finnish school christmas party

The Finnish school’s Christmas party was this afternoon and Raspberry was, as you might expect, terribly excited because hey, it’s a party and who doesn’t love a good party? We found out late in the week that it was a pot-luck style, and we decided to make some banana bread for it, scrambling to find some overripe, or at least ripe-ish, bananas for it. I’d expected there to be more Finnish foods (and Raspberry had been looking forward to trying some), but the only food (really, drink) that was remotely Finnish mulled wine called glögi that’s apparently more contemporary, according to one of the older Finnish teachers. Lucas had been hoping for foods like lihapiirakka and pulla (two of his favourites), but there was pizza, cookies, chocolate cake, chocolate pie, potato chips and guacamole on a baguette… yeah, hardly Finnish at all. Oh well. We still indulged in way more sugar than we’re used to, which made Lucas feel a bit sick after dinner, and Raspberry seemed just way too bouncy at the party, but I’m not sure if that’s so much the sugar as the fact that she’s often that way.

She enjoyed the ginger snap cookie decorating the most (and very thoughtfully saved one for Lucas, who loves ginger snaps), and probably the fact that she got a little bag of candy (and an apple and orange and raisins) at the end, which she happily carried all the way home. She played pass the parcel and unsurprisingly, didn’t want to watch a Christmas DVD not only because it was in Finnish but also because she’s usually uninterested in watching cartoons. They held a raffle at the end and she delighted in helping pick the numbers out of a basket and announcing them in Finnish. The teacher for the adult Finnish class spoke to her entirely in Finnish and she just kind of stood there not answering because she had no clue what was being said to her. I’d love for her to be at the point where she can understand Finnish, but we’re so far from that right now, even though we try to use some Finnish vocabulary in our daily lives.

Amid all the kid-friendly activities, Lucas met a trilingual guy who used to play poker professionally and they talked hockey, among other things. I mostly stood by as an observer. I haven’t been to Finnish school too much — only twice — since September, and only recognized a couple of people there. Some of the regulars weren’t there, which was surprising, but they have older kids and most of the party involved activities that the kids are way too old for, so maybe that’s why they passed on it. Oh, I was watching the kids play pass the parcel, and one boy (about Raspberry’s age) got a fairy doll as his prize and he was none to pleased about it. His dad immediately said maybe he could trade with someone else, and thereafter his dad and another dad just stood there, pooh-poohing the ridiculousness of a fairy doll for the boy. I thought it was just terrible how they immediately disparaged the toy because it didn’t fit with gender stereotypes but I’m not surprised that they are very progressive when it comes to something like this. [That said, I’m part of a Facebook group where people buy and sell baby carriers and there’re so many posts where people say they want a carrier in a girly or boy colour and it just drives me crazy whenever I read that — there’s no such thing as a girl or boy colour! Just colours you like or dislike! ARGH!]

Anyhow, there’s quite a bit of a break until Finnish school returns in January, and hopefully with a different lesson plan, Raspberry will be able to learn more beyond merely sitting through Finnish songs with the little kids, which she rather dislikes. One of the people I spoke with last week said they’ll try to figure something out for Raspberry, as I mentioned to them how the songs aren’t doing it for her and they’re impressed by the speed she’s picking up the language. I wouldn’t mind going more, since I’m picking up Finnish alongside Raspberry too (and quite enjoying it), but I do like having the couple of hours to myself, although next year we’ll definitely have our hands full with the baby. I guess I’ll just take it as it comes and decide accordingly.

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