Tag Archives: Hobbies

Ice Fishing in Finland

by Tyler Rickabaugh, degree student in Environmental Engineering

Tampere winter horizont - ice cover of Näsijärvi lake with sight seeing tower Näsinneula

After hot July it is maybe hard to imagine that in few months the lakes offer an amazing environment for ice fishing!

Ice fishing is a long and deep history of Finland. It is known to be a public rights access, meaning that you don’t have to have a license to fish. All you need is a fishing pole, really warm clothes, a frozen lake, and a tool to break the ice.

The most important thing in ice fishing is preparation. You don’t want to get out to the middle of the lake only to realize you forgot something, or that you are under dressed. Always be prepared. Please note that you can spend several hours on the lake in freezing temperatures, so it’s going to get cold. If you are fortunate enough to know someone who happens to have a tent or hut that they use while ice fishing then it can make the experience that much better.

Common fish you will come across while ice fishing are perch and pikes. Pikes are a bit bigger fish and can really give you a good fight. Although both of the perch and pikes meat are a bit bonier than most fish, if they are cooked properly they can be really tasty.

Be sure to go out on the lake with a Finnish person who has experience. Ice fishing takes a bit of knowledge and experience. The last thing you want to do is get out into the middle of a frozen lake and realize you have no idea what you are doing. Also having the right kind of lures and bait will help as well. Again talk to a Finn first for some guidance on this.

Finally remember to bring alcohol! If you don’t catch any fish at least you can catch a buzz!

Have fun and remember to stay warm!

It sounds great now, thank you guys!

by Marja Oksanen

Two smiling men at a table with a loudspeaker

Benjamin and Daniel enjoying clear sound

A lack of proper loudspeakers in our class room caused irritation which led to respectable activities: Daniel Bodenmiller and Benjamin MacNab built a brand new, useful and efficient gadget to give joy to Finnish language students. Now we are able to hear clearly listening comprehension exercises and lyrics of Finnish songs!

Once again, thank you dear Environmental Engineering students!


a loudspeaker is being built, stil very unready

There is still a process…

This unready gadget is shaping to be a loudspeaker.

…going on.

Cottage weekend

Nusret Ílhan, exchange student

Signpost in a snowy forestIf you came to Finland as an exchange student, cottage weekend is the thing that you definitely should experience. Two days without electricity, running water, mobile phones like in the middle age.

Young man with an axe on his shoulder on a snnowy ground, an old house in the background

Here I come – some firewood is needed!

It didn’t think that cottage weekend was going to be that hard and that funny. When we arrived our cottage, weather was chilly. I think ıt was because of location of the cottage, it was in the middle of the forest and there was a lake nearby. After we settled, organizers told us our responsibilities and divided us into groups. I took place in Fire and chopping group. Our cottage was so cold to live so we needed to fire up the fire places, ovens and of course sauna. We chopped some wood and funny part began…

I need to say that, sauna in Finland especially in cottage is totally different from your home county. We had to make a fire in the oven to warm up the sauna. And I can say that even smell of the sauna gets you in the middle age mood. I suppose jumping into lake after sauna, is like a tradition in Finland. It was crazy but surprisingly hilarious.

Moreover, I learned that, if you stay a few hours near to bonfire you smell like barbeque. But bonfire part was worth that. We grilled some sausages and told stories. It was really warm environment and I had a lot of good friend.

people around a fire roasting sausages


When you don’t have your phone with you, you have to speak with the others and if the others are in the same situation, you discover how fun to know new people. We talked for hours and played card games and performed a roleplaying game. I never thought that I wouldn’t get bored of card games and talking till that time.

Finally bed time has come but we had a big problem. It wasn’t warm enough to sleep yet. Nevertheless, I slept like a baby with a bunch of clothes.

Undone salmon fillet fastened on a plank board


İn the morning organizers woke us up at 7 am. I had to get out of my warm bed and went to hiking at -10˚C. Everybody was sleepy at first but weather did its work. After 20 minutes we were walking like hell to get warm. Forest in Finland is another beauty. Winter shows you how lovely it could be.

