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!
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…
Tonight the Finnish Talent season culminated in the finals. In the video below you can see the performance of the winning team (circus Bravuuri).
The final broadcast immediately began dramatically. The winner circus Bravuuri appeared first. In the middle of their performance, gold confetti rained on stage and they could not do all their tricks, as the confetti on the floor made them too difficult.
After the performance, presenter Mikko Leppilampi apologized for what happened, and an extra commercial break was added to the program. During that time, they wondered what they could do for the circus team. However, it was a finale, a really important performance and the show of this fine group was ruined due to a mistake of the program.
After the commercial break, the team was allowed to perform again. The show was amazing as you can see from the video!
I thought we Finns were bad at showing our feelings…until I watched this clip. I realized we are not so bad. We actually say pretty directly what we think and feel! We say if we’re pissed of, we say if we’re depressed, we say if we’re sad…I don’t think very many of us cry publicly (in the company of others) and that’s one of the reasons I thought we are not good to show our feelings but we sure say if something is wrong (well, sure you don’t tell everything to everybody but atleast friends and probably work mates will know…and I guess your family too).
Is it really true that ”People don’t talk their negative feelings in USA”, as Helistiina says in the video (with the headline: ”Why not move back to the USA”)? She has been an aupair in Pittsburgh and there according to her everybody just smile and be ”happy” all the time no matter what but I really do hope that it’s not the whole truth. I hope that they have someone to talk to. They have to be, right?! Or else they’re really lonely. Everybody needs someone to talk to. It would be a scary idea that one should always smile and be joyful.
Small talk is obviously even more straightforward there but it sure can be that here too especially if you meet some nodding acquaintance. I was once witnessing a quite traditional small talk situation in Finland. I was in bus and I think I was on my way from work to home. Two women met and their conversation went mainly like this:
” Hi, how are you?” (Moi, Mitä kuuluu?
”I’m just fine, how are you?” (Ihan hyvää, mitä sulle kuuluu?)
”I’m just fine”. (Ihan hyvää!)
I listened to this amused. That’s so typical habit opening a conversation but it’s also quite funny habit. I think that is such a meaningless sentence ”I’m just fine”. I mean really. It’s just a cliche what is said almost always (unless your loved one is dead or if you have just heard that you have a serious illness). It really doesn’t contain any real feeling (because it’s often said out of habit). So it does not tell what a person really feels. On the other hand, I do understand why this is used a lot. It’s a neutral saying. Maybe it’s a little too neutral for myself. It’s too qualityless. Even there is many sayings to express how you feel like ”nothing more stranger than misery”, ”same old”, ”nothing much”, ”nothing special”, ”could go better/worse”, still this ”I’m (just) fine” is the most established of all…but it’s the most neutral so that’s the reason for sure. Before this pandemic I used to answer to question how am I just simply: ”work”, cause I really had a lot of work to do by then. By now this saying is not working anymore…One of my acquaintance uses a great saying if you ask how he’s been. He always answer: ”Same shit, different day!” There is some kind of honest realism in this sentence that I like. After all, the days are usually a lot of the same repetition…
”Helistiina gave also other reasons to ”why not move back to the USA” such as health care and studying is too expensive, maternity leave too short, families are too conservative and not enough is recycled there but I was mainly interested of this fake smile theory and wanted to write about it so I won’t go into that video in more detail now. Anyway, I want you to know that Helistiina still enjoyed her time as an au pair and would not exchange it for any price. She liked her family and misses it often, but still wouldn’t move back.
I have made promice to myself…to reduce sugar. I have decided that it is mostly weekends I give myself permission to indulge in sweet treats (especially candies should not be eaten during the week, they are so artificial). I made this decision because I’m eating way too much sweets. Everyday I eat something sweet even I know I shouldn’t.
Sugar is very addictive and specially in winter time (or in the cold weather that still continues here) you feel the need for that certainly due to lack of energy…so this is not going to be easy…
I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all kinds of delicates like schocolate, cookies, buns, candy, pudding, pies, cakes, ice cream, tarts, swiss rolls, pan cakes and so on…
It’s the everlasting love relationship. It’s kind of love you can’t resist…
Rats chose sugar before cocaine
Did you know that in some tests, rats chose sugar rather than cocaine? Yes, that’s right. So believe it or not sugar seems to be actually more addictive than drugs…but if you didn’t know it yet it really is poison to your body. Among other things, it maintains inflammatory conditions in your body. So do not do as I do, but do as I say AND STOP…OR atleast REDUCEEATING SUGAR!If you don’t beleave me, then watch the video. There is very interesting stuff related to sweet eating. It has a much greater impact on us than we even realize!
