereotypes. We had the time to think about the stereotypes of Finnish people and about the stereotypes of Spanish people. We chose two types of stereotypes: negative and positive. After creating this we dicussed it with the Finnish students, if the stereotypes are really true and the same we did with the Spanish teacher about the Spanish stereotypes. The results were really interesting.
After this the teacher showed us the video, how the people react to their own national stereotypes. It’s nice to know it and sometimes this video could be really funny. I absolutely recommend to watch:
The second post of my learning diary will be also about the article from the lesson. It was about the Finnish etiquette and about the business meetings with Finnish counterparts. When I look on the facts about the Finnish etiquette just terms of the rules, it’s very similar to the Czech etiquette. I think that basics of the business habits are very similar in the whole Europe. But the Finnish counterpart’s expectations and preferences perfectly portray the Finnish nature.
The Finnish counterparts and Finnish people also are very punctual and factual. They appreciate straightforward conversations, no subterfuges and dishonest conduct. They are really frank and sometimes it could look like it’s behind the line of tact. They are always in time and they respect deadlines. What is for me very new is, that on every occassion or event there is served tea or coffee or another drink. In the Czech Republic it’s common just on the business meetings but not on the other events. All qualities which they have, like a honest attitude and being in time, they appreciate in others also. On the beginning of the business meeting is not common to have small talks before the negotiation. They are straight and want to discuss business matters. I have already known before that Finnish people didn’t prefer the close physical contact and they prefer their own intim space, but was the big suprise that the hand-kissing is rare. For the women from the other countries is it like from the old movie, such a beautiful thing!