I’m a 27 years old girl, borne in Finland, Inari, lived in Tampere for 20 years. My mother is Finnish and my dad is French.
I like travelling and meeting new people and cultures, red wine, caipirinhas, good food and cooking, nature and outdoor activities… This means mostly walking, hiking, running, biking… I also like to go out with my friends, watch movies, read books, and do yoga.I also like sun, summer and hot temperatures… But in some way I also manage to live in Lapland, even when it’s -30 C!
Finland is my home-country, the place where I was borne, where I went to school during 13 years, where I got my first friends, and where I still have my first and best friends.
It’s also the home country of Santa Claus, and of lakes and forests… There’s a lot of lakes and forests there! Finnish people have summer-cottages near those lakes, and they spend all their summer-holidays in their cottages, by swimming in lakes, going to the sauna, buying local food from the little markets in the center of the closest city or village… They also spend a lot of time on fishing from their little “rowboats” and smoke or grill their fishes, and eating them with so called “new-potatoes” and dill.
The winter lasts from November to April… Approximately. And the sunlight is quit rare… Especially in November-December. Last years it’s been rare to have a lot of snow in the south, or at least it doesn’t last as long that it used to, when I was small… So when there’s not much snow, the winter is even more darker.
Things that I love Finland:
– The food: Smoked salmon, the rye bred, candies and crisps (Kartanon perunalastut!), fresh and traditional country food…
– The NATURE! Open spaces: Forests and all the places you can go whiteout being in a public park.
– All the berries I can find in my mothers garden, and the blueberries and mushrooms we can pick in the forest directly and put in the freezer for the winter
– Biking without a lot of traffic around you
– Summer cottages and swimming on the lakes
– The midnight sun
– The lifestyle which allows you more free time than in Paris
Homemade blueberry-pie with fresh blueberries directly from the forest.
There are things that I don’t like in Finland, like the expensive prices, Finnish coffee, the cold, Finnish way of drinking alcohol… But now as I’m back here, I’m learning to love my country again, and getting used to Finnish habits and climate, to the four seasons and everything else.
France is my second home country by my father. He’s from Le Mans, where his parents are still living and where I used to go for holidays each year since I was 6 months old. My father have been living in Finland for last 26 – 27 years… And he’s more Finnish than french now.
What I liked in Paris first, was the size of the city, as I was from Tampere, a little city, compared to Paris, where almost everybody knows each other and where you can walk trough the downtown in 20 minutes. After 5 – 6 years there’s still a lot of places which I don’t know in Paris, but here are some of my favorite places in the city:
– Grands boulevards, because it was the place where we went to have party the first years, and contains a lot of souvenirs
– Victor Hugo, because I had my first Parisian apartment there (9m², 6th floor without elevator and a VERY expensive rent!)
– Sacré Coeur and Montmartre
– Opera and around it, because I used to work in this neighborhood for 3 years and there’s everything you need
– Buttes Chaumont -garden
– Le Marée, Saint Paul
But Paris is not France. Paris is just the capital, a big city in a big country.
There’s a lot of other places which I love in France. One of them is Strasbourg. I used to live there for one year, and also returned there regularly for a moment. But now, the last time I was there was in 2009. It doesn’t matter. I still remember the city of Strasbourg, and Alsace-region as one of the most beautiful places in France. Also in south of France, Nimes and Montpellier have been great places for me, as well as Normandy and Brittany!
But what becomes to French people it’s more complicated. I do speak their language (even its with an accent and not without mistakes), I do have great conversations with them and I do have friends, and very close people in France. But they’re not as easy and simple than Finnish people… Maybe that’s what I like; They have a strong character, they are very expressive, sometimes a little hypocritical and they talk a lot and are quit noisy when they are many (around a dinner for example). French people also complain a lot, and they really love their country… I don’t know no-one else who loves so much the food of his own country or the history and the culture ;-). But they are right, France has such a rich culture and awesome cuisine!