Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Being born in Finland is like winning the lottery! Finland 100!

The year 2017 is huge for all the Finns, this is the 100 anniversary of our independence! When I have been talking with my friends, it is hard for them to understand how huge deal this is for Finland. Or how huge deal it is for different brands that have been able to publish Finland 100 products... As a small nation with relatively short independent history, it is very important for us to celebrate this milestone. I have taken part to the celebrations throughout the whole year with the Finnish School in Wroclaw, but as the independence day is getting closer I feel even more national romanticism than before. Last weekend we enjoyed a nice dinner here in Wroclaw as the restaurant HINT! had a Finnish menu for a week. Even when the food was not perfectly "Finnish", it was still amazing!

Our Honorary Consul in Wroclaw is again organizing independence day dinner for all the Finns living in the nearby areas. This dinner will be the crown on my independence day celebrations! The City Hall of Wroclaw will be lighted up in Finnish colors to congratulate the 100-year-old Finland! #stolatfinlandio Next year it's your time Poland! 

As to celebrate Finland and to speak loudly about how good Finland is, I will tell you why it is a lottery win to be born in Finland. This is a metaphor I have heard many many times during my primary school education in Finland. I heard it so many times it started to be annoying! For me the metaphor means that Finland is one of the most safest countries in the earth with happy and equal people (as long as the surveys and statistics are correct). It is a lottery win to be born in the same country with the Santa! It is a lottery win that I have a superpower, I can speak Finnish! It is a lottery win that the bus is not always crowded and people understand my personal space. It is a lottery win to be one of 5 509 717, the odds of being a Finn are 0,000799%, I feel so lucky that maybe I really should take part to a lottery this week!  

There is a one question to be answered... If Finland is so perfect, why did I decide to live elsewhere and leave this winter wonderland behind? It is easy to talk about this topic in general terms but when getting into more personal questions, things come more complicated. I will always be a proud Finn and I will always love Finland, I just felt and still feel that there are more possibilities in life for me in somewhere else. For now the place is Poland, but I am always open for change, I am not afraid to take chances. I have SISU!


Sunday, November 19, 2017

5 reasons why I fell in love with Sarajevo!

This years holiday brought us to beautiful Sarajevo, the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I had never before visited Bosnia and Herzegovina, but I must say I fell in love with the whole country. The picture perfect views started already before crossing the boarder from Serbia, the boarder river between these two countries in the mountains was amazing. The trip from the boarder to Sarajevo took a long time as the bus was driving small mountain roads, it was a perfect opportunity to see the countryside of Bosnia and Herzegovina as it differs a lot from the capital. Here are 5 reasons why I fell in love with Sarajevo!

1. Diversity
It has been said that Sarajevo is like European Jerusalem because of the city's diverse ethnic and religious makeup. By diversity I also mean many different kind of places to visit and see as a tourist. First walking in the old town bazaar, visiting mosque and ending up to Franz Ferdinand museum.

The Sebilj is a pseudo-Ottoman-style wooden fountain (sebil) in the centre of Baščaršija square in Sarajevo built by Mehmed Pasha Kukavica in 1753.

2. Bosnian coffee

We both fell in love with Bosnian coffee! We found a nice small coffee shop just next to the  Gazi Husrev-beg mosque. We were citing outside in the sun enjoying the coffee and seeing how the locals were spending their time, how the owner of the coffee shop was running orders to the mosque yard and the nearby inhabitants. We found a Bosnian coffee set to take home as a souvenir, now I'm able to have the great taste at home, only the atmosphere is missing.

Bosnian coffee

3. History

Sarajevo's history is diverse and bloody. From Ottoman city to assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria starting the first World War to the  longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare, during the Bosnian War as part of the breakup of Yugoslavia. The history of Sarajevo and of Bosnia and Herzegovina is visible in the city by the architecture, the city is a mosaic of different times. Gallery 11/07/95 was breath taking experience, I truly recommend visiting and taking the audio guide!

Gallery 11/07/95

4. Food
Wondering on the old town bazaar area and having so many possible places you would like to eat in. Cevapi is my new love! I think that in the end I had already eaten so much that it was enough for the rest of the week. Cevapi is meat formed into finger size sausages served with somun bread, oninon and kaymak.  All prices in the Bosnia and Herzegovina were very low, one cevapi costed around 5 euros for a portion

First night eating cevapi

5. Atmosphere
I enjoyed the atmosphere cause I felt I am not in hurry to go anywhere, I was able to sit down, enjoy the coffee, cevapi and relax. The coffee shops and restaurants were full of locals enjoying their life. The locals were staying up late drinking coffee and smoking shisha, nobody was in the hurry to bed.