Wellcome to get to know Finland and Finnishness, as well as the world of 80's and 90's childhood memories, dreams, dance, gymnastics, baking and other interesting topics. Jump along the dance girl's journey!
In recent days there has again been a slight increase in covid cases (atleast here in the Uusimaa region). It’s a little worrying. However, more than half of Finns have already received the first vaccine and about 13% have received their second vaccine. I would have expected (or hoped) cases to remain very low. On the other hand, the cases have apparently been raised by cases from Russia where football European Championship-competitions are currently underway. Many canceled their trips, but surely many have also left to follow the competitions despite the very bad virus situation in Russia.
Finland is also participating in the competitions for the first time in history. We won our first match against Denmark 1-0 certainly only because an important Danish player: christian eriksen had a heart attack during the match and the Danish game got mixed up. Eriksen’s heart surgery was successful but his career is sadly over now.
A sporting event is also my actual topic today. It’s not related to football but to the Finland Gymnaestrada held three years ago in Turku, whereby the corona was not yet known and we gymnasts could enjoy each other’s company without fear. So, I participated in the event with my team. These moments are nice to remember in these difficult times, even if it is wistful.
I remember a hard workout during that few-day event. There was little free time. I remember how tired I was, (I slept poorly in a hotel as usual in foreign places) but I was still happy. I remember good conversations with my roommate and a visit with her to the Turku Historic Cathedral. I remember how my already deceased father called me every day and asked me to visit him. Although in every call I said that I was on a gymnastic trip in Turku, (and so my parents lived in Helsinki just like me), because of Alzheimer’s he just didn’t remember it. Also I remember a good team spirit and sunburn in black, sweatable outfits. Especially the actual show day was so hot that I was close to fainting on the field, waiting for our turn to performance. The wait was really long and I didn’t have any money or debit card with me. I had left those with my other stuff but luckily one wonderful co-performer was so fair that she bought me water from the kiosk next door that I would not faint before performing. The performance went well in the end. I miss these moments most from gymnastics now that I haven’t gotten to practice for a while.
Finally I will be free! On monday morning me and my spouce got our first vaccinations.I’m so happy of that!
Soon I can start living a more normal life again without constant fear which was already almost destroying me. Of course I can’t fully relax yet but I am much closer to that moment. Anyway, the situation here in Finland has made it easier with the summer and vaccinations. Today, there were only 6 new cases in Helsinki. I don’t remember when was the last time virus counts were equally small.
Monday’s vaccination day was exciting. We had been afraid all the time that there would be a lot of people in the place and that someone there would infect corona to us. We arrived on the ride of our friend. There was some queue on the outside and even more people inside. The vaccination itself in a small booth was rapid but after that each was directed to wait 15 minutes if you happen to get an allergic reaction. I thought my spouse is in the same hall where I was following the others but he was not visible. Someone in the hall coughed loudly all the time, even though if you have flu symptoms you should not even be vaccinated. Luckily I soon saw my spouse passing by in the hallway, outside the hall I was sitting. I ran after him and fortunately got out of the hall where the coughing woman was. There had been someone next to my spouse too who was constantly coughing and my spouse changed place. I heard the coughing voice still in the hallway where we were but there was a screen in between. Well maybe they had allergies or tobacco cough, don’t know about it…
After a while we began to feel a little bit weak. For a moment we feared it was a vaccine, that we had an allergic reaction but it went away as soon as it came. Probably it was only due to the heat cause the day was really hot. About a quarter later we set off for a walk home. The distance was almost four km (over 2mi). We would have taken the city bikes from a nearby bike station but for some reason we didn’t get the bikes to work. The bike screens stayed off mode and the push buttons required for the code did not work. So we walked all the way home (because we don’t want to use the public transport). At least we got a decent walk. The weather was good too, so it was quite nice to walk although the heat was a little exhausting.
At home, I noticed muscle pain in my left hand (vaccination hand). The pain was similar as after training but the next morning that pain was almost gone. Neither has had any other symptoms. Well, on Monday night, my head ached, but it was surely due to the thunder that started then. Thunder is usually caused by headaches, or maybe I just drink too little…
I can hardly wait for the second vaccine in August although, on the other hand, it is exciting because I have heard that the second Pfizer vaccine can cause worse symptoms than the first. Well, let’s see…
Now I try to start enjoying summer more. I hope you all can enjoy it too, whereveryou are!