So the question is are you the ones who think what they eat or do you eat according to your whims? I think I do both quite equally these days. It’s really important to think about what to put in your mouth. It has a big impact on us both mentally and physically. The quality of food even affects the bacterial population in our body. So do not just eat whatever you like, make a conscious choice instead!
It’s Valentine’s day again…or ”Ystävänpäivä” as we say in Finland which actually means: ”Friendships day”. Here in Finland we are celebrating more broadly friendship on that day. It’s not only couples day. Though to us it kind of was (as probably for many other couples too this time). We were together at home…like any other day these days. You can’t go anywhere and dare not meet anyone so here you are at home…with your spouse…if you have one. I’m lucky to have one because this time would be even heavier to take alone!
Anyway, because I’m always at home and we both like delicacies (-maybe even too much-), baking is a good pastime, so now in honor of Valentine’s Day, I made traditional Finnish delicacy called: ”mokkapalat” (mocha bites) which are so good!!!
Otherwise my baking was almost complete but I messed up a bit with the frosting. It became a little too fluid and it partially flowed under the bottom but fortunately most remained on the surface and it tasted really good!!! That frosting is the best!
Usually mocha bites are decorated with nonpareils but I wanted to make something different and decorated those bites with white shocolate. Though it was a little challenging for the chocolate melted quickly in the hands but I am, however, satisfied with the result.
200g butter or margarine
2dl milk (or vegan milk drink)
1tbsp baking powder
1tbsp vanilla sugar/vanillin
75g butter or margarine
0,75dl strong coffee
4-5dl /240-250g icing sugar
2tsp vanilla sugar/vanillin
To the surface:
nonpareils/cocos chips/almond chips…or whatever you like. I used white chocolate but it melts in your hands too soon so it’s challenging to handle even it was really good!
Beat the room temperature eggs and sugar into a thick, light foam.
Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave. Add cold milk to the melted butter to cool.
Combine dry ingredients.
Mix the butter-milk mixture with the egg-sugar foam and the dry ingredients through a sieve. Mix gently with the arrow until smooth. (If you don’t have sieve, you can add those dry ingredients in small batches, sprinkling like I did.)
Pour on baking paper into the oven pan approx. 30 – 40 cm.
Bake in the middle of the oven at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add coffee. Sift other ingredients through a sieve. Stir until smooth. (Again, if you don’t have sieve, just add dry ingredients in small batches.) Pour a little warm frosting in the middle of the base. (When hot, the frosting is too loose to apply and then it is absorbed into the bottom. As the frosting cools, it thickens to fit.) Allow to drain towards the edges. If necessary, apply with a spatula to the edges. Garnish before the frosting hardens. Cut into pieces.
Enjoy with coffee or cocoa!
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY…
…AND THANK YOU TO ALL MY WONDERFUL FRIENDS FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP…
…AND TO ALL MY READERS!! YOU GIVE ME A REASON TO CONTINUE MY BELOVED HOBBY, WRITING!!
”The other people, so annoying but so important”. This is how Maija Mäkimaa (Tiina Rinne) uttered the last words in the popular ”Kotikatu” (as home street) series in 2012. Tiina Rinne died recently in the age of 91. She made a long career as an actor. The best known of her roles was the role of Maija Mäkimaa on Kotikatu which she acted for 17 years (1995-2012). That is, throughout the history of the program. Surely all Finns knew Maija Mäkimaa, and had at least sometimes watched the series. (I have most of those books too).
The words Tiina Rinne uttered in 2012 on Kotikatu, tells a lot about us humans. It tells us how easily we irritate each other, especially if we are in constant contact with people. We start to get bored and tired of people and the connection is easily broken. (To introverts this happends more easily than to extroverts), but on the other hand, if we are left all alone and have no one, then we are truly unhappy. People, in all their annoyance, are really important to us.
