Archive for March, 2008

Child care

In today’s Husis there was an article on how kindergartens are helping the integration of immigrant children into the Finnish society. In Helsinki there are currently 30 kindergartens where 30% of the children have a mother tongue other than Finnish or Swedish. The article focused on one such daycare center where they were now introducing immigrant employees as an  asset to the child’s upbringing. Even though the teachers cannot speak Finnish fluently they are important as role models for children with an other ethnic background than the Finnish.

When I read this article I realized that I had attended a similar kindergarten in Sweden, when I was 4-5 years old. There, I would say, that 30% of the kids where children of immigrants – and we even had immigrant teachers. Just as they are doing here in Helsinki, we had international evenings where the parents could cook a traditional dish from their home country – sort of like pot luck. But I don’t think my kindergarden took away the Christian theme of the holidays, as they are doing in the Finnish daycare. I think I remember us having a nativity scene in our Christmas play, but I’m not sure.

It has been 20 years since I went to kindergarten and not until now is this an issue in Finland!! When Sweden had an immigrant population large enough to fill up 30% of the spots at daycare, Finland obviously had just a handful of immigrant kids in the entire country. And even today, it is a rarity to see immigrants in other places than the larger cities.

I think it’s good that children are faced with different cultures and maybe this will effect their opinion of immigrants in the future. But if I take myself as an example, I think my views are coloured more by my parents positive opinions on immigrant (and refugees) than the influences I got from kindergarten. And even though my parents didn’t talk down on people with other nationalities, my childhood friends where still all blond and had names like: Frida, Therese and Jonas. Maybe it’s somewhat embedded in the human nature to group with people of similar cultural backgrounds…


Here I am (in the middle) and to pals from daycare, Kon and Therese’s brother (who’s name I can’t remember right now). I look like a little troll don’t I! And in the background you can see the very traditional, Swedish midsummer pole, dressed in grass and flowers.



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Shit – this is why I love watching movies!

But the freaky thing is, that what I loved the most wasn’t the music, the dialogue or the actors – it was Juno’s total lack of hairdo. This is the mark of a truly great movie experience; when the smallest of details can get you head over heels in love with life.

And my brother was right; Michael Cera rules!

But after watching some videos of Ellen Page I must conclude that she rules times two…


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Glimpse from my past

“October Road” is probably one of the cheesiest TV-series out there (channel 4, Sunday at 17.30). In short it’s about this guy that comes back to his home town after living in NY for x number of years. During his time in exile he wrote a bestseller about his home town which, surprise surprise, didn’t make him popular amongst the locals. Now he tries to rekindle with his old chummies – and the love of his life – which makes this series a perfect target for everlasting proclamations of love. These are of course given by men as the series has about 9 male characters and 5 female. Even so, the series is obviously meant for women.

So why am I ranting on about this series that I, myself, am not entirely sure why I’m watching. (Well one reason for watching it is the guy that has been staying inside his house for x number of years, never leaving it even once, and who is now going out (as in dating, not as in leaving the house) with a pizza delivery girl – this is a good story).

Well what I wanted to say was that this series should be accused of plagiarism!! It is so totally based on one of my all time favourite movies: “Beautiful girls”

Well, it’s not an exact copy. I don’t think they would allow a relationship between a 13 year old girl and a 30 year old man go on for several seasons. The very young Natalie Portman in the movie is hence replaced, in the series, by the-love-of-his-life Laura Prepon (former “70s show” member).

The story of the movie: A man returns to his hometown for a high school reunion – and to figure his life out. He meets up with his old buddies, and with a very young Natalie Portman; the next-door neighbour. The movie is pure brilliance, and I recommend it to everyone. Women as well as men. Because this is the difference between the series and the movie – the story of life isn’t something you can spread out over a large number of episodes, then you tend to repeat yourself way to often (does she love me, maybe she doesn’t, but no she does, no I was wrong she doesn’t). In a movie you have no time for repetition – there it is, case closed, and if there was something left unsaid you have the priviliege to try to figure it out yourself, instead of having it shoved into your face like in the series.

Shit, I should have left everything else unsaid and just written this:

How healthy is it for a 15 year old girl to have this as her favourite movie (here they are just showing the scenes with Portman and Timothy Hutton, which doesn’t really do the movie justice, but it gives me a kick straight back to my lovely teens):

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Jag säger bara det. Vilket myspys program Johannes och Nina gjort! Man blir riktigt glad av det. Och för er som missade det sista avsnittet (som slutade för ca 1 minut sen) så tror jag nog att det kommer att sändas i repris. Och om det inte kommer i repris så finns säkert Johannes telefonnummer att fås från eniros sidor. Det är alltså bara att ringa honom och tigga till sig serien. Men jag rekommenderar främst det första och det sista avsnittet – de i mitten blev bara lite onödiga.

Sen så tycker jag faktiskt att Stefan ska knåpa ihop en plojserie och sätta ut den på youtube. Man behöver ju faktiskt inte begränsa sig till Närpes utan kan fara runt hela Österbotten. Istället för kängurun så har vi den stora älgen som några tyska turister kan få tala lyriskt om (ca. första dan i Finland såg jag en älg bli skjuten).  Och istället för pingviner så har vi sälsafari. Sen hyr man en traktor och far runt och härjar på nå små skogsvägar. Nej men, jag känner på mej att detta blir en bestseller – åtminstone något som man kan exportera till Sverige och på så sätt odla lite mer fördomar. Yes, let’s do it. Jag kan ställa upp som statist och stå i kö till korvGörans!

(detta blev så inside så det är inte klokt, om ni har nå frågor och funderingar kan ni försöka post-a dom och se om jag svarar…)

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The Chinese way

During Easter holidays, Zhao sent me a wonderful video on how our Western media is corrupting the image of what’s really happening in Tibet. I must say that I didn’t quite get the point of that one, but then today he showed me a much more educational one. Here you see the Chinese logic at its best (don’t mind the spelling errors):

After watching the video I felt a bit concerned about what Zhao’s patriotism would do to him. But as he has explained so many times before; he knows that China has made many mistakes in the past and that it has only begun its journey towards becoming a thriving nation. There are still many steps to take.

I read an article today about how Finland is supporting former Soviet states financially so that they can educate their police force on how to become less oppressive-based and more service minded. The old system is still so much embedded into the minds of people that they need special seminars to show the new police how to act in a modern day society.

I think they need something similar in China. A new mindset. But maybe something like that can only occur due to a generation shift. At least, it will not happen over night.

Another question is if Western countries can step back and let China handle its problems by itself. Because that is the common saying in China; that you should not look at how Western countries have done, as all change in China should be done in the Chinese way.


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5 minute pie

…or as I would like to call it; the Pirkka pie. Easy to produce, easy to consume.

  • 1 bag of Pirkka frozen mangoes (in cubes)
  • 1 big can of Pirkka pears
  • 1 can of pineapple
  • 3 bananas
  • 1 lime

Regular pastry:

  • 125g margarine
  • 1,5 dl flour
  • 1,5 dl rolled oats
  • 1/2 dl sugar

Thaw the mangoes and chop them into finer pieces. Drain any extra fluid from the pears and pineapples. Cut the pear-halves into three pieces each and the pineapple rings into four pieces each. Place everything in a big baking tin.

Cut the bananas into centimeter thick slices and cover them with peel and juice of the lime. Add them to the baking tin.

Melt the margarine. Mix the dry ingredients. Add margarine to the mixture and stir together. Sprinkle on top of the fruits.

Bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.


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Easter #2


Some people feel more comfortable as a witch than others…

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