Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Christmas Moon

(For English, scroll down) 
Tämä blogikirjoitus on minun ensimmäinen kerta kiroittaa suomeksi. En ole kirjoittaa paljon, mutta haluan kokeilla...Myös mul on Google Translate, sitten, jos et ymmärrä, tuo on miksi...ja en ole hyvin suomi kanssa...
No, niin, on Joulu tänään. On minun ensimmäinen joulu pois kotista. Ja oli hyvä. Ei on kuin minun normaali Joulu, ja tuo on miksi oli hyvä. Alkaa marraskuussa. Mä kuulen joulu laulut. Ja mä lauluin joulu laulut lapsille ja vanha ihmiset. Oli kiva, mä menein yliopisto vaihto-oppilas kanssa, ja me laulumme paljon erilainen kielissä. Me laulumme Petteri Punakuono japaniksi. Meidän oli vain yksi japanilainen oppilas, niin me olimme oikea huono japani kieli kanssa. 
Myös, menein Joulu puoluet. Ja olivät kiva. Puoluessat me vaihtomme lahjat. Saain teeta, ja suomen elokuva niminsa “Napapiirin Sankarit” En katso ennen, mut kaikki sanoi että on paras elokuva. Olen jännittynyt katsoa se! Myös katsoin joulu elokuvat, paljon on amerikalainen elokuva, mutta katsoin yksi joulu elokuva suomeksi! Ei kanssa englanti sanat! Kastoin elokuva “Rare Exports” on tosi erilainen...en ymmärrä paljon koska paljon oli suomeksi, mutta katsoin se, niin ymmärrän jotain! 
Saaimme joulupuu kaksi päivä sitten, tuo on toinen asia miksi ei näytta silta kuin joulu, koska, USA:ssa, me saamme meidän joulupuu alku joulukuu, ja meidän puu talossa kaikki joulukuu. On ihana, mutta on kiva saada puu nyt myös, mutta se tunte lisää joulu puu kanssa kaikki kuukauta. 

No niin, kun kijoittan suomeksi, saan paljon aika, tämä oli lähellä kaks tuntea....haha mutta olin myös katsoin Leijonakuningas (suomeksi) sitten olin katsoin tuo ja kirjoittaa. Tiedän paljon suomen ystäväni lue tämä, niin nyt tiedät että ymmärrän jotain! Haha! 
Ja nyt...on to english...
Apologies to all those who do not speak finnish, that last part was merely me trying to see if I could do a blog post in finnish...haha, and I hope that it isn’t as bad as I know that it is! Writing in english is sooo much easier!!! Mostly because of a much wider range of vocabulary!!! Even though nowadays I cannot speak english worth crap! Every time I open my mouth I stutter, can’t express myself, and utterly end up looking so incredibly stupid! For my all my readers who have not experienced their native language deteriorating before their eyes, it is like having a “brain fart” every 5 seconds, every single day of your life. It is quite an unpleasant feeling. In my own head I can not express myself, so it starts to get seriously painful sometimes..
But anyways...
This blog post’s name is a reference to the finnish word for December, which literally translates to Christmas Moon. So, as you guessed it, this post is about Christmas, and all the christmas things that I have been doing lately. 
So, in the US, the Christmas season starts after right after thanksgiving, and here it starts at about the same time. Mostly it officially starts the last weekend in November. In The Us, we have thanksgiving, and that is a point that marks when you can start decorating for christmas, and nobody dares decorating before then, but here they don’t have thanksgiving so they don’t really have a point that people can decorate for christmas and still be socially excepted, so you could notice christmas trees springing up mid november, but still nobody really decorates until December. And their “decorating is really nothing is comparison to the american version of decorating. In the US we always go around the neighborhoods looking at different christmas lights that the neighbors have, and then there is always a couple houses that don’t really put out a whole bunch, maybe one bush decorated, well that is probably the average here, many people don’t really have a lot of lights at all, and I haven’t seen anyone who really lights up their yard like an american. 
Another thing that is really different is that here they get their christmas tree really close to Christmas, which I don’t like as much because it is really nice to have the christmas tree in the house much earlier. It really makes Christmas a lot longer. 

