2007年 12月
11 | 2007/12 | 01

Things that are alike

Two pairs of things I found alike.

One is this. Maple MANJU and Unikko(Marimekko).


Maple Manju is one of sweets from Japan. This is which one of my friends has sent to me. It tastes really good. You must try, if you ever see it☆★

Unikko is one of the most famous and popular design from Marimekko, the Finnish fashion design company. It may appear strange to you in the beginning or you may not like it at first, but the longer you see, the more you see, you'll get to like it. There are many designs from Marimekko, which are like that.

For example, there is one new design shown below. When I saw it first time, it appeared very strange to me. But what now? I do quite like it**


By the way, the Unikko in the above photo is a reflector. Reflectors are seen as very important things for people's safety in the dark Finnish winter. There are many kinds of designs and not only the design companies, but also insurance companies sell them. People put it wherever they want, on the bags, coats, and so on. Large proportion of people put them somewhere in the winter.

Another is the berries.



The top is picked up, edible berries, frozen in a freezer.

The below is alive, not edible(I think) berries, frozen in an natural environment. I think this berries are used for Christmas decoration.

I'm not perfectly sure whether the two berries are the same, but how they had been frozen are different, though they look pretty the same.

●Some unrelated ones●

Finnish national flower, lily of the valley. They were sold in a supermarket and looked so cute, so I had to take photos☆The bells of this lily of the valley are very cute!!!!!

Do you know Pikachu, one of the charactors in a Japanese old game? Well, it looks like this, but not quite. They were in marimekko's shop, sold with 2000-3000 Euro, so if you ever be interested, be in touch with marimekko, Finland. LOL →Pikachu(wikipedia)
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Finland, lately

Around this time of the year, the temperature in Finland is normally about minus 10 degrees. There is snow as well.

But this year is different. All snow has melt and the temperature has been around 0 degree. The weather forecast does not say that the temperature will be falling any time soon. No snow marks on maps neither. What shocks me is that it's not only in the southern Finland, but also in the north. The temperature in northern Finland is still around 0 degree, even plus sometimes.


In this darkness, it is not very nice that no snow, no snow expected, and the temperature seems it's not falling at all.

Despite the unusual weather, the city turns to be Christmas just like the ordinal years. The city has been lightened up and many Christmas markets comes☆

The illumination of the main shopping centre, Aleksanterinkatu. It's the same every year, and when you see it first time, you think it's not very beautiful. But as the time goes by, you get to like it, just like marimekko's design☆


The building is normally used by the university. (meaning the University of Helsinki) I enjoyed the different atmosphere of the building**

They are candles. She, the woman in the picture, was selling many kinds of candles, some were very long(actually, extremely long), some were very thin like Japanese incenses.

There are many other stuffs as well in the market. It was very interesting to see those.

I hope snow comes soon. Don't trust the weather man. That's what I've learnt in England. Hope the weather man is wrong. Not only Finland, but everywhere in the world has been having all kinds of extreme weather. It's obvious and easily seen the effect of global warming. Hope Finland has snow at Christmas....
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09:40 | 日本語 | comments (0) | trackbacks (0) | edit | page top↑

Winter holiday has come!

Do you like the new layout?☆
It's just like Finnish Christmas, isn't it?♪

The busy days with exams and concerts are over now and having had winter holiday come, I've been doing all I want to do.

But here, today, I'm going to write about the busy days. It's all related to music this time, though☆

●No.1 Mandolin
I had new experience with a new musical instrument in one of the Pikku joulu which my friends took me to. It was the mandolin, one of the closest instrument to the violin!

This day, I went there after playing the violin in another Pikku joulu, so I had the violin with me. So, then, when I asked, the one who had the mandolin let my play it willingly!!

The smallest mandolin has the same tuning as the violin. The the fingers could be the same, so I tried it just like the violin. Guess what happened.

All correct!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The intonation was all correct, all the same, just like the violin!!!!The tunings are the same, fingers are also the same!!!There are difference in the number of strings that the mandolin has 8 and the violin has 4, and how they are played are different, but still, it was so easy to take up!!

It's something I heard it later, but in Japan, there are orchestras consist of mandolins. I don't know if Finland has it, too, but it was really great to find new, fascinating instrument♬♪Later, when I have enough money, then I may buy the mandolin and try to learn it☆★It really was a great experience!!

●No,2 Repairing the violin


The other day, I took my violin to a repairer for the fist time in my life. Until now, I never had to take it myself because it used to be my teacher who took it, or I changed the violins before it had to be taken. But this time, because the bridge(see photos) was not straight any more, and I thought it wouldn't be the best idea to let it be, so I had to take it to a repairer.

Then, I learnt a new Finnish culture. It is a rather scary fact for those who doesn't know it...

Firstly, I made a phone call to a repairer whom my violin teacher introduced me. "I would like my violin to be repaired, but when could I go? Is it easier to get there?" Then the repairer answered, "You can come any time you want!! Well, it might not be too easy to get here, so I can pick you up somewhere!"