In the end when farewell time has come, everybody was sad about it but also we knew that we had the best weekend ever. Cottage was totally different experience for me. I had a great time and I will do it again when I get the chance.




How to wear and act in a snowy country

by Lackson Kashobwe, degree student in Environmental Engineering

An African man and woman in thick, colourful wear in a snowy landscape

In winter wonderland with my sister

It was more than  a  year ago, in August 2012, when I came from Zambia, southern part of Africa,  to Finland which I feel to be blessed with a lot of natural resources and also knowledge  – for  example numerous lakes, snow, forests and good health care and education systems.

I think that fashion in Finland has an original aesthetic style, unlike in any other area in the world. Residents make their style their own, with bright colors and warm fabrics, in order to combat  typical cold and dark months. Their clothing, also, focuses on the importance of handmade and high quality prints, which look both old and new, at the same time. Finnish fashion is relatively young.

God keeps his people in different ways; it’s amazing and interesting to see how Finnish people survive during winter time. Because winter time in Finland is characterized by several things such as darkness and coldness, but also this season is longer than any other season. It is also fascinating to see how developed Finland has been in almost all sectors despites long dark days and winter period.

The dressing during winter time is mostly winter jacket, long coat, long johns for males inside their trousers and thermal underwear for females.

Five people swinging light sticks in darkness on a snowy ground

Having fun outside the cottage during Christmas

I think that winter time is the best time of the year! So lovely is the snow raining down from the skies, all vegetation; houses are covered by snow so charming. The first day I saw snow was when coming out of the room and only to find white carpet of snow waiting for me to step on it. I enjoyed every single hour, minute and second of Finnish winter and luck in enough I have my sister who took me round and showed most of activities that happen during winter time. My best experience was when I visited the countryside. There we played some games, we did skinny sliding on the snow and we made snow balls. It was wonderful time of my life.

Each season has both advantages and harms. So some people may dislike winter, but what is important is to appreciate each season and learn to do something that will make the season meaningful and important in our life.



by Christos Paraskevopoulos, degree student in Environmental Engineering

Europe of the 21st century is compilation of people with different languages, religions, histories, skin colours and cultures. All this applies ideally in our multicultural community in TAMK expanding our horizons to the most distant and remote places of the world. Young people from the all over the globe add their personality and deposit their soul making our little village in the middle of Finland a vivid center of interest.

My favourite activity in Finland is sauna. On my early days in Finland when sauna for me was just a hot humid-less extra room in the house or building and I had a hard time to understand the culture behind this event.

Inside picture of a sauna: brown wooden walls, ceiling and benches - a small window as well.

My new place of harmony!

Then I found my first sauna ystävä (= friend). He had patience to explain what the Finns mean when they say “we get life and death in sauna” and how sauna is such an important integrated social activity in the unique Finnish culture. I come from Greece and when I there want to talk with a friend to get some advise, to share an opinion or just to hang out we go to a coffee house (καφενείο) preferably by the coastline or on a mountain hill and we sit there and talk for hours.

Two male winter swimmers in the hole in the ice

Fresh life!

In Finland people are more introspektiivisiä (= introspective) and sauna helps for those tough defences to drop or better melt!!! When you go in sauna and the temperature is 80 – 90°C you body stresses and your mind must decide if it should focus on preserving your suspensions or preserve your life. And guess what! It chooses to drop the defences and then the good time starts. When you enter the sauna you leave outside except from your cloths your bad attitude and you go there to enjoy yourself. You go there to have fun, to be with people you care and to clear your mind. You cleanse you body as the toxins come out from your pores and you start to sweat like not tomorrow. After a few minutes you can go out have a cold shower, dive in the cold icy lake, go out in the cold snow and my favourite drop on the snow and make little angels.

In my sauna preferences I add two of my bad habits. Cold beer during sauna and smoking a cigarette during the sauna breaks.

An angel gesture in the snow

My bright winter angel

Even after a busy day (and as a TAMK student we have many of those) when I know that I’m going to have sauna it makes my day and give me the motivation to go on. An after the Sauna experience you feel both relieved and energetic either to go to sleep or to go out and party all night. It’s up to you to try them both.

Eläköön suomalainen sauna!


With my favourite hobby more Finnish, too

by Anzhelika Manasheva, degree student in Environmental Engineering

Volleyb2.edVolleyball might not be the most popular sport in Finland, but it certainly has its own, quite important role in the city of Tampere.

I have been playing volleyball for the most part of my life that is why I was utterly worried if I would be able to find a decent team here, in Tampere, when I moved here. I started searching in the Internet all the possible volleyball clubs or associations, and to my greatest surprise I found plenty! Although it was already quite late in the autumn that I contacted them, because most of the teams were formed at the end of the summer, yet, I was still invited to a few trial practices to see what I could do and if I could fit in. Luckily, after the very first training the head coach of Kale team was truly pleased to accept as a new member of their team.

Unfortunately, I still had to face some unpleasant inconveniences. Later, it turned out that my Russian volleyball license were invalid in Finland what forced me to buy a new one, which, sadly, cost me a pretty penny. The price of the licenses in Finland depends on what division you are playing in. On the whole there are 4 divisions, from strongest (1) to more immature (4). I was playing in the second division. Nevertheless, I never happened to regret buying the new license. First of all, I did not have to think about further expenditures anymore. The price of license covers four days a week practices, uniform, transportation, coaching and equipment. And I was extremely astonished to discover how easily available it all was as soon as I became a member. And gym membership as well!

The indoor volleyball season lasted from the beginning of autumn till March. Unfortunately, we did not win any special awards, but we still did very well! 😉

Volleyb1.edI also would love to tell you about beach volley, which is very well developed in the region of Tampere.

Having moved here I did not expect to discover that out of only two closed beach volley halls that exist in Finland one of the would be in Tampere. Honestly speaking, it is 45-minutes’ drive from Tampere, though, but the guys organized it so well that every time somebody would always give us a ride. Obviously, there are much more beach volley clubs, but I joint BVT club, what stands for Beach Volley Tampere. The membership price was surprisingly low, but it allowed me to use all the equipment during the summertime, and they gave me 2 T-shirts with the club name on them. Thus, we practiced every week on Wednesdays for two hours, but now when the beach volley season came, we play every day on Pyynikki beach. The people there are very friendly and talkative, even to me considering that I almost don’t speak their language.

What is more, beach volley tournaments take place every week, Thursday and Saturday, and of course everyone is welcome to come and cheer the players up or even join!

Volleyb3.edOn the whole, volleyball is indeed quite important in Tampere. Tampere happens to host such significant championships as World League, European Championship, and Beach Volley Europe Championship. In 2009 beach volley tournament was organized right on the central squire of the city. And I do really hope that one day I will witness another championship on the central squire of Tampere, or who knows, maybe I will participate.

Skiing experience in Finland

by Femi Adefolalu, degree student in Environmental Engineering

A man training to ski, in the background three other trainers, blue sky with white clouds, white ground


The coming of winter can be scary, considering the early dark period and the cold aggravated by previous down pour of snow. When the dark days are winding up and there are more sunshine brilliantly radiated by the white, then wish the winter season should continue. One of the greatest delights is skiing experience which one should always look ahead for when winter is coming.

Imagine gliding on a radiate white and smooth floor on your track moving fast past trees like train on its rail track especially when moving down a hill with your sliding shoes and your control poles fasten to your hands; the experience can be liberating!

Three smiling students in winter sunshine with skiing sticks in their hands

Hello tracks, we are coming!

For a beginner you may suffer many childish falls and some bone bruises but the experience is fun packed and put many laughter on your face; do not take life too seriously! It will be worthwhile when you learn the skill and graduate from a beginner to pro, then you can stylishly glide and always bubbles for joy when winter is coming.

Teemme couscous-päivällistä / Making Couscous Dinner

by Joanne NH Wong, degree student in Media

The first chapter in Finnish, the second the same in English etc.

Tänään olemme päättäneet tehdä couscous-päivällistä. Minä ja minun poikaystävä Slava kävimme kaupassa ostamassa ruoka-aineita. Me seurasimme reseptiä, joka löytyy pirkka.fi:sta: Teriyaki-kasviscouscous. Me ostimme punaisen ja keltaisen paprikan, kesäkurpitsan, kidneypapuja, vähän valkosipulia ja sipulia, ananaspaloja, 1 pakkauksen couscousta, tuoretta basilikaa ja teriyakikastiketta.

Today, we have decided to make couscous for dinner. Me and my boyfriend, Slava, went to supermarket to get ingredients. We followed the recipe from pirkka.fi, kasviscouscous with teriyaki sauce, and we bought red and yellow paprikas, zucchini, kidney beans, little bit of garlics and onions, pineapple cubes, 1 pack of couscous, fresh basil, and teriyaki sauce

Package of couscous

Olen aika innoissani, koska en ole koskaan tehnyt couscousta ennen. Otan couscousin ostoskassista ja luen paketin ohjeet. Tämä on silloin, kun minun suomen kielen koulutus alkaa. Itse asiassa aina kun menen ruokaostoksille, opin uusia suomalaisia ​​sanoja kaupassa. Ohje on helppo: ensiksi keitä 2 dl* vettä, 0,5 rkl** öljyä ja 0,5 tl*** suolaa kattilassa. Ota kattila pois levyltä, kun vesi kiehuu. Sekoita ja lisää 2 dl couscousta joukkoon. Anna turvota kannen alla noin 5 minuttia. Voila! Couscous on valmis!

I am quite excited, because I have never make couscous before. I took out couscous from shopping bag and read the instructions on the packet. This is when my Finnish language training starts. In fact, every time I go grocery shopping, I learn new Finnish words in the shop. The instruction is easy: first, boil 2dl of water with 0.5 tbsp oil and 0.5 tsp salt in a pot. Take it off from stove when it’s boiled. Add 2dl of couscous into the boiled water. Leave it covered for 5 minutes. Voila! Couscous is ready!

Instructions how to cook couscous

Ohjeet suomeksi ja ruotsiksi

Sitten Slava on leikannut kaikki ainekset reseptin mukaisesti nyt. Me lämmitämme pannulla oliiviöljyä, kuullotamme sipulia ja valkosipulia muutaman minuutin, sitten laitamme paprikaa ja kesäkurpitsaa. Lisäämme ananaspalat ja kidneypavut, molemmat valutetut ja huuhdellut.

And my boyfriend has done chopping all the ingredients as instructed in the recipe now. We heat up a pan with olive oil inside, sauté onion and garlic for a few minutes, then put in paprika and zucchini. Add pineapple cube and kidney beans, both drained and rinsed.

Sammuta liesi. Teriyakikastike kaadetaan nyt vihanneksille ja  sekoitetaan hyvin. Seuraavaksi joukkoon lisätään  keitetty couscous, sekoittamalla kaikki ainekset hyvin yhteen. Lopuksi ripottelemme silputtua basilikaa ruokaan.

Turn of the stove. Teriyaki sauce is now poured into the vegetable and mix well. Followed by the cooked couscous, stirring and mixing all ingredients well together. In the end, sprinkle chopped basil leaves onto the dish.

A colourful portion of couscous with black olives, sweet pepper and basili


20 minuutissa nautimme päivällisestä jo ruokapöydässä!

WIthin 20 minutes time, we are enjoying our dinner already on the dining table!