At a time like this, you really realize how important a connection to other people is. Now that we live in the midst of constraints, its importance is emphasized. We really need each other. We will not get along on our own. I find myself longing for those little moments which I didn’t appreciate enough before…like touches… those moments before my father passed away, he was really sick and I could hold his hand or moments when I got to hug my mother, which I haven’t seen in almost a year. (My mother was in the hospital till spring -20 to autumn -20 and have been in the nursing home after that). I even miss the moments when I dared to spend a moment (or two) with a neighbor, share news, exchange ideas…and moments when I was allowed to walk around the city freely in crowds. (Before I hated the masses)…The significance of such seemingly small things is not realized until they are lost…
I have reflected a lot of my childhood and my youth in recent times. I also came across an old photo by chance. I am there with my mother in the middle of the old town of Tallinn. We spent her 60th birthday in 2004 there. She is still so youthful and stylish in the picture. The difference is huge compared to today. Looks like eternity has passed since that moment. However, it does not feel so. It feels almost like yesterday as we stood side by side smiling at the camera…Actually, it’s been 16 years already…I guess I’m a little bit changed too. At least my hair is starting to turn gray. Well in the picture my hair is dyed anyway…
YOUTH AT A BREAK
The time we are living in now is also very exceptional for young people. After all, for example, penkin painajaiset; ”penkkarit” (a traditional February party for high school graduates) have been canceled and traditional salon dances for high school seniors have been moved. Both of these celebrations have a very long tradition in Finland and now this tradition is being broken. Young people are certainly really disappointed. These were both very important and unforgettable events for me as well.
Grade 2 students’ dances include traditional salon dances, which they perform for families, relatives, and other schoolchildren. Dressing has also traditionally been in keeping with the style of old times, which I loved. (Though today many of students is wearing more modern evening gowns). Some have also dinner together, we spent the evening with groups of friends and then we had so-called ”cruise of the seniors”.
”Penkkari driving” was also an unique experience. It includes a tour of the truck stage where candies are thrown to an audience standing on the street. Graduated students (abiturientit as ”abit”) also shouts on stage of all kinds. Most often they are heard shouting, ”zero, zero” which means ”zero” school days left. There are paintings and funny texts on the sides of the trucks (made by graduated). Traditionally students have also overalls with pictures drawn and written of all kinds (or it also seems to have become more common to have some other funny dresses like a masquerade outfit). We once had ”abi” cruise in high school as well. I don’t know if it’s still common…but those are great memories which I’ll always remember…It’s sad that this year’s high school students don’t get to experience these great traditions…
Ainiin, kaikki suomalaiset, jos nälkä iskee ja olette ideoita vaille, käykää katsomassa uusi jauhelihapihvireseptini kotikokin sivuilla, jonne kirjauduin! Tein tätä varten oman alasivustonkin, joka löytyy tuolta sivun yläpalkeista nimellä: ”Tanssityttö kotikokissa”. Jatkossa sieltä löytyy uudet reseptilinkit! Laitan nyt tämän ensimmäisen linkin tähänkin alle, niin löytyy nopeasti.
Take care of ourselves and each other! Let’s do what is needed no matter how tired we are!
