Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Mini-Post: Morning-After Contrition

Apparently, the morning-after pill is called “katumuspilleri” in Finnish, meaning “contrition pill” or “remorse pill”.

Does that mean Finnish women need to go to the pharmacy on their knees, confessing to having sinned and begging for forgiveness, before some pious pharmacist condescends to handing over the pill along with a penance?

Talk about piling on the guilt.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

How's Your Butter?

When I first decided to make a little effort to learn Finnish, I began reading every label I could find. Before long, I learnt that the Finnish word for butter was “voi”. Armed with that knowledge, I tried to spot the word “butter” wherever I could – all part of reinforcing my newly acquired vocabulary obviously.

That's how I noticed that butter was very important to Finns. Or so I thought.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Before and After

In every language, there are words that have several meanings. But how about a word that means one thing and virtually the opposite also?

Monday, 16 May 2011

My Ice Hockey World Cup Final

Last night, Finland triumphed against arch rivals Sweden in Bratislava (Slovakia) to win the ice-hockey world cup for only the second time.

As a finnophile, I would have dearly loved to have watched the game live in some sports-bar in Finland or with Finnish expats in a pub in the UK.

But I couldn't.

Friday, 13 May 2011


Last night, I went to the cinema to see “Hanna”, a spy thriller movie by Atonement director Joe Wright, set in Marocco, Spain, Hamburg, Berlin, and that other hot-bed of “spydom”, Kuusamo in Finnish Lapland.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Winter vs Summer in Finland

Friends often ask me about the light in Finland. Is it dark all the time in winter? Is it light all day during the summer?

Just found this great video, which illustrates the difference between winter and summer in Helsinki.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day in many countries, including Finland (though not in the UK, France and a few other places). So I wish mothers across the world a very Happy Mother's Day.

However, I would also like to take this opportunity to have another dig at the Finnish language.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Sami Hyypiä and Me

This week, Sami Hyypiä, the legendary former Liverpool FC and Finland defender announced his retirement from professional football – at the “advanced” age of 37.

I have a bit of a connection with Sami, you know...

Sunday, 1 May 2011

May Day

Hauskaa Vappua! [Have a] Fun May Day!

And boy, do some Finns have fun on May Day!

The first time I was in Finland for Vappu, in 2007, I took part in the traditional celebrations in Helsinki, and was both amused and surprised by the decadence of the (normally reserved) Finns letting their hair down!