Currently, I am 130km south of Oulu in a little town called Kalajoki. Oulu is the partner city of my hometown Halle (Saale), in Germany. Has anyone ever been there? Oulu, I mean, not Halle. What is the result of such a partnership? Has anyone had the chance to participate? Tell me about it! If you get the chance, go. The north is fantastic.
I am enjoying Christmas in the midst of the extended family of the mother of my host family. At some point, you will hopefully see pictures of a snowy Christmas, (maybe even) a frozen sea, short hours of sunshine and endless amounts of light. Until then, enjoy your Christmas and if you are on the run from drunken relatives, or for whatever reason want to read something about Scandinavia or the crazy Finns, I've been collecting a few links:
Finnish Design Shop. Shipping (almost) worldwide. You're welcome!
At the beginning of the month the city council decided on the proposal to build a Guggenheim museum in Helsinki. The Helsinki Times published a beautiful article which immediately caught my eye as particularly Finnish. I am still quite foggy on my understanding of Finnish culture and am not sure what it is exactly that makes me say “TYPICAL!”. I hope that one day I will be able to write a concise article about my time here and find the words to describe what seems to be typically finnish:
„We must fight for a meaningful allocation of our limited resources and for social welfare, not for rich man marketplaces. Finland stands for a fair and open society. These status symbols, with their secretive agendas and competitive history, have no place in the land of open source Linux.“
I am far from understanding this strange and beautiful society. To leave with more epiphanies, I bought a book: "The almost nearly perfect people" by Michael Booth. It gave me a tiny key, a sort of guide to the right questions. If you ask Finns about the peculiarities of their culture, you do not get answers. However, if you ask specifically: “Is it just as difficult to get a place to study to become a teacher as it is to study medicine or law?” The answer is going to be “Sure.” Then, of course, you have to continue to drill and explain the realities in Germany or wherever you come from. A nice conversation will arise.
And just because I like the acoustic version of this song so much, here is a little video to Haller's new LP: