Posts Tagged ‘traditions


174/2011 in memory

174/2011 in memory, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Dedicating public benches to passed away loved ones is something I only learned about in England. At home, in Finland, burial places and funerals are rooted in quite a uniform tradition, as most other rites of passage of life, too.

I find providing passers-by a welcome rest along the road, in a park, or a pub garden as this one here, a nice alternative way to be remembered.

This was a day down memory lane, on a pub crawl around town. So many old pubs have been closed down, and others modernised so much that it’s only the old walls that remind you of what used to be. Signs of the times (an me getting older!) seem to be extremely loud music, open spaces without the old nooks and crannies, and much more light than in the murky old-fashioned pubs. Changes are good, and unavoidable, but it was also nice to see that some pubs had tried to preserve the old atmosphere. Here is a set of some details that caught my eye in the different pub decors.


169/2011 at the country pub

169/2011 at the country pub, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

The English country pub tradition seems to be alive and well. With their large gardens, they also welcome families with children. Parents can enjoy their meals and, if they are lucky, some locally brewed real ale, too, while children run around and play (we passed by a bit too early on this Saturday evening for the locals to have gone out for dinner, hence the still totally empty tables and benches). Food is usually fresh and delicious, service friendly with lots of banter and smiles, and the architecture of the old houses offers additional interest.

In the middle of the ever accelerating change everywhere these days, it’s nice to see something old, traditional and stable.

PS. For the next two weeks I’ve got to rely on my little pocket-size Panasonic, as I gave my Canon to my daughter, who went to South Africa for an eco volunteering experience. It will be a challenge for me to work with a camera without the powerful zoom lens but a good learning experience, too, to try and see things differently, not to mention to experiment with all the functions of this camera without the instruction booklet that I left at home.


165/2011 the kilt

165/2011 the kilt, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

I wanted a picture of a Scotsman wearing a kilt, and had to wait till our last day, and return journey, to finally get one. They certainly didn’t seem to be everyday fashion anywhere we went.

This piper in full traditional gear entertained tourist at Gretna Green, the first village after the English border. There is something curious about a man wearing a female skirt-like garment, and all the pins and furry pouches that go along with it. And then, of course, there is the mystery of what, if anything, is worn underneath!


085/2011 earth hour

085/2011 earth hour, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

For the third year, we celebrated the global Earth Hour, by switching off all the lights in the house for an hour. This time we went one step further, and also switched off all other electrical appliances, except for the essential freezer and fridge.

One hour in candlelight is not a lot to think about our earth. Even the shape of the poor old candle we chose somehow reminded me of the hole in the ozone layer, and the ailing earth floating alone in dark space. Sadly, I didn’t see many other dark homes in our neighbourhood…


048/2011 surprise!

048/2011 surprise!, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Class of 2011 left school with a bang, to then start studying for their final exams at home. Amidst their end of school festivities, fancy dresses, tricks and shows, to make teachers and younger fellow students remember them, seniors also decorate (or mess up?) the building. This was part of this year’s shenanigans. Quite a cute surprise!


#359 christmas day

359/365 christmas day, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

A lovely day spent at home without any rush. Lond leisurely brunch opening presents by the tree, and then getting Christmas dinner on its way.

Granny always makes an extra effort with her gift wrapping – and had even got a REAL Christmas tree for us, which is not the norm over here in England as it is back at home.

Ever since our daughter was born, we have always had two Christmases – Christmas Eve spent followint the Finnish traditions, and eating Finnish food, and then an English Christmas Day. Our daughter really has had the best of both worlds – with even two Santas! Recently, we have mixed the two traditions a little at home, but at granny’s it was a genuine English celebration.


#351 fundraising

351/365 fundraising, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Every year, before Christmas, we arrange a Christmassy cafe in the foyer of the school, to fundraise for our international school projects. Hot drinks and Christmas goodies are on offer. Apart from fundraising, it’s also a nice way to bring some good cheer into the school for a day.

The girls had done a really good job, decorating their home-made gingerbread cookies, in shapes of Christmas trees, piggies, stars, elves and hearts. These are really traditional Finnish Christmas fare – as they must be in many other countries, too.


#347 what is christmas made of?

Over lunch at an old inn, my eyes were drawn to this window, with the setting winter sun in the background (at only 3.30 pm!), on a very cold day. The scene strongly evoked childhood Christmasses in the countryside long ago.

The triangular set of lights at each window, and the hand-made straw mobile are essential Finnish Christmas decorations. I even remember crafting such a mobile myself one year!

Here in the north, Christmas is very much a time to slow down, withdraw into your home with your family and loved ones, and revel in the moments and memories amidst traditional decorations that come out year after year.


#341 christmas crafts

341/365 christmas crafts, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Santa’s little helpers – known in Finnish as ‘tonttu’ – are an essential part of our Christmas. You come across them in many shapes and forms, on Christmas cards, or as handmade candles like these.

Everybody in Finland shares childhood memories of parents controlling children before Christmas, by telling them that the “tonttus” are everywhere, secretly looking through every window, to see whether children are good.


#340 happy 93rd birthday finland!

The Finnish Independence Day, on December 6th, is a very solemn, serious celebration. The tradition is to put two blue and white candles at all your windows, and light them from 6 to 8 pm. It’s nice to go for a walk then, to see all these candles flickering in the dark.


July 2020

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