en Finlandia

The art of living in Finland

Sustainable forest management in Finland

Saturday August 15th, 2009. 01:37 AM.[Finland culture, Music].

Yesterday I fund the article “Most sustainable forest of the world” in El País (main newspaper in Spain), where they talk mainly about 3 topics:

1. Forest in Finland: 85% of Finland is forest (23 millions of hectares), of wich:

  • 95% of them have sustainable certificate (they are social, economically and environmental equilibrated)
  • 60% of them is private.
  • All of them is under the concept of EveryMan’s Right, I talked other day.

Compared with Spain, only 7% of Spanish forest (1.123.000 hectares) has this certificate of sustainable, but it’s growing.

2. Modern machines for cutting/preparing trees. Monsters capable of prepare a tree in 1 minute. In the right sidebar of the article there is a video showing this machine, but of course in youtube you can find more videos about this machines.


3. Process to make a forest sustainable: 30 years minimum of waiting for cutting again, re-foresting, etc. and also is important that companies who purchase paper or wood should demand the certificate of sustainable to the provider, as spanish comany Zara, or Tetra Pack.

If you visit/live in Helsinki city, probably you won’t see this wood industry, but going inside of the country and you will see different samples of this industry everywhere, like this photo in Pirkanmaa region:


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Summer Vs Winter I

Monday August 10th, 2009. 01:34 PM.[Photos, Spring, Summer].

I will start a serie of photographs comparing summer Vs. Winter of the same spot, interesting to do it in Finland, a country where landscapes change radically among the seasons. This is from Pirkanmaa countryside.



Berrys in summer

Friday August 7th, 2009. 12:46 PM.[Finland culture, Photos, Summer].

[This last week I was transfering the web from Dreamhost to HostGator and domain to GoDaddy, sorry if there was problems accesing some parts of the web. It seems everything is ok now, tell me if you see that something doesn't work. Thanks]

It’s time of berrys! 1 month ago you could see already peas in the market but know it’s already also berrys season. I thought it will be more difficult to find them in the nature, but they are almost everywhere in the forest and even parks. I’m a little lazy and it’s very slow to pick one by one, so if you are like me, better buy them in the market square at 3-5 euros a box of 400 gr.

In Spain, aside of the strawberrys, and blackberrys (moras) the rest are not so well known, and many times we group them as “Frutas del bosque” (fruits of the forest), to describe the taste in yogurts, ice-creams, juices.,etc.

Some photos of berry’s around Pyynikki in Tampere:


In Finland and Spain people knows that Vitamin C is good against the flu, but… Finnish people relates Vitamin C more to the berry’s and Spain we link Vitamin C with oranges & citrics in general, not to berrys. For me it’s funny that there is a lot of Finnish people that never have seen a lemon tree in real, the same way than for them is surprising that I had never seen before snowing until I arrived to Finland a couple of years ago.

(Lemontrees in Málaga, Spain)

I have taste some berrys this month for the first time. Wild strawberrys are small but really tasty. Rest of the berrys I have tasted in the forest were fine but a little sour compared with the berry’s in the shop.

It’s quite common to see people during July-Agoust picking berrys in the forest and it’s great that Finland have the concept Everyman’s right, that allows to the people to access freely to the nature even it is private property, always respecting the nature of course and being careful. So practically you can go everywhere in Finland to pick up berrys and enjoy the nature, the mosquitos and the lakes without worrying about legal matters of who owns the land.


If someday you come to pickup berry’s or mushrooms, there are some tips in this web and more information. If you, like me, can’t difference the names & kinds of berrys, this web will be helpful too.


Humor: Kummeli - Heikki Silvennoinen

Thursday July 30th, 2009. 10:46 AM.[Finland culture, Funny].

Nice Finnish humor from Tampere. Kummeli is a Finnish comedy crew that are famous in Finland mostly because of their TV show between 1991 and 1995. (more in Wikipedia)

I still don’t know so good Finnish to understand the jokes, so I put a couple of clips that are internationally funny, i.e. without dialogs. In these ones appears the musician & actor Heikki Silvennoinen, part of Kummeli and a celebrity in Finland.

The first one: Krapula (hang over)

And Effect sounds!

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Video: Kid Cudi - Make her say

Saturday July 25th, 2009. 01:48 AM.[Music, Videos].

I didn’t know this artist before but I loved this video for his new single Make Her Say, appearing alongside his collaborators Kanye West and Common. Excellent photography in split-screen with catchy chorus sampling the hit Lady Gaga - Poker Face.
Director Nez Khammal from Colonel Blimp house (same as great Dougal Wilson and french Pleix)


Watch the video here (or clicking over the image)

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LIDL Cola - Hans von Blumenstock

Thursday July 23rd, 2009. 11:06 AM.[Ads, Funny, Opinion].