Our Christmas Tree

Turku is the Christmas capital of Finland. Though many residents of Turku say that it really isn’t anything special. As much as I love this city,  I must take the side of the many residents. The lights that they do have are really beautiful, but they don’t have very much at all, in my opinion. But they do have this Christmas market that starts in the last weekend in November and then is every weekend of December up until Christmas. I went three times. It is a really nice market, in the old town square right next to the big cathedral. Many people with hand-made crafts come there and sell their stuff. Much of it is not something that I would buy, but it is still nice to go and see. 

The first time I went to the christmas market was in the end of november and I went for the lighting of the town’s christmas tree. Which actually a very huge tree, but they put it right in front of the cathedral, which is the tallest building in Turku, so it looks pretty pathetic. But it is still very nice. When we went we looked around in the market and we saw these people dressed as presents and some tent with a troll/elf head on it, do some weird dance. It was among the weirdest things that I have ever been seen performed.....

Another Christmas tradition that the finns have is to make Joulutortu and drink Glögi. This is a very scandinavian thing, though I have never seen it before, so I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t common in Norway or it is just something that my norwegian family has never had for tradition. 

Joulutortu are flakey pastries shaped like stars with plum jam in the middle. They are very good, but are had to eat without getting flakes everywhere. Glögi is a Christmas drink that you buy in cartons and then heat up on the stove. Then you pour it in cups and some people put almond slices and raisins in, but I think that they are just annoying, particularly the almond slices because they don’t sink so you might accidentally swallow one when you are drinking and that is never good. 

Making JouluTortu

End results 

Something else that I did was go Christmas caroling with some University exchange students and we sang in many different languages. It was really fun, but those languages which I haven’t studied before, so I don’t know how to pronounce anything, like German and Japanese, it was hard to sing in. They were only a couple of us, three exchange students and then a couple finns. We went to a local primary school where we saw the children, who were so cute, and then we went to and Retirement home and sang to them. It was really fun. We sang in English, Finnish, French, Spanish, Swedish, German, Japanese, and one that I don’t know what it was... I think the most weird part of the experience was singing Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer in Japanese...

Christmas Caroling group 

I was expecting to get and love all the christmas carols in finnish, but honestly have found that even though it is nice to hear them in another language, I have grown up with them in english and when it is something from your childhood, you like to be able to sing along and have it the same as it always has been. So it is nice to hear them in finnish, but for me christmas carols will always be best in english. 
I usually always go to church on Christmas eve, and so I thought that I was going to miss that this year. But I did get two chances to go to church. Back in mid december, when it was Santa Lucia day, a swedish holiday that finland has taken up because of it’s Swedish speaking population where girls get voted to be Lucia and then walk through schools,churches, ect. singing. And I went to church last Thursday morning for the school, we all were able to go to our school’s christmas church service, which was in the main cathedral in town. It was nice. It was a classic christmas church service, except it was student’s from the school singing. And many of the people in the church were from the school. 

Santa Lucia day 

The Cathedral after our school's service 

Anyways, In Finland they celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve, so yesterday was all the excitement and today is just a relaxing day. But that is a bit annoying because always when I was little, after opening all my presents, I knew that there was 365 days until the next christmas, and that always made me sad, but celebrating it a day earlier is just a rip off, because now for the first time ever, I have 366 days until the next christmas.... -.-....But later today I will skype with my family, and online a lot of people have been saying that skyping with their family’s on Christmas brings on the tears....great.....

Christmas food was definitely different 

1 comment:

  1. Haha that really made my morning when i read your writing in finnish! So cute! :) And dont be ashamed, you'll get better with practise even though you are so good already, considering that you have learned finnish for only couple of months and that you knew nothing when you went to Finland. I'm really proud of you! :)

    I'm an exchange student as well, in Australia! Visit my blog if you want to, at least it'll give you some extra practise with finnish! ;)