Category Archives: Crazy Euopean People

Visiting Kammi-Kylä

Last year summer my parents in law were visiting us for the first time in Finland. The main reason behind it was that they could attend our “big” wedding in Finland and see where we currently live. As we had a whole month with them we tried to show them as much as possible without straining our financial situation too much. In a previous post I wrote about their first visit on a strawberry farm, well now I will write about their first visit in a truly weird place.

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Welcome to Finland

This place is located near our summer cottage in Nummijärvi which is near the city of Kauhajoki. I guess these names mean nothing to you but anyways I wrote them down  just as some reference if you ever get interested and want to visit there. So as I mentioned this site is near the cottage my parents own and we were there for a few days prior to our wedding. We wanted to show my parents in law more than just the beautiful nature there and the idea of visiting that weird place came just at the right time. We only had a 20 min car ride through forests and swamps till we arrived.

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One of the many Saunas

First of all the whole place is located within a swamp and the owner of this particular place had some years back the idea to build on his own several buildings in this swamp. I think all materials except the windows and some water drains are natural materials found all over his property.

After many years of building he had created a little village for himself, including several sauna buildings, a building for parties and dances and a little swamp spa. Swamp Spa? Oh yes, it is hard to describe but I have uploaded a picture with a part of it. Basically it is a circular trench with a little island in the middle on which can be found a few benches and a fireplace. The trench itself can be used to swim around. Did I mention already this whole thing is located in the middle of a swamp? This means that you swim in the swamp when you feel like it.  You got to remember that there are some fancy spa’s worldwide where you have to pay a hefty sum to take a swamp mud bath so this “free” version has its own positive aspects.

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The Swamp Spa

Sadly I just don’t have the words to describe this place in its entire beauty and weirdness. It is just one of these places you have to visit to get to know its value.

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look at that craftsmanship

My parents in law were also fairly impressed by this place but they said they would never go to swim there, fair enough, I don’t know if I would do it either without the sauna being on!

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View from the 2nd floor

 

 

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Fine details everywhere

 

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What wonderful and weird buildings here are

 

Here are some picture and a very short description in English and hereyoucan find everything more described in Finnish. Also here the official website of the Lake and, yet again, a Finnish description.

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Christmas and New Year celebrations

The Christmas madness is over. Just kidding, there was no madness involved for us this year. We had some peaceful days of doing barely anything besides relaxing. Only on the 24th we made some Christmas cookies again as I had finished the last batch some time earlier once again.

So did we follow-up on our Christmas celebration plan? Certainly not. We skipped the whole music part of the plan due to our laziness and I guess we cut on some edges on the other points as well…besides all of that mother nature didn’t like us and gave us only rain the entire time.

Because my wife sometimes loves to make food, we had a great Christmas dinner and afterwards exchanged our gifts (yes, I managed to buy something fairly useful for her). On the other celebration days we visited some Chinese friends, had hot pot 火锅 and they played some 6 hours of mahjong 麻将(I was pushed to the living room to watch TV as I have no idea about the game).

Now it is just trying to figure out what we will do on New Year except of watching “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”. Maybe we celebrate with some friends or maybe alone, we shall see…

This was it for this year, I hope everyone had a great year or at least managed fine. I bet many of you have once again New Year’s resolutions and barely anyone will stick to it (But I will!).

I wish you all a Happy New Year and see you as lively as ever in 2014!

Names

This article is less about stories about my crazy Chinese family and more about some other struggles. It’s about names, to be more precise, family names and children names.

 

Family Names

Up till now I got to know several “mixed” couples, most of them where the women is Chinese and the man is European. Of all of those couples who married, the wife kept her Chinese name. Nothing wrong with that as in China it is usual that both partners keep their own family names. In Europe it’s another matter, it’s still not that common that the wife keeps her own name or that the husband changes his family name (Still I know several cases).

My wife didn’t want to change her name as well as she wanted to keep her “Chinese” roots but also wanted to have something more “European”. In the end she decided to have a double family name, with her old one first and then the new one added to the back. Those double family names are not that uncommon either, especially in Germany where you can find nowadays a broad variety of those added names, sometimes resulting in very funny combinations. (For example “Große-Flasche” translates into “Big-Bottle” and many more I better not list here).

When asking our friends about the reasons they kept their own Chinese name they normally said that they don’t want to have any silly European name. But then again, there is still a high discrimination in Europe towards foreigners. For example when applying for jobs many applications are never being opened due to a foreign sounding name. Sad but true.

How to name your child

This is another tricky topic as we are also awaiting our son to be born soon. His name? No idea yet. Okay, this is not entirely true. We have some names already on our mind but we haven’t decided on any specific one yet. We are aiming for a name which can be used both in German language and in English language. Reasons? Well, we plan to move back to Germany later and we want at the same time that the name is time usable for English speakers. (Oh, English speakers have often trouble with my name…). So finding a good sounding name, which can be pronounced in German and in English is very important to us.

We also wish to give our son a second given name. This name will be a Chinese one. As we are more than troubled enough to decide on the first name we have outsourced the task for the Chinese name to mom in law. Just imagine how happy she must be, tinkering each day on possible combinations…

None of our friends in Chinese-European relations have children yet, so we shall be setting a naming example for them. Better be good though 😉

 

 

What are your experiences with family names or about finding a great name for a child?