Global zone is the new column dedicated to foreign countries followed by ours Lorenzo Scampolia student from Vasto from Gabriele D’Annunzio University of Chieti and Pescara, who this year is in Finland to the Erasmus project.
An opportunity not to be missed to get to know and introduce you to vivendi mode of this country not very far from the Arctic Circle and above all how much similar and how different there is between our beautiful Abruzzo and a place with habits so far from ours.
What will you discover in this episode?
I arrive at my new home. At the entrance, I am told that the space I see immediately after the door is where the shoes will be left: in fact here, as in other northern European or Asian countries and unlike Italy, it is obligatory to walk barefoot (even in your own home). It is briefly explained to me that this custom is used to protect the parquet and above all to prevent the soil that is trampled on to reach the house from spreading around and spreading any germs and bacteria. I regret the comfortable slippers left in Vasto, but I adjust and continue around the house.
As soon as I literally stepped into mine cottage (mökki in Finnish), I realized that the inhabitants of this country still love to immerse themselves in the peace of the forest and remember as we lived centuries ago. Or relax in mökki between the sauna’s hot steam (approx. 100 degrees) and the cool water in the adjacent lake!
The quality of life here is very high and even an inexperienced eye can notice it: very high levels of education, excellent English at all ages, almost every person “knows their stuff”, nature at hand and pocket, fairly high average income and most Finns already live in their own apartment at the age of 20! And it is already from this that I notice the first differences with Abruzzo and more generally with Italy, where the tendency, above all thanks to the lower economic availability of young people, is often forced to seek work even in old age, is to live in nursing home for many years.
Also Cherries on the cake. The people of this place are actually “less glacial” than you might think: the jokes of a Finn (when there is self-confidence) are nothing short of funny. And it makes me feel a little at home because it reminds me of summer evenings with friends, spent with lots of laughter on the walls by the beach promenade in Vasto Marina.
The classic cottage is a log cabin with a maximum of two bedrooms, a small bathroom (often outside) and a kitchen. In some cases, there is no electric light, but it depends on the area. And here I challenge any abruzzeser to stay for weeks without TV or internet … we would probably run away after the first two hours! But there is an explanation; in reality many of today’s mökki are nothing but the houses that most Finns lived in before the world wars, cultivated fields, farmed cattle and fished.
The inevitable sauna (how much I will miss it when I return to Vasto!) Is usually separated from the main building and is very close to the lake or the sea. The cottages of the cottage are all wood burning and you will notice the clear difference in the atmosphere compared to the electric ones.
I had the opportunity to experience the beginning of the summer season in one of these cottages, and I realized that the main activity and daily activity of the Finns, and it is without a doubt a habit that does not belong to us Italians, this is famous sauna, which is on once or twice a day, usually morning and evening.
The session in the sauna is alternated with bathing in the lake or by the sea. At the end of this “ritual”, there is no shortage of classic and very tasty alcoholic beverages (which will not be our Montepulciano, but they are still comfortable)in English they are called “long drinks”accompanied as usual by grilled meat, various vegetables, canapés and potatoes (a must in the local cuisine). Nothing to do with our kebab … but in need you can only adapt!
In this area at night, almost no cabin has a locked entrance (yes, often the door is literally open) and this impressed me a lot! Especially in light of the many recent thefts recorded in Vasto and in the Vastese area in recent times! Try asking a Vasto to sleep with the door open …!
The boundaries between the various properties are bounded only (or even better, marked) by a bush on the ground or by some rocks by the lake shore and nothing more. In addition, it is generally not recommended to go outdoors in case of thunderstorms. To stay inside, however, one must be brave people, in fact, it is not the usual always comfortable apartment. The cabins are very light structures and with each thunder the vibrations are almost stronger than an earthquake. An adventure definitely worth trying.