Internationals in Seinäjoki 3/6
When I heard about Pilvi and her impressive work I knew right away that I want to interview her and hear about her story. I'm glad I can share it with you now:
What’s your name?
“Pilvi, but that’s my Finnish name. My real name is Yunyu.”
Where are you from?
Pilvi is from Shanghai, China. She told me that just lately when she was back home she has been visiting the pretty new Shanghai tower. It has 128 floors and is the second highest building in the world. It’s 632m high.
How long have you been in Finland?
For 3 years.
Why are you in Seinäjoki?
Pilvi has a Finnish husband.
What are you doing in Seinäjoki?
Pilvi started to work as an apprentice in the Town Hall in Seinäjoki some weeks ago. She is in charge of updating the Seinäjoki website and takes care of the Seinäjoki – China liaisons. Seinäjoki has three partner cities in China: Qing Dao, Ru Dong and the newest relationship, which was made in June of this year, with Jiang Jin District of Chong Qing City (which is in Si Chuan Province, where the Pandas are from :).
Connected with that Pilvi makes trainings with Seinäjoki authorities about the Chinese culture, the business etiquette etc. When Chinese representatives visit in Seinäjoki she also guides them. One work project, which she wants to realise at some point as well, is translating from Finnish to Chinese. “But for that my Finnish is not good enough yet.”, Pilvi laughed.
Did you have any difficulties when you came here? Do you feel well integrated?
“The language barrier was a problem at the beginning.” Pilvi didn’t know anything in Finnish when she arrived. But the people in Seinäjoki are really friendly and Pilvi feels really comfortable. “Finland is like my second home now.”
What do you miss about China?
“My family, my friends and Chinese food. Of course I also cook Chinese food here but it can never get as good as in China.” In China there are so many more products, which you can’t get here, Pilvi explained. For example you can buy fresh made noodles from the market in Shanghai and also fresh and cheap fish. “Here the fresh fish is very expensive.” Also you can’t buy as many different fruit and vegetables in Finland as in the Chinese markets.
What would you miss about Finland if you were back in China?
Pilvi would miss a lot the peace from Finland. Shanghai is a huge city and always busy. Also there isn’t a lot of nature in the city so she would miss that a lot from Finland - the nature and especially forests.
Which things would you like to take with you to China?
Pilvi would like to export Finnish Kotikalja to China, she likes is a lot. And also the berries. “Or not just the berries but more the experience to go to the forest and pick berries and mushrooms.”
What is your favourite place in Seinäjoki?
“Kirjasto”, the library, Pilvi said. She likes its design a lot “it’s so artistic.” Especially the old library attracts Pilvi because there it’s so peaceful and normally there’s nobody else. She likes to sit on the small tables with all the books surrounding her “it’s little bit like being in the magic school from Harry Potter”, Pilvi explained and laughing.
Text and photo: Anja Kaufmann