You can say I’m hysteric and yes, I know I am but I can’t do anything about it I get scared every time I hear a cough nowhere near me, and that I try to avoid this happening the best I can. Like I sometimes jumped from one side of the street to the other, if someone is coming up, dodging the oncoming (like yesterday). Nor do I like to talk to strangers (sounds very Finnish, right? but that’s not usually how I am. Normally I like to talk to people and actually many Finns, specially women do talk to people). However, these days when I wouldn’t want to do that, I sometimes find myself in situations where I have to, like last time yesterday…
I was coming at market and I was about to go to another convenience store pick up a few things. The store is on the way back home. It’s expencive and small so I usually make my main purchase at that bigger market but there’s few things I can buy at that small store. (I don’t have to carry all the shopping for such a long distance, nowadays I shop less often and I buy more at once so this makes it a little easier. Going to that store is just worth scheduling so that there is no congestion of any kind, (the best time is in the morning) otherwise you don’t dare go there because the store is so cramped.) So I was on my way to that little store when I saw that there is senior woman walking towards me. I turned back (mad? I know but I’m afraid of getting infected so much) and went around the corner (to a safe distance) to wait for her to pass by. Suddenly she stopped and I heard her yelling something to me. I wondered why she was yelling at me. She was worried that I was about to cross that slippery path I stood at. ”Don’t go there”, she yeld. ”It’s really slippery.” It really was. So I said back to her: ”No I won’t go there, I’m just waiting”. I don’t think she heard everything cause she continued talking. I don’t remember everything she said but it was something about I should get around from the other side. I repeated that I am not going on a slippery path and I started to get annoyed. I probably sounded like that too. Luckily we had a distance of two to three meters and both had masks but still…I didn’t want to get stuck in there to explain that I was just waiting for her to pass by and that I was on my way to the store. Luckily I didn’t have to, because she finally understood to continue the journey…and I, too, was able to continue mine. It is sad to get angry about so small things. However, I am so frustrated and I don’t miss any extra discussions. I would like to say: ”take care of your own business” but I did not dare to do that. Anyway I went to that store and made my shoppings. Everything seemed to be quite fine before…
*We still live in exceptional times. Don’t forget that!!*
I was at park near by our home, more specifically, I was in the park gazebo. There I usually put my mask on and also take it of when coming back. By doing so I can breathe in the fresh air for a moment. I can’t keep the mask for very long or I get breathing symptoms so this is my habit. Also that usually is a very peaceful place where you can be at ease. So I went there to take of my mask. I got it of and listened that peaceful silence. I greedily breathed wonderful fresh air when some man with dog suddenly appeared in front of me (I had not seen them). That man walked along the path ahead and I just prayed the god he would not cough. I turned and walked few steps farther (as far as I could) but I couldn’t move very far cause I was in that gazebo and the exit was in front of where this man just was and where I didn’t want to go. I waited for a moment and just when I thought I survived…it happened…a cough…I’m not sure where he was at that moment but it sounded like he was quite near. However, I did not dare to turn and look, because then I could have been infected. I was already almost at the breaking point. I was pretty sure he was almost behind my back. I was just wondering why this was supposed to happen when I was almost home. Why he couldn’t wait a moment and cough away from me (there was no one else nearby). Well, I had to come back and try tocalculate the distance between us. I realized it luckily must have been 2-3 meters atleast, maybe more if he had walked farther but those who move with a dog often keep stopping when they walk, so I’m not sure if he stopped behind me…Well, I guess two meters should suffice unless it is a British variant…Fortunately, there is probably not so much of it in Finland yet…
*Only by doing the right thing can we overcome this situation and return to normal!*
The other day, instead, I felt I was receiving protection from an angel. I was in the park even then and I had taken off the mask. For some reason, I felt it was better to go home another way than usually and so I did. I went a small path next to the kindergarten, instead of going the actual way. A short distance away I heard a cough from the road. This man would have come against me if I had gone down the road. He would probably have coughed on my face. On that day I really felt that I was protected from above…
By the way, my mom got that vaccine already (in the nursing home) and she’s ok what was great to hear! I first thought that maybe I dare take the vaccine now with a better mind. Though, I don’t think I’m going to get the same vaccine, so the effects may be different…Well, let’s see…anyway I can’t live long like this or I will go crazy soon, so I think the vaccine is just a must take…
Stay safe everyone! I hope the Guardian Angels are with you!!
Pave was involved in many bands when he was young before his 80’s solo career which was the golden age of his career. One of these bands was: ”Rock’n Roll Band” (bass and vocals) They had only one big hit: ”I’m Gonna Roll” (-singer Pave Maijanen, listen to from above ). Second vocalist and also guitarist of the band was my absolute favorite of Finnish artists: Dave Lindholm who have made so many amazing songs. On the drums was Affe Forsman. The band was founded by Janne Ödner (but he is often not considered a full member). The band was short-lived. It was established in 1975and it disintegrated as early as the end of the same year before their album came out. Still this song: ”I’m Gonna Roll” is basic rock at it’s best. It still works well today!
One more detail about Pave. He was an active veteran hockey player, Joker fan and good friend of Teemu Selänne (which I didn’t know until I read about this after Pave’s death). Teemu remembered Pave with warmth! According to him, Pave was a positive and good friend from whom he received energy and support.