Posts tagged " identity "

What fall can teach us…reflections & insights

September 20th, 2019 Posted by Life 3 comments

This year, two themes have stood out for me as we head into the fall: 1) fall is the best season for a new perspective and 2) it’s a time to intentionally slow down. Symbolically, fall has long been celebrated as a time to reflect on: balance (between night and day), impending darkness, change and transformation (and how foliage reminds us of the beauty, alongside the death, of transitions)…

An embarrassing story about learning Finnish & questioning what we know

September 1st, 2019 Posted by Finnish, Insights No Comment yet

I recently met an Italian woman who asked me what I do for a living.
“I help people learn Finnish.”
“Oh, so you’re a Finnish teacher?”
“Sort of, not exactly. I teach people the process of learning Finnish.”
She looked at me quizzically, “But why would I need the process? I can go to classes to learn Finnish.”
In an ideal world, you would go to Finnish class and – voila! You’d speak Finnish.
If that were the case, you wouldn’t be reading this…

Exploring language souls & identity with Maria Weidner

December 1st, 2017 Posted by Inspiration, Language, People & Profiles, Self Discovery, Video No Comment yet

Meet Maria Weidner: a native Berliner with an Indonesian soul. Maria is also a German teacher and artist. The first time I heard Maria speak Indonesian, time stopped. Maria, German a few moments ago, was no longer a German woman. She’d been transformed into an Indonesian woman, who is clearly Indonesian! Witnessing such a sense of ease, fluidity and joy when Maria speaks Indonesian (a language she learned as an adult) forces us to re-think all the things we thought we understood about culture, languages and ‘who we really are.’

Identity, finding home & learning Finnish on The Actual Fluency Podcast – Kris Broholm

April 17th, 2016 Posted by My Story, People & Profiles No Comment yet

Kris Broholm and I sat down to talk about identity, finding home and learning Finnish. We’d met at the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin back in 2014 but it was only this year that the idea of doing an episode of Actual Fluency came up. We carved out time in our schedules over Easter and had a great conversation! Kris was living in Budapest at the time and learning Hungarian, and though we didn’t plan for it, we found a lot of common ground about the weather. Kris runs the Actual Fluency Podcast and regularly interviews multilingual and multicultural people to further his own quest to speak 10 language, which you can read more about it here.

Reflections Between Destinations

January 6th, 2015 Posted by Life, My Story No Comment yet

I noticed yesterday, while flying from Helsinki to Bucharest via Istanbul, that whenever I am on a plane, I feel deeply humbled. On board, everyone is equal.

How do you see yourself?

June 10th, 2014 Posted by Blog 1 comment

Foreigner, immigrant, resident, alien, newcomer, stranger, non-Finn, [insert your nationality here], visitor, tourist, expat, minority, migrant, settler, floater, exchange student, finnophile, English speaker, international student, asylum seeker, refugee, outsider, gypsy, wanderer, outlander, nomad, new kid on the block: all words for people who don’t belong.

But what happens when none of these words seem to fit quite right?

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