- 27 joulukuun, 2022
Helsingin asuntokaverit juhlivat globaaleja talvilomia: ”Lopulta olemme kaikki yhtä”
Yle learns how roommates from Finland, Russia, Ukraine, China and Vietnam celebrate each other’s winter parties this holiday season. foods such as potato pancakes or latkes.
”Hanukkah is a festival of light,” said Arina Tretyakova, 20, who moved from St. Petersburg to Helsinki 18 months ago.
This holiday season, five women living in a shared rental apartment decided to celebrate May Day with each other.
In addition to Hanukkah, Finnish and Vietnamese Christmas, the roommates also celebrate the Western and Orthodox New Year.
Jewish, Russian and Ukrainian food are mixed
Arina Tretyakova that she has not spoken religiously, she does not care if the table is not completely kosher – i.e. according to the traditional Jewish standard.
The Hanukkah dinner includes sour cream (smetana) with a squeeze of lemon, a popular decoration in Russia and Eastern Europe. The spread also includes a Ukrainian meringue roll cake.
Odnosum said at first she was afraid of sharing an apartment with someone from Russia, but both women said they soon realized that there was no war between them.
”I’m a humanist and I’m against all violence,” said Tretjakova, who trains at the Finnish National Opera as part of her stage studies.
Dumplings for the Chinese New Year
Although all Mellunmäki flatmates have moved into the flat this year, not all of them are newcomers to Finland. Yan Zhang, 37, from China and Bùi Thái Quế Minh, 33, from Vietnam have already spent many years studying and working here.
Both explained how their neighboring countries – Vietnam and China – are no strangers to conflict. Proximity also means that some of their habits are similar. Both countries celebrate the Lunar New Year, a holiday where Yan Zhang prepares spicy Chinese food for his friends, especially dumplings.
This holiday, he said he was worried about the spread of the Covid virus in China after the recent easing of strict lockdown measures.
”Everyone is affected by this situation,” he explained.
Light in the dark
Bùi Thái Quế Minh, who came to Finland for a master’s degree in education, is now working to start a new career as a writer and in the meantime takes on cleaning jobs to make ends meet.
He said that as a Zen Buddhist, he does not look at people by their nationality or religion
”In the end, we are all one,” he said.
Yan Zhang said he does not adhere to any particular philosophy or religion. He explained that it is important to him that people are able to work towards their own goals. On a personal level, it currently means getting a job in human resources.
The apartment also has a Finn, 41-year-old Sinna Sydänlampi, who has returned to Helsinki to continue her studies after completing a master’s degree in development studies in Great Britain.
Sydänlampi said it is a privilege to share a home with people from different cultures. ”Celebrating with each other cheers up the long and dark winter.”