Saturday, December 26, 2015

An emoji for "Eating one too many Joulutorttu"

Recently I learned that Finland has produced emojis that explain, and subtly poke fun at, themselves. In fact they are the only country to do so, and made about 30 emojis to explain some of the unique but hard-to-describe customs.
This emoji, for Dec. 18 is a joulutorttu, a Christmas pastry. (It looks like ones we ate, not knowing which ethnic group should get the credit.) 

This emoji of the joulutorttu is meant to exemplify "the feeling of having (eaten) one too many." 
According to the website This is Finland  "Every year you burn your mouth on the first one – beware of the plum jam in the middle! The sweet taste and nostalgia make up for it."

After stocking up at two church bake sales featuring Scandinavian treats and a cookie exchange at work, I understand the feeling. I have eaten more than one too many!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Hyvaa Joulua

It's time to wish my friends a Merry Christmas, Finnish-style. What fun words to pronounce.

A Finnish cousin sent an email a few days ago, noting that the greetings were coming from where Santa Claus lives. 

The header said "Santa Claus has left the Korvatunturi." Thanks to Google and Wikipedia, I now know that "Korvatunturi" is a fell in Lapland, located in the Urho Kekkonen National Park, featuring thick pine forests, frozen lakes and gazillions of reindeer. So Santa would have the best reindeer to choose from, and alternates in case one of their antlers stops picking up the signals properly.

I also wanted to revisit the Christmas peace, joulurauha, a tradition I learned about last year.

Declaring a Christmas peace goes back to the 13th century. Once this tradition was common to all the Nordic countries, but only in Finland has it been maintained, almost uninterruptedly, to this day.

A special ceremony is held in Turku, Finland, to declare a period of Christmas peace. It begins at noon on Christmas Eve and lasts for 20 days. 

May this year's joulurauha last much longer and be world-wide.