My Japan visit

It was 7th March, 2013 in the morning. I was feeling blissful with my bags packed and ready to go to my dreamland ‘Japan’. I left Turku at 1pm and went to Vantaa Airport, Helsinki. I was flying from Turkish airlines. I reached Kansai International Airport of Osaka on 8th March. My brother was there in the airport waiting for me. It was the moment that made my heart beat faster. I was literally so happy that no words can define it.

I got 3 reasons to visit Japan this March; to attend my brother’s graduation ceremony, to meet my family members, and to attend my cousin’s marriage ceremony. My mom and dad they came from Nepal 2 weeks before my arrival. For me it was a great family re-union since I met them after 6 months of being in Finland. The very second day in Japan, we went to aquarium with my family members and other relatives. We went to sea side and spent some time there. In the other following days, I along with my family members went to Rokko Island, famous island in Kobe, Japan. Kobe is called a city of design.  We went to Kobe seaport. I still remember that night in the port, it was kind of magical. The lighting system was so fabulous, even in the middle of the mountain they got a logo of Kobe city. We went to different places like Nara; one of the historical place of Japan. Universal Studios Japan is the biggest movie themed park in the world and being there was so splendid.

SabnamShrestha1

On 16th March we went to graduation ceremony. The University was so big and well designed. Graduated students wearing traditional Japanese dress called kimono (females), looked like beautiful dolls. For the wedding ceremony of my cousin, we went to Tokyo on 19th March. Tokyo is the busiest city I have ever seen. In Tokyo I spent 12 days and during that time I went to Disneyland, Tokyo tower and sky tree. Now I am back in Turku but still some part of me is roaming somewhere in Japan. And I must say Japan is a must visit country. 

Text and photo: Sabnam Shrestha

Summer in Finland

Before travelling to a new country, the very first question that arises in one’s mind is how different everything will be; like from people’s behaviour, appearances, food, and weather and so on. I had similar kind of expectations before I came to Finland. I came to Finland last autumn i.e. 2012, August. Before I came here, my friends and relatives were so worried about the weather in Finland. They had heard that Finland is very cold country and were afraid that how am I going to survive in that cold weather. I came from a country where temperature in winter does not go less than -4 degree. And during summer it’s extremely hot with the temperature up to 40 degree Celsius.

After being in Finland, the fact was that I was actually having the normal struggles of simply living in a foreign environment. With the addition of this immense lifestyle change, I was also experiencing the culture shock. During winter I was totally fade up. Wherever I went, I just found snow. The cold dark weather made me feel as if I was lost somewhere. However, I had already heard a lot about the summer in Finland. Most of the tourists visit here to spend their summer holidays. Since the day I came to Finland, I was eagerly waiting for summer to arrive and feel the experience.

SabnamShrestha2

Finally summer is here and I am really very happy to be a part of it. I am so surprised to see the sun shining even after 7 in the evening. Kids started playing in the ground and it feels good to see people on their summer dresses. I feel cheerful even when I peep from my window and see the green grass wriggling with the wind. I have lots of plan for this summer as this is my first summer in Finland.

Text and photo: Sabnam Shrestha

Differences between my country Nepal and Finland

If I need to compare between Nepal and Finland then I must say there is a vast difference between these two countries. The very first thing that strikes my mind while thinking of differences is that; Nepal is an Asian country while Finland is a European country. Nepal is a landlocked country but Finland is surrounded by sea. This has been one of the great disadvantages for my country because it affects in trading.

The economy level of these two countries is impossible to compare. Nepal is a poor country which ranks 31st among the world’s poorest countries while Finland ranks 22nd among the world’s richest countries. So we can easily figure out the differences between these two countries. However, the living standard of Nepal is rapidly increasing these recent years.

The education system in Nepal is theoretical. Students need to read book in order to pass the exam. But in Finland the education system is totally practical which I really appreciate. Every student gets the fair grading here in Finland.

SabnamShrestha3

Well how can I forget the food? Well in Nepal, daily food for the people is daal (lentils), bhaat (rice), tarkari (vegetables with or without meat) and achaar (pickle) whereas in Finland breads, pies, potatoes and some fish items are considered to be daily food. We Nepali love spicy and hot food but Finns love sweet dish.

Talking about the climate, Nepal has almost all climates in itself. If you want to experience extreme hot climate, be in Terai region of Nepal. If you want to feel extreme cold climate, be somewhere in the mountain part and if you want to have a moderate climate then be in a hilly region. But in Finland I’m pretty sure wherever you go, the climate will be similar.

Finally, I would like to say something about the people living on these two different countries. People in Nepal, they are socially bounded. They are so dependent to each other. Here in Finland I haven’t seen people so attached with the society since they live for their individual development. Nevertheless, wherever you are, one thing is common, we all have similar heart, emotions and feelings; the difference is only on interpreting.

Text and photo: Sabnam Shrestha