I found yesterday in the postbox a really silly advertisement of Lidl. By the way, here in Finland normally you get the post in your own door when you are living in a flat. And still it’s scary for me sometimes when the postman throws into the apartment the papers/advertisement through the postbox… specially the guy who deliver these free newspapers at 5 in the morning ¿who is making noise in the entrance? In Spain we have postbox in the hall of the building (flat).


Let’s go to the point: Really silly this parody low-budget advertisement of Lidl: It seems they invented a name “Hans von Blumenstock”, like it will be the name of a famous basketball player, who has a german accent and horrible mustache. #23 in reference to Michael Jordan ¿and Roger Federer hairstyle?. And they mix the Nike and Adidas slogans:


“Just Do It”
+ “Impossible is Nothing”
LIDL: “Just Drink it, because nothing is impossible.”

So bad commercial that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

They make some web/IRC stuff (Finnish) and just when I was writing this, I see that they are broadcasting also a spot in TV. In LIDL webpage also you can see a small video where Hans von Blumenstock says “Life is like a full bottle, just drink it… and…. that is”. O_o

I don’t like Cola, but they say that Lidl Freeway Cola is really similar taste to the original, at least I hear it in Spain. Do you have some experience about it?


Vapriikki - Sitting Bull Exhibition

Tuesday July 21st, 2009. 11:21 AM.[Finland culture, Photos, Tampere].

Couple of weeks ago we visit Vapriikki, the main museum of Tampere. Until Nov’09 there is a exhibition of the life story of Sitting Bull, one of the most known Indian chiefs. Some texts in the walls were translated to English, but almost everything and explanition of the objects were in Finnish.


Some stuff that call my attention:
The Tomahawk with a heart!,.. like telling “I will slam the axe into your head… but with love ok?”, . Joking aside,… was awesome their ornaments, clothes, shoes, etc. all full of color and geometry shapes. They were truly craftsmen.


Exhibition was well staged and background sounds immerse yourself into the atmosphere.

Aside this exhibition there is other zones in the museum, included in the price and I think they are almost everyone permanent: ice hockey museum (of course), toys museum, shoes with the famous finnish Reino shoes, it seems they are getting fashionable among teenagers ¿?.

More information in Vapriikki museum web. This is a photo from outside, where you can see the Tammerkoski river:


Vapriikki means factory and this name was given to the museum when they renewed it due of the fact that it was a old factory from the Industrial Age of Tampere. The center of Tampere actually has this cool looking, buildings of red bricks constructed when Tampere was the industrial heart of Finland during the 19th and part of 20th century. Notice that Tampere is a quite young city, that this year has celebrated his 250 years anniversary.

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Finland, Lapland, vikings, Nordic countries, Scandinavia… let’s clear up all these.

Saturday July 18th, 2009. 03:54 PM.[Finland culture, Scandinavia].

I started looking what countries belong to Scandinavia… and everyplace they say something different.  So I’m going to try to explain it here from the basis, and also other concepts. And please if you want to correct/add something, leave a comment:

Finland is a country with its own language,  Finnish, and Suomi is the name of the country in the Finnish language. It’s a young country, independent since 1917. Its capital is Helsinki as you know.


Scandinavia is a not-official term and quite ambiguous. Geographically, the Scandinavian Peninsula, (more…)


Mmmh… sweet peas from the market

Wednesday July 8th, 2009. 10:04 AM.[Finland culture, Photos, Summer].

Herne: 3 euroa / litra

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San Fermín and the bulls

Tuesday July 7th, 2009. 10:34 AM.[Spain].

Yesterday 6th of July has started the festival of San Fermin, in Pamplona, in the north of Spain. Most popular event in this festival is the running of the bulls “los encierros” in the morning at 8, from 7th to 14th of July.


I have never been (it’s 1000 Km far from Málaga), but it is one of the most popular festivals of Spain, specially outside of Spain. It’s a big party all day long, and the bull is not the main thing of San Fermin; is the alcohol and crowds of young people having fun.

Also many foreigners run in front of the bull. Main reason of its popularity outside of Spain is due of Ernest Hemingway, who brought it to the general attention of English-speaking people, specially in USA, when it was published his novel “The Sun Also Rises” (1926), where San Fermin events are main part of the plot of the novel.

You can see the videos of the running of the bulls 2009 here. And very good photos of 2008 by Big Picture.

Where do the bulls go? They run to their death: to the bullfighting square, where later will be killed. Like in Pamplona in many other main cities of Spain. Even I respect people who like bullfighting, like my grandparents, I am against it and it’s a shame for me that the main tradition of Spain is this animal torture.

(Credit: Enfoque Diferencial)

PETA organized every year some activities to make world conscious of this torture. Like me many other Spanish people, specially young generations, doesn’t like bullfighting and don’t support it. In the future I am sure this activity will be only part of our history.

More photos of PETA activity

EDIT. Today I have seen this original campaign in meneame called ‘Love Spain, Hate Bullfighting’ by the The League Against Cruel Sports.


C&P: In recent independent polls we learned that 89% of the British public would never visit a bullfight and that 67% of Spaniards are not interested in bullfighting.