Daily Archive: joulukuu 20, 2013

Finnish way of Christmas

A holiday is an amazing time when we can be with our friends and family; when we have good feelings and smiles on our faces. We give gifts and sing Christmas songs. Also, this a good time for traditional delicious meal =)

In Finland, the celebrations of Christmas start before the official date. Companies organize Pikkujoulu (Small Christmas) in November and at the beginning of December. It is a good reason to meet with colleagues, to round up the year. There are many places for those celebrations: restaurants, rent houses, hotels, company’s entities and so on. All employees receive gifts and warm wishes from managers and colleagues.

After the workday, after the exam period we are all waiting for magic holiday days. Christmas is celebrated on 24-25th of December in Finland. Buying good piece of Christmas ham is a must do before that.

Typically, Christmas dinner is eaten on the Christmas Eve, December 24th. Traditionally, dinner includes the following menu: root vegetable casseroles (carrot, rutabaga), rosolli salad, liver casserole, gravlax or smoked salmon, herring, pâtés and the main dish are oven-baked ham. Dessert is very popular and famous is Christmas pastries (Joulutortut), gingerbread cookies (Piparkakut) and Christmas glöggi. Moreover, it can be Christmas cake (joulukakku) and a lot of candies! It is really good time to taste traditional cuisine.

As for me, I cook oven-baked ham for Christmas. I can tell you a secret on how to calculate the right time for making juicy ham. It’s very simple, for 1 kg of ham = 1 hour in the oven (175 C) and then you get it out. Afterwards, clear the skin from fat and use some mustard for the coating together with dried breadcrumbs, and then let it bake for around 20 minutes (225 C) until brownish crumbs. Moreover, I like carrot casserole and without that food some of the Christmas feeling are not full and will be missed. We prepared rosolli, it seems like our famous salad of beetroot (Russian salad) very tasty and easily cooked. My favourite one is the mushroom salad and potato salad with reindeer meat. Salmon rolls stuffed with cream cheese are also very delicious. Also, don’t forget about candies, desserts and warm glöggi with raisins and almonds!!!

 However, the most important part is to be with friends and family, to give presents, sing, laugh, take pictures and spend this time not thinking about any problems. I wish You Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

 Written by Olga Paykacheva, BIT-student

Are you staying in Oulu for Christmas?

Are you staying in Oulu for Christmas and you have no idea what to expect during your winter break? If your answer is yes, then this blog entry is worth your time to read it. It is important to mention that this article is written by international students who have stayed in Finland during the winter season at least once. Therefore we have some idea what you will face during this time of the year. Hopefully these suggestions will give you some good ideas and you can use them before the year is over.

Let’s face it, winter break is the best time of the year to have charity time with your family and have good time with them. But for some of the ”unlucky” international students who, by any cause, could not pay the air ticket back home, they will not have the chance to meet their family this time. We use the word unlucky not because Finland is a terrible place to be. But let’s be honest, being with the people you love and they love you back is the best.

Maybe at this point you will start thinking about your mom’s delicious food, your father good company and even your annoying brother or sister. But that’s not the point of the blog entry. The point we are trying to reach is that this is a unique chance in your life that you will live something totally different to your traditional vacations at home. So just read the rest and enjoy the new experiences you will have after the last school day.

Finnish Christmas

The Finnish Christmas comes in with different styles and especially with lot of delicacies, back home we celebrate Christmas on 25th with all our family members, but here you wanna enjoy the Christmas dinner which is always celebrated on the Christmas Eve, December 24th.  With the Finnish families and friends you gather together and share lot of fun, warm festive atmosphere in the evening and then enjoying the diversified Finnish tradition Christmas dishes.

There were three most essential dishes on the table and these were an oven-baked ham, ”rutabaga casserole” and mixed beet root salad.  The order of the order was ”Without the taste of these traditional dishes, there would be something missing in our Finnish Christmas celebration”.  

During my time with one of the Finnish family in Oulu, the other dishes served were liver, meat, smoked salmon, fish fillets, some other local vegetables and sweet pea sauce. This made me feel at home and thus as an international student you will really feel back home, too, and cared for!!

Hey, not forgetting the sauna and taking beer while warming our bodies.

A lot of Finnish and international people visit their families, and some families are good enough even to invite international students to spend the Christmas Eve with them.

Where is the turkey?

Christmas and New Year’s Day are the celebrations that you enjoy the most with your family. I mean, everybody loves their home cuisine prepared by their families with love and tasty ingredients. After thinking about that, you will start feeling homesick and you will try to come up with a crazy plan in order to be with your family during this dates. But to be honest, this will never happen, only in those Hollywood movies.

 Anyways, why not make your own Christmas and New Year dinner like your parents does. It’s the time of the year to give your best to impress your friends about your culinary skills. And in case you do not have any of these techniques, like me, it is time to learn a new recipe and enjoy the moment with your friends. It does not have to be as good and complicated as a dish from a fancy restaurant. You can still prepare something that is easy to prepare and taste good, like some salads or soups.

At the same time you can take advantage of this event by learning from other cultures and their home country cuisine. You can arrange with your friends that each of them have to prepare a traditional dish they love can cook. This way you will try new dishes that will expand your culinary and cultural knowledge.

Let’s visit Santa Claus

Not forgetting diversified tours and trips across Oulu region, if your pocket is such away deep then you will really have lot of fun. Last year with my 5 friends we visited Rovaniemi and spent 2 nights at the Santa Claus village tourist center, we had the chance to take lot of photos with the Santa Claus and visited many others places in the city.                                