I went for an evening walk last weekend. It was beautiful weather, and I wanted to smell the onset of summer. I didn’t even really remember what it feels like to breathe freely; decent fresh spring air. I have been wearing a mask for so long anywhere I go, although sometimes I have momentarily opened my mask from another loop, in a safe place. So I did now too when I was coming back home. I stopped to admire the beautiful sky. No one was nearby. I rubbed handsanitizer to my hands and opened my mask from the other side and the feeling was indescribably wonderful, now that all the scents of summer were already in the air. It was a really euphoric experience. I closed my eyes for a moment and enjoyed. The birds sang their songs. I could never have imagined that fresh air alone could feel so wonderful. Now that too is no longer taken for granted.
In reality, I was awakened by the ripple of conversation behind me. Some people were clearly coming my way. I quickly put my mask back on and left to home. People had appeared across the street too where there would have been another possible route home, so I straightened across the lawn, over a small fence to the yard area so as not to collide with anyone. (Today, I am even more afraid to bypass people because of the Indian virus variant and who knows when a new, even more contagious virus variant will come again)!
These little soothing moments are more important now than ever!
I just wish it will become more warmer weather (which would certainly also reduce the number of infections)…and…
I also wish everyone a wonderful and safe start to the summer!
Ok, the game is over and we have new winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2021 -after two years break-. The winner is Italy’s glam rock band: Måneskin. Finland’s ranking was sixth. It’s our second best result in proportion to the number of participants, so this Contest went well! (Today, there are many more participating countries than before).
Neither of the songs were my personal favorites, but at least for the Finnish song I could expect audience voices.Rock always has its own fan base, and the band (Blind Channel) is quite popular abroad (more popular than in Finland) and as I mentioned yesterday the song (chorus) is really catchy. We got well votesfrom the audience but we also got moderate points from the jury.
Finland’s first and so far the only win in ESC history was in 2006.
My personal favorites were: Bulgaria, France, Austria (eliminated in the semifinals), Georgia (eliminated in the semifinals)… and also pretty nice catchy song was in Greece and in Cyprus (which sounded likeLady Gaga. Also singer looked a little bit like her.) Anyhow I didn’t like the idea of this song. I don’t know who would like to give herself to devil… 😱 Not very good message!
From the link below you can find the total results and listen all songs.
In an hour, the exciting Eurovision final begins. After a year break, it has been nice to watch the classic European Song Contest again.
Finland made its way from Thursday’s semi-final to tonight’s finals. Since then this contagious earworm has been playing in my head. It is already time for the Finlands previous and only historical victory (2006), when Lord’s catchy rock song (”Hard Rock Hallelujah”) took us to victory, so I think it would be our turn to win again…(By the way, Lordi will perform in tonight’s final).
However, there are many really good songs in the competition, so it may be that this slightly Lord-like rock song isn’t going through this time…
We have this saying in Finland after winning something: ”see you at the market place!” but this time if we really will win, pleace DON’T MEET IN THE MARKET, right! (Because of the Corona).
Where were you at the time? I like these videos where you can look to the past like it’s happening now. There, people still walk freely side by side, unaware of corona.
Time travel back to 1997
In June of the same year, this single was released:
My spouse played The Verve’s music one day, and it was like a time travel 24yrs. backwards. The Verve and this song was my favorite back then. I had birthdays a while ago and it is a good time to return to the youth years for a while. (By the way, watch how people collide with each other in the video. Who wants to collide to strangers anymore?)
1997 was a good year.I started high school back then. Even before I went to high school, I had decided to make friends there for myself because I didn’t really have good friends at that time (I had one friend outside my school). I had been pretty lonely for a while. However, I realized it was my own fault because I had been so withdrawn and passive because of my tenderness. At that school, it was too late to change things. Groups of friends had already been formed, and I would no longer have been included in them. That’s why I was glad to have a fresh start that high school offered me. There I confirmed my decision, and I made a lot of new friends, two of whom are still my good friends! In addition, I remember the great Stockholm trip with my annual rate.
The common joy of Thursday evenings for me and my mother was the twists and turns of the drama series ”Kotikatu”, which we watched regularly for many years. From the link below you can read more about the Kotikatu series and watch the theme of the program.
For a few years now, my life had brought content also my cheerleading hobby, where the summer match season had begun just before the release of the single ”Bitter Sweet Symphony”.Summer was always my favorite season, for training too, as match days were great moments. Unique experiences that cannot be experienced anywhere other than on the edge of the field. The feeling when you’ve been standing for two to three hours encouraging your team along with the audience, and your team is winning. Nothing wins it! (Except maybe the field performances of flow gymnastics!). By the way an American football team that I cheered won the championship that year!
