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23/11/2014

Moving from England to Finland

I have never talked about the time when we lived in England in my blog, so I believe it's high time I did that. One would think it's been so long that I don't remember anything, but that's not really how it goes. Although, I was only six years old when we moved back to our home town in Finland, I remember exactly how it felt. You know, to leave your friends, school and country behind only to start all over.


I remember being a bit anxious about not getting new friends in Finland. I used to ask my mother: "What if I don't get to know anyone?" My mother would reassure me - just like any good mother would - by saying that I would eventually get friends. Back then, I thought it had been so easy getting to know people in England but it wouldn't be the same in Finland. That six-year-old me was actually half right; it surely wouldn't be the same.


In England everyone played with each other during break times. For example, football was cool: all of us played in big teams and we got to join in whenever we wanted to even though the game was on. I also remember how our classes were mixed after every school year and it had its upsides and downsides. This way we got to know so much more people, but we were scared about being separated from our good pals. I know these things are small but they played a crucial part in building the atmosphere.

In a way, the feeling of togetherness and freedom was something Finland lacked. We played different kinds of games during the break time such as tag, hide and seek, skipping on the skipping rope and whatever came to mind. I just wasn't used to the fact that you first had to do the dirty work if you wanted to join the game. You just couldn't go skipping, you first had rotate the rope until someone made a mistake and would replace you. When you wanted to play tag, you would become "it". In other words, you first had to take the position no one wanted to be in in order to join the game.

For a six-year-old it was very difficult to understand why people were acting so differently over here in Finland. I was also confused because we talked both in Finnish and in English at school. (I was in a special class where over half of our lessons were taught in English) We sometimes played together as a class, but usually the boys and girls had their own games. Unlike in Finland, in England I used to hang out with boys and girls at school and on the whole I think people were much more permissive in the UK. It might have stemmed from our school's students' different ethnic backgrounds, I'm not sure. Luckily, I adopted Finland's customs quickly. The good ones and the bad ones.

5 kommenttia:

  1. How was it moving also from one school system to another? Did you start in Finland with kids of your own age or according to your previous studies in the UK? Did ypu have to repeat something at school in Finland because you had already learned it?
    I have always wondered where does this boys - girls division come from here in Finland? Where do we learn it from?

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    1. The funny thing is, kids in the UK start school two years earlier than in Finland. So when we moved from England, I would have started second grade, but in Finland I should have started preschool. A compromise was made and I started first grade - again. Of course I could read, write and count so it was a bit boring in the beginning, but it was OK, because I had to get used to all the other new things :)

      That's an excellent question. Now that you said it, I pondered and pondered but with no success. I guess it's the different kind of culture!

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  2. This was a very interesting post! I'm glad the transition went relatively smoothly for you and you adapted well. :)

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    1. Oh thank you so much Lyra! Yeah, it was alright in the end :)

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