Written by Kevin Mendez, Mexico and John Munyoro, Kenya

Students in the Degree Programme in Business Information Technology

Dealing with burnout

Entering the last week of the semester, I have noticed that many students, including myself, look more tense and smile much less than in the beginning of the semester. Well, there is no need to wonder – the reason is obvious, by looking at the peach color marks for course assignments and exams on school Moodle calendar, and more assignment and exam announcements on Oiva, not to mention many other tasks we wanted to accomplish before the holiday starts. I was overwhelmed with stress a couple of weeks ago after I listed the deadlines for all assignments, group works and exams. So I tried to find information about dealing with stress on the Internet.

An article I found from Harvard medical school explained that feeling stress is a normal human reaction toward situations that are threatening, challenging, difficult or/and unpleasant. And feeling stress triggers our mind and body to react to the threat by fighting against it or fleeing from it. But our body cannot take the stress for too long. According to the article, a person under stress too long can suffer from high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, addiction and other health problems. (Harvard Medical School 2011, retrieved 15.12.2013.) I recalled that I have been very busy since June, first doing full-time summer job then immersing myself in group works in every course and in seemingly excessive assignments. I have been feeling stress not for days, but for months. I was wondering if I am getting burnout, so I searched further about signs of burnout.

I found another article from Forbes magazine site about signs of burning out. In the article, a doctor said burnout is from “experiencing chronic stress” (Gerry 1.4.2013, retrieved 15.12.2013). The author listed 10 signs when a person is burning out:

– “Exhaustion”

– “Lack of motivation”

– “Frustration, cynicism and other negative emotions”

– “Cognitive problems” (e.g. hard to pay attention, to concentrate and easy to forget things)

– “Slipping job performance”

– “Relationship problems at home and work”  

– “Not taking care of yourself”

– “Being preoccupied with work when you are not at work”

– “Generally decreased satisfaction”

– “Health problems”

(ibid.)

I found those signs in myself: exhaustion, frustration, cynicism, forgetful, not taking care of myself, being preoccupied with study all the time, having backache from sitting too long and no time for exercise, etc. Though I should go to see a doctor for proper diagnosis, I think I am not far from being burnout.

Realizing stress or getting burnout is the first step of dealing with it. I am more interested in how to deal with stress and not getting burnout and to share the finding with people, than dwelling in the problem. There are plenty of information online teaching people how to identify and deal with stress and burnout. After reading the articles, I found the tips given in the articles can be categorized in: Taking Care Of Oneself, Facing The Problem, Taking A More Relaxed and Healthier Lifestyle, Getting Support From Family And Friends, and Seeking Professional Help. (Harvard Medical School 2011; Gerry 1.4.2013; Haurant 29.7.2011, retrieved 15.12.2013.)

 – Taking Care Oneself means that we should pay attention to our feelings and body and signals of stress.

– Facing The Problem is to take action to mitigate and remove stress by doing muscle relaxation, deep breathing, identifying sources of stress, organizing and prioritizing tasks, clarifying area of responsibility, discussing and collaborating a more feasible solution with stakeholders (e.g. teacher, group members).

 – Taking A More Relaxed and Healthier Lifestyle means exercising regularly, taking a hobby, sleeping enough and separating study and free time, and not sitting in front of computer all day.

– Getting Support From Family And Friends reminds us to spend quality time with people and to share our thoughts and feelings with those who care about us – so we can support and help each other, not having to keep all the worry to ourselves.

 – Last but not the least, Seeking Professional Help shouldn’t be forgotten, it is on every list I have found. We have student health care and we should remember to use it. Information about student health care and insurance can be found at http://www.oamk.fi/english/exchange_opportunities/student_exchange/health_care/

 As many deadlines are at the corner, I cannot really relax yet. But I have organized and prioritized tasks in checklist and modified my objectives to less demanding ones. And I have been trying to get enough sleep every day, to eat more vegetables, and to find time for a break and for spending with close friends. I am managing it and I hope you will find the information helpful for dealing with stress too.

Written by Chen Dalun, BIT-student

 

References:

Gerry, L. 1.4.2013. 10 signs you’re burning out – and what to do about it. Date of retrieval 15.12.2013 http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/04/01/10-signs-youre-burning-out-and-what-to-do-about-it/

Harvard Medical School. 2011. Understanding the stress response. Date of retrieval 15.12.2013 http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2011/March/understanding-the-stress-response   

Haurant, S. 29.7.2011. How to beat burnout at work. Date of retrieval 15.12.2013 http://www.theguardian.com/money/2011/jul/29/how-to-beat-burnout

 

20. luukku: Pieni kauhukauppa ja muita mielikuvaharjoituksia…

20. luukku: Pieni kauhukauppa ja muita mielikuvaharjoituksia…

… kertoo mikä on ihminen ja mikä on hevonen, ja miksi homma ei aina toimi näiden kahden välillä. Kirjan avulla voi tehdä tutkimusmatkan sekä itseensä että hevoseensa (tai muuhun hevostuttavaan).

Tämän lisäksi kirja sisältää hurjan määrän harjoituksia (laadultaan sekä henkisiä että fyysisiä), joilla voi korjata mm. istuntaa, apujen käyttöä, yllätystilanteissa reagoimista, oikeaoppista tipahtamista ynnä muita hevosten kanssa äärimmäisen hyödyllisiä taitoja.

Lupaan, että tämän kirjan parissa muutama asia voi loksahtaa kohdalleen, ja pari solmuakin saattaa jopa aueta.

Pieni kauhukauppa Leevissä >>