That year also saw the premiere of the legendary film Titanic, which I went to watch with a friend. From the final scenes of the film, I remember how someone’s phone rang right in the middle of a tense event. She or he did get a few comments from the audience.
Death of princess Diana
From -97, I also vividly remember the death of Princess Diana, what then touched deeply. My mother and I were home when the TV was open and we heard there was an extra news broadcast coming. We waited excitedly for what had happened. As the news began, it became clear that Diana had died in a car accident.
When this album was released in September, I bought it right away. Here’s another beautiful hit from the album with great words. The song mentions aging. It really scares me too, year after year more. I just had my 41 birthdays, and every birthday today is just an inevitable reminder of how time passes, and I grow old. I was thinking about getting old by the time I bought the record, but still it felt like a very distant idea at the time. From something that only comes sometime in years to come. Now it has become much closer, and it has become a more concrete thing, (perhaps also because my father passed away and my mother has also become weaker / more fragile). Time is running so fast already that I don’t even dare to think about what’s ahead in 10 or 20 years.
Finnish, well-known journalist: Maria Veitola summed it up a few years ago: As long as your age is thirty something, you can still somehow think you are young. After it is forty something, you can’t anymore! Now I have experienced it first hand.
As many of you may remember: Manic Street Preachers’ album ”This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours” was released in August 1998. It went straight to number one on the British and Finnish album charts. I bought that cd myself too and it’s still great! Here is the link to the first track of the album: The Everlasting.
In 1998, I turned 18 and under Finnish law I had now reached the age of majority. As a birthday present, I received the first cell phone of my life: the Nokia 5110, which was new and great at the time. What could have been a better gift for a young woman on that age at the time…
In high school, I started second grade, and I became senior student. I also participated senior dances in the dress I borrowed from my good friend’s big sister, and I was involved in a cruise of the senior students.
The year 1998 also commemorates Monica Lewinski and the sensation over her relationship with Bill Clinton.
9.5. Eurovision Song Contest in 1998 was won by the Israeli legendary Dana International with its great song: Diva. Finland was represented by Edea with the song: Ava. I also thought this song was great, and for once the singer had a great voice, even though it didn’t succeed despite high expectations. Below is the link to my blog post of ”best eurovision songs” where you can listen for example the above-mentioned songs.
On May 30, 1998, the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, which has become one of the landmarks in the center of Helsinki, was opened. I have not been a big fan of contemporary art in general, but I have to admit that there have been some pretty great exhibitions at Kiasma. (You can see a picture of it in the post I linked below).
In addition our American football team (which I cheered) won the championchip again!
I hope there are still many good years left, as long as this pandemic is over…
Matti Kalevi Siitonen ”Fredi” was a popular Finnish entertainment artist and musician.He had his own recognizable singing voice and the songs he sang were largely delicate, very beautiful, and melodic songs. Many of those became beloved evergreens.
Fredi released 13 studio albums, several collections and singles, of which more than 177,000 copies have been sold beyond the gold record limit. Fredi represented Finland twice in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Fredi is also remembered for the singing and entertainment quartet: ”Kivikasvot” (stone faces). The same line-up also made a show entertainment program with the name: ”Kivikasvot show” which was really popular in the 70s.
This evergreen hardly needs demonstrations. A beautiful song. Specially I like these finnish lyrics. This song became even closer to me after my father left. (This Finnish text is slightly different from the original, and here the father’s passing is mentioned). The idea of loneliness is the same but the perspective is different, at least more touching and close to me. It may also be that I internalize the message better when it is sung in Finnish, but at least I personally feel that there is more depth in this finnish version. Here’s my free translation.
Alone again (Naturally)
When my memories take over me, I see my whole childhood
How I was scared at night and under the blankets I pressed my head
I still remember when I quietly sobbed, every bump was an abomination
And I felt a great longing, a longing to come
In the evenings when I closed my eyes
I dream of something far away like going to another world
And only later I understood all that
Alone again, naturally
When father died I was left alone, every night I saw mother cries
Like a cold and exuding emptiness I felt next to me for a while
So in vain did I seek the word of consolation
Every sigh, every consolation was a guest at the time insignificant
Everyone ones have to give up a loved one, the wounds only remain
I understood all that in tears of grief
Alone again, naturally
Everyone is lonely here, I quietly bend to my destiny
I fall into its arms, so alone and depressed
I searched oblivion in vain from you
I saw everything slipping and I felt the mundane emptiness in my chest
And in my mind again, I saw my former life
And I knew that all of us loses once out all beauti
Only longing remains
I guess the purpose of life, I sharked here in vain
I missed the answer
When emotion warmest ends to tears
Alone again, naturally
One of Fred’s best-known songs: ”The Third Line back”, has also been an ever-beloved piece for me, too. By the way, The Third line is a street in Kallio, Helsinki.
