Children’s Games of Finland
Chain (Ketju): While one player leaves the room or the area that everyone is in, all of the other players join hands in a circle. Everyone in the circle must tangle themselves in a knot, with one person leading the circle. Once the circle is completely tangled, the person must come back into the room and try to untangle the circle, by the correct hands of each player. Once the circle is untied, another player must leave the room so they can play again.
Crab Ball Tag: This game requires at least seven players, ages five and up. Except for one player, all players must assume a crab like position (stomach facing upwards, walking on feet and hands). The players must attempt to hit a rubber ball with their head or knee out towards the lone player. The player can pick the ball up and tag the crabs, and whoever it hits, is now it. It goes on for as long as they’d like to.
12 Sticks on a Board: You will need 12 small sticks, a 30cm by 30cm board, and at least 3 children to play this game. Like hide and seek, one player is the tagger and all of the other players have to hide out of the taggers sight. The first player starts the game by stepping on the edge of the board, flipping the sticks into the air. While all of the players hide, the player who is it has to pick up the sticks and arrange them on the board. Once the board is ready, the tagger may go to look for the hidden players. If the tagger finds a player he must run back and touch the board, calling out the player’s name. Hidden players may get in home-free by upsetting the board again before the tagger can reach it. The game continues until the last player is caught, or home free. The first player that was caught becomes it for the next game.
Finland Feasts (Common Cuisine, Desserts, and More)
The people of Finland rely heavily on foods like potatoes, cabbage, and turnips. More common than that is smoked cold fish, lox, and gravlax (salmon marinated in sugar). Finnish meatballs are also increasing internationally, gaining popularity. They are made from either beef or reindeer and mixed with breadcrumbs and chopped onions. Made of powdered rye flour and malt rye, Mammi is a traditional sweet Finnish Easter dish stemming from the 13th century. Reindeer is also a hot commodity, especially during the coldest times of the year. It is eaten either sautéed, served cold, or smoked for tenderness.
Common Simple Recipes
Pannu Kakku (Finnish Oven Pancake)
Ingredients: powdered sugar, 4 cups milk, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 4 eggs, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup sugar
Directions: -Beat eggs.Add milk, sugar, salt, vanilla and flour.
-Add melted butter and mix until blended.
-This will be a thin batter.
-Pour into a greased 9×13 pan.
-Bake at 400 degrees for approx.
-40 minutes- until custard is set and top is nicely browned.
-Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
-Serve with warmed syrup or jam.
Karelian Hot Pot — Finnish Three-Meat Stew
Ingredients: 1 lb beef stew meat, 1-inch dice, 1 lb pork stew meat, 1-inch dice, 1 lb lamb stew meat, 1-inch dice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 large onions, peeled and sliced, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons peppercorns, 8 allspice berries, 2 bay leaves
Directions: -Brown all the meat cubes in the oil.
-Place half of the sliced onions in the bottom of the crockpot, cover with half of the meat, and sprinkle with half of the salt, peppercorns, allspice, and a bay leaf.
-Repeat the layers
-Pour in 1 cup water, cover crockpot, and allow to cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or until the meat is tender.
-If desired, serve over cooked potatoes, mashed potatoes or cooked rice
Ingredients: 400 ml flour, 150 ml sugar,1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar, 800 ml milk, 2 eggs, 100 g butter
Directions: -Heat the oven 225*C / 425*F.
-Melt the butter and let it cool down awhile.
-Mix all dry ingredients together.
-Add milk, eggs and melted butter. Whisk.
-Pour it on sheet pan (mine is 37cm x 39 cm x 4 cm = 15″ x 15″ x 1,5″).
-Let it bake about 30 minutes.
-Serve with strawberry, apple or rasberry jam.
Finnish Butter Cookies
Ingredients: 3/4 cup butter, softened, 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar, 1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 egg white, 1/3 cup ground almonds
Directions: -Cream butter and 1/4 cups sugar.
-Stir in almond extract.
-Add 1 1/4 cups flour and mix well.
-Knead in remaining 3/4 cups flour
-Cover and chill at least 2 hours
-Roll out onto a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness
-Cut with a 1 1/2-2 inch cookie cutter.
-Place on ungreased baking sheets.
-Beat egg white until foamy and brush over cookies
-Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and almonds.
-Bake at 350 F until lightly browned, about 7-8 minutes.
Ingredients: 500 g strawberries, hulled, 2 large egg whites, at room temperature, 1/2 cup caster sugar, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or to taste), 6 -8 strawberries, sliced, for garnish, mint leaf (to garnish)
Directions: -Puree strawberries in a food processor or blender.
-Combine strawberry puree, egg whites and sugar in a bowl and beat until stiff and glossy.
-Add vanilla to cream, and whip mixture until peaks form.
-Gently fold cream mixture into strawberry mixture.
-Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with strawberry slices and mint (if desired).
-Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
-This can be made a day ahead. Good luck keeping everyone else in the house out of it.
Finnish Cranberry Whip (Vatkattu Marjapuuro)
Ingredients: 2 cups fresh cranberries, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup water,
1 dash salt, 1/3 cup farina
Directions: -Heat cranberries in 1 1/2 cups water to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until berries pop, about 8 minutes.