*dl = desilitra

**rkl = ruokalusikka

*** tl = teelusikka



How to enjoy winter below -20°C

by Bokyung Kim, degree student in Media

One of the most common misconceptions about winter in Finland is that it is boring. Once winter starts in Finland, the sun is hardly to be seen in the sky and the daytime is getting shorter and shorter. In addition to the darkness of the winter the degree is always below zero and lots, lots, lots of snow everywhere everyday. However, it does not mean you will have boring winter in Finland! Today, I would like to share my know-how to enjoy winter in Finland 🙂

Three students wearing their skates in a shelter, snowy background

Sun is shining and the ice rink is waiting!

1. Try Winter Sports!

Finland will be truly heaven if you love sports. During the winter season, Finnish people enjoy lots of winter sports. Needless to say, ice skating and downhill skiing are the most common winter sports and you can enjoy them almost everywhere in Finland. There are lots of ice rinks and ski hills around the city and most of them are free. If you want to try more challenging and exotic one, I would suggest you to try ice hockey or cross-country skiing in the frozen lake!


Nine media students - boys and girls - posing for a photo at their pre-Christmas party.

Let’s party: have a nice pre-Christmas!

2. Enjoy Authentic Christmas!

As you might already know, Finland is the hometown of Santa Claus and celebrates Christmas as one of the biggest holidays. During Christmas season, in every city square in Finland Christmas markets sell the authentic and unique Christmas food, decorations and handmade goods. Also, don’t forget to enjoy Pikkujoulu! Pikkujoulu is a pre-party for real Christmas and usually friends gather all together and celebrate Christmas before real one comes.

Buns called korvapuusti, partly under a linen.

Korvapuusti is one kind of pulla, filled with butter, sugar and cinnamon.

3. Time to Know Joy of Baking!

If you don’t want to do any outdoor activities during the winter season, then it is time to know joy of baking! Finnish people love baking and they have lots of recipes for desserts that will melt your frozen heart! Pulla and Munkki are the most common desserts in Finland and usually perfect pair with coffee. Pulla is a sweet roll flavored with cinnamon and Munkki is a moist donut without hole. Once you come to know joy of baking, your kitchen will be filled with smell of heaven!

Those 3 tips are the ones actually helped me a lot to go through the most challenging period for foreign students. At first you might feel depressed for darkness and cold weather in Finnish winter, however, once you decide your mind to fully enjoy every moment, you will find yourself being in amazing place with endless wonder! 🙂

Coffee places for working in Finland

by Yulia Pak, degree student in Media

A student boy sitting at a cafeteria table writing his home work

Jungsoo writing Finnish exercises at cafeteria table

Working in coffee places is a special culture, at least for me. Firstly, I would like to specify what do I mean under “working”: come to coffee places to do study or work, if person is a writer, for example. As for me I spend plenty of time in coffee places by doing my studies, thinking, making notes or just meeting my friends. Coffee places can tell a lot about mentality of people and in every city or country I check how popular is this culture. Of course, I did the same in Finland. I’m not really good in making good and understandable structure of texts therefore I will write all articulately.

Which coffee places are appropriate for working?

The main criteria are quite easy and obvious: a lot of sockets, wi¬fi and light. It is good to have bright day light and when it is dark to have individual light for every table. Individual light creates a feeling of personal space which is really required for working. Personal space can also be created by good arrangements of tables. Good and calm background music is also really needed. Additionally, when I’m looking for coffee places I prefer old style places with a lot of design elements which make comfort.

Findings in Finland.

Here I would like to write some my findings about this culture in Finland. When I came 7 months ago to Finland it was difficult to find any place to study but during this time two new Wayne’s coffee places were opening and they have almost all criteria for working. But still there are not so many. Another appropriate places simply don’t have sockets or wi¬fi. Most of the people that I met in Wayne’s just come to communicate not for working. If people usually come to work to cafes because they need to isolate theirselves from home or they want to find a special mood for working. May be it is possible to say that Finnish people are really home lovers! They better bring atmosphere of comfort to home than try to find it somewhere else. I think like this because Finnish shops are full of homy style stuff but it is difficult to find cafes in this style. In this way, I really appreciate the fact but as a foreigner here with my crazy love to cafes I would like to see more cafes for working than bars.