The white-fronted goose is a medium-sized goose species that lives in the northern hemisphere. It moves from the Arctic Ocean nesting grounds into the North Sea for the winter. The white-fronted goose is a herbivore and uses the same nesting site year after year. In recent decades, the species has also begun to nest in the Baltic Sea region.
You wouldn’t have food for me?
I saw these beautiful geese yesterday on my way to grocery store. There is a grass field in front of the store and there they were calmly strolling and enjoying spring day. They have been gone for the winter and are now back here. They weren’t even scared of me who stopped to photograph them. They just stared curiously at the camera. A nice variation on the fact that very often all the animals run away when I stop to pick up my phone.
A small update to the previous post. I found an article on the birth of Geisha chocolate on Fazer’s website.
The story of Geisha chocolate began with a Japonica pastry that Peter Fazer (the grandson of Karl Fazer) fell in love with at Fazer cafe in 60s.He asked product development to try Japonica pastry’s japonais filling along with milk chocolate – and soon (1962) the recipe for success was ready!
”The Geisha name and pink color were borrowed for the product from the caramel of the Fazer’s best bag, which was renamed Tokyo. Japan served as the inspiration for the new product at that time through the Tokyo Olympics, in which Peter Fazer himself participated in the sport of sailing.
The word Geisha means artist. ”Gei” means skill and ”sha” means knowledgeable person. Geisha embodies the depth of oriental mysticism, strives deeper than the surface, and leaves a mark on Japanese culture.”
So there’s the original story of Geisha -chocolate. Also I have read that it was a big Japan boom in Finland in 60’s.
In the previous post, I mentioned Karl Fazer’s admiration for the Japanese culture as a part of the birth of Geisha -chocolate but after reading this text, I realised there is much more behind this fine and traditional chocolate!
So Karl Fazer did not develop itself this chocolate, it was done by his grandson but Geisha name was used as a candy (as mentioned above). This was presumably the result of Karl Fazer’s admiration for Japanese culture.
Finnish brand Fazer,known around the world for its chocolate, was founded by Karl Fazer in 1891 when the first cafe-confectionery to bear his name, was founded Kluuvikatu, in the center of Helsinki. Since then, Fazer cafés have become a permanent part of Helsinki’s cultural life.
Today Fazer has operations in eight countries and exporting to more than 40 countries.In addition to Finland, the company operates in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The company manufactures bakery, biscuit and confectionery products and has a restaurant and café business. Fazer has 19 bakeries in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Russia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The oldest, still for sale, popular Fazer sweets are Rowan Marmalades, which have been made since 1895.
Another well-known Fazer product is Geisha-chocolate which is also one of my favorites. The traditional Geisha is milk chocolate which contains a lovely hazelnut nougat filling (although later the geisha family has grown with few new variations).
There has been a recent debate as to whether the name Geisha is appropriate or not. After all, the name arose from the fact that Karl Fazer had visited Japan and fell in love with their culture. I think the name is a tribute to Japanese culture, like Japanese youtuber Ken Takagi says in his video. He also says that the Japanese are happy to buy it as homecoming gift. If the name changes as planned, will it no longer interest them as much? However, many Japanese people visit in Finland. The product has been known by that name for so long that it would no longer be the same product under the new name. Or atleast it would not evoke that same temptation and sense of familiarity, especially among tourists. So I don’t think the name should be changed under any circumstances!
Unelmoin sinisestä, Suomen luonnosta, taivaasta pilvettömästä, järvimaisemasta.
Samettisen pehmeästä, kauniista ja kuultavasta. Hetkestä sinisestä, äärellä rannan.
I dream of a blue, Finnish nature, a sky without clouds, a lake landscape.
Velvety soft, beautiful and audible. For a moment in the blue, by the lake.
Can you see the same as I? Some girl (or why not boy but I see girl)…sitting by the lake surrounded by rugged forest on beautiful summer day, a little bit before sun setting…