-Press cranberries through sieve to remove skins. return juice to saucepan. Add sugar, 1 cup water and the salt; heat to boiling.
-Add farina gradually, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
-Pour into small mixer bowl. Beat on high speed until pudding becomes fluffy and light pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
Children’s Day in Finland is held on November 20th, annually. On this day, every adult and parent is urged in many ways than one to make better choices/decisions in life, for the advancement and livelihood of children. They encourage working together, instead of dealing with things alone. This day is spent a little differently than other countries. It is Children’s Day, but parents and adults are really given lessons on how to be better people. There are anti-bullying workshops and family time workshops as well. There are festivals, parties, and more for the children of Finland, all to celebrate them being alive and encourage them being well.
Finland Fun Facts!
- 68% of the country is covered by forest.
- Helsinki is the capital, with a population of 539,000 but with the little cities around it, it’s around 900,000.
- The Finnish currency is Euro.
- Their military budget is around 2billion.
- The most famous Finnish company might be Nokia, in the west
- The elected President spends 6 year in the office
Customs and Etiquette
- Men shake hands, while maintaining direct eye contact. Women will say hello or shake hands, while maintaining direct eye contact, but this is not a contact culture so there will be no kissing or over touching.
- Expect Finnish people to be direct, but they are not trying to be rude. Listen intently, while interrupting is taken highly offensive, and considered rude.
- When someone asks how you are doing, they would like a sincere response, not a quick and simple “fine, and you?”.
- Gender roles are fairly flexible. It is not uncommon to have a stay-at-home dad and the working mother.
- A shrug can show indifference, so do not shrug if you really care about an issue.
- Punctuality is important so it is best to be on time.
Fun Finland! (Places to See)
Lake Inari: Sitting on the north of Lapland, Lake Inari is a huge tourist attraction. Trout, Perch and Salmon can be found in the bunches here, and this is where tourists comes to see them swim upstream. Lake Inari is also home to the burial ground of the Sami people, called Hautuumaasaari Island. It is quite popular for its history of the people and the city.
Helsinki Market Square: Filled with many vendors, souvenir shops, cafes, and many other tourist attractions, this market square is a major spot and frequently visited area of Finland. Your children will love looking at all of the decorated shops and traditional scenery here.
Esplanadi Park: This Park holds many picnics and family gatherings during the summer. There numerous live shows for children, and musical events for adults. There is always so much room for kids and their pets to run around and just have fun.
Celebrating Holidays and Festivals in Finland
Christmas: the number one festival and holiday of Finland is Christmas and all of the celebrations that accompanies it. There are many parties at places of work, educational facilities, and nightlife locations. On Christmas Eve, families bring in Christmas trees to decorate, while listening to music, dancing, and eating with each other. At about midday on Christmas Eve, “Christmas Peace” is declared by the president from Turku, the former capital of Finland. Families put candles on the graves of loved ones on this night, and hymns are sung for the remembrance of them. There are meals and then on Christmas morning, there is a service to hear the Christmas message.
Midsummer: The second most important celebration of Finland, Midsummer is all about the sun, and how it remains above the horizon all night long. This happens around midsummer solstice, and everyone can be spotted sitting around bonfires with their families at their cottages.
Easter: Religion is big in Finland, and church is the number one aspect of Easter. If nothing else traditional is followed, Easter is and will always be. Children grow grass on plates indoors; they decorate Easter eggs and Easter cards. On Palm Sunday, children dress up as Easter witches going around houses with springs of willows in their hands. As a reward for reciting a special verse they get chocolate eggs or money. While there are aspects that are a bit different, Easter is celebrated in Finland like Easter is celebrated in America.
Finest Finnish Attire (Traditional Clothing of Finland)
Finland fashion is bright and warm, handmade and of high quality. It is young, tricot, and often knitted. It is fashion forward, and bold in its unique design, and it appeals to many demographics. It is like western culture fashion, in which it is aesthetically appealing to both the very young generation and the very old generation as well. The bright color is to offset the very cold months, and it helps to be able to see during snow storms. Finnish clothing is unique and trendy in its patterns and textures. In the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, the clothing turned into a fashion phenomenon. Bold stripes, flowers, and many abstract figures are the markings of Finnish attire, ever since they started being created.
Music of Finland
Music is more of a hobby for the Finnish people, than a job. Almost every child learns to play an instrument at some point in their life, and schools even started having classes for it during open hours. Pop music and heavy rock are two of the most commonly played genres of Finland. In fact, most musical groups and bands of Finland happen to be either of metal fate or heavy rock focus.
The Kantele – Finland’s National Instrument: The kantele is the oldest Finnish folk instrument, and is classed as a cordophone, or, an instrument whose sound arises from a string stretched between two fixed points. This is the main instrument of Finland, for traditional folk music, outside of rock and heavy metal, and pop as well.
Finland currency is of the euro currency. On January 1st 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries. Before 2002, the national currency of Finland was markka. Like in America, all debit and credit cards are used as well, even more than physical coin and print.