What?! Is he picking me up?! Really?!

I was confused here, to start with. But well, because he says he can pick me up, we decided to meet in the centre of Helsinki. After meeting him, I was taken to a ordinal residential area, where took about 30 minutes by bus. Then to one of the rooms there... As soon as the repairer opened the door, there was a conversation, such as;

"I'm home!"
"Oh, hello!"

?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! What's going on?!?!

My mind was totally lost, not knowing what was happening around me!! And guess who came to the door. Yes, his wife and child. Not a small child, but big one.

Conclusion. I was taken to a "house." Well, no, it was rather "home," to a "family home"!!!!

There I saw a man making new bridge on the corner of a living room.

The bridge, which my violin had it repaired, is the second most important part of the violin. It's like a brain for human being. It was really scary to watch him working.....

Well, it was something I heard later, but the things like this happens quite often in Finland because there are many who locate their business at home. I guess it's less expensive to start business and might be easier, but for those who doesn't know, it would be rather shocking to do business with them.

Nevertheless, the bridge is fine and I know these things are nothing to be afraid, so I should be reacting normally from now on. It was...really frightening experience this time, though....

●No.3 Concerts
The orchestra concerts was not too bad. The violins could play quite well and also the others.

Except one. Except one big problem.


A conductor plays very important role in a orchestra. It must be the most important position in a orchestra. But our conductor was really....disastrous. I don't know if he has been really nervous or what, but he was not watching us, made many mistakes, and so on... (TДT)

Fortunately, the concert didn't come out to be a disaster thanks to the others' memory and musical feeling.

Well, anyway, I'm glad I could manage the busy days with the exams, concerts and pikku joulu parties!!
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忙しい中行ってきたPikku joulu、そのうちの一つは友達に連れられて行ったのですが、そこで新しい楽器に出会いました。そう、マンドリン。それも一番ヴァイオリンに近いサイズのマンドリン。

この日は違うPikku jouluでヴァイオリンを弾いてきた後だったので、楽器を持っていた私。そしたらマンドリンを持っていた人が快く私にも弾かせてくれたのです!!

























まぁ、ともかく、試験にコンサート、Pikku jouluにその他いろいろ、なんとか乗り切れてよかったです!!
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Christmas is coming!!

It's already December. December is Joulukuu in Finnish, meaning the month of Christmas.

Yes, Christmas is coming!!

Here in Finland, the streets have been lighten up with a few decorations, though all are not very attractive. There are also events called "pikku joulu" going on in the companies, schools, universities, and so on.

Pikku joulu means little Christmas. Unlike Japan, like England, Christmas is normally spent with families in Finland, but Finns also want to enjoy Christmas feeling with their colleagues and friends. So, they hold "pikku joulu," Christmas with friends☆★

But...for all university students, except the lazy ones, it's a dead busy season with exams and essays. All the exams comes around this time of the year and so the essay deadlines. (Luckily, I don't have any essays to write. Only the exams.) The problem is that we, the hard-working students, also have to join "pikku joulu." It is very hard to manage all the schedules!!!!!!!

What makes it worse is that "pikku joulu" lasts all night long. If you're lucky, you get home by 2 am, but if not, then you'll have to stay until 4 am. It is OK to go to and enjoy those parties, if only there were no exams coming soon!!! I haven't joined any of the parties yet, though... Well, I think Finns are really tough. They are made of beer, potatoes, cinnamon, and flour, so "pikku joulu" must be giving them lots of energy, but...I need fish and sleep as well!!!

This is the Christmas tree in Kumpula library. Does the Santa Clause made a mistake and put the presents too early? Why are there presents under the tree?? For who?? I really wonder...

Well, from now on, I should be busy with "pikku joulu," exams and concerts of our orchestra, so I think I'll be writing the diaries about them after finishing them. When I come back, please visit here again★☆

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フィンランドでは素朴ながらも街がライトアップされ、会社や学校ではPikku joulu(ピック・ヨウル=小さなクリスマス)というものが開かれています。

フィンランドのクリスマスは日本のお正月のように、基本は家族で過ごします。でもおちゃめなフィンランド人はPikku jouluという名目で友達ともクリスマス気分を味わってます☆★

でも大学生にとってこの時期は試験期間。レポート提出や試験が度重なる中、Pikku jouluに参加しなければなりません。結構大変…!!!!

しかもPikku jouluでは帰りが必ず12時過ぎるんです。終電の中の終電、朝4時ごろに帰るのが普通だとか。流石にまだその恐ろしいPikku jouluには参加してませんが。特に試験などなければいくらでも残るのですが、試験勉強を次の日にもしなければと思うときついものがありますよね…。フィンランド人はタフだなぁ……。


これからPikku jouluと試験とオーケストラのコンサートと大忙しな日々を送る予定なので、日記はまとめて全部終わってから書こうと思います。そのときはまた読んでください★☆

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