Meeting friends and family in Finland

Suomi - 10.6.2018 15:23

Since coming back from Sweden we have been actively meeting my friends and family in Finland. It’s been really good connecting with all of them!

We’ve also carried with us our polaroid camera and wedding guestbook and filled it with pictures and stories of the friends and family we’ve been meeting during the trip, a nice memory!

I’m so proud of my wife as she’s met every day with new people. And yesterday we met with the cousins, uncles and aunts from my mother’s side, 42 all in all, at a cottage we had rented by a lake in Western Finland, “Pohjanmaa” to celebrate my sister’s graduation and our wedding. Most of them didn’t speak English but we talked to all of them, and had sauna together. We also swam in the lake which was pretty chilly, but I’m so proud of Papi since she stayed the longest in the lake and sauna with me, and we did many times the normal sauna as well as the smoke sauna, with “vihta” that is a bunch of birch branches we use to “gently” beat ourselves with in the sauna, creating a nice aroma and it’s good for the body too! We ate traditional Finnish foods such as salmon soup and rye bread, and after the sauna we had different sausages cooked in the barbecue. We did some singing as well and my relatives were very impressed seeing me dancing as we showed some videos and photos from our wedding in Switzerland.

It was good spending time with family, as we see each other with such big group only once in 10 years or so. A lot had happened since I last saw them. Many had got married, they had kids, bought a house.. It was like getting to know them again. We spent Friday with my cousins Laura and Tuomas and their family at their house, watching videos of “Finnish prom” that Laura had attended, discussing and eating good food. There is too much good food on this trip, I’m gaining weight! But that’s because we can’t buy souvenirs as our luggage is full.. so we enjoy good food instead. We discovered how my aunt and uncle had met each other and it was thanks to this Finnish country side custom “rinki”. It means driving rounds around the town again and again, sometimes parking for a bit, maybe popping loud music, and the goal is to see if there happen to be any friends around in town or some interesting people to get to know to. So they were both on the rinki, “chasing” each other, and finally stopped their cars next to each other and started chatting. That’s how it started.

Funnily, as we were walking around the town of Seinäjoki today, I heard a familiar voice saying “hey!”; I turned around and saw that two of my cousins were there, they were on the rinki. As there was no traffic, I went to talk to them on the road and we agreed to go for a coffee nearby. That was a nice break, just a relaxed hour before our train to Lapland, where we are on our way to meet my grandparents and friends for a few days.

Meeting with Jyri (previous housemate) and Raimo (priest/squashmate) at Naughty BRGR in Helsinki Meeting with Miikka (uni friend) and Iina  Flamed salmon glamping with Mika in Nuuksio   Staying at Laura and Tuomas’ house Family in Finland Family from mom’s side Sauna, olut ja vihtaFreeezing  Some gents we found on the Rinki!

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