Small business owner Kirsi Kallio has been running Viialan Leipomo Bakery at its current location on Lindforsinkatu for two years now. The bakery will be celebrating its second birthday on Monday May 6th with coffee and cake on offer for approximately the first couple of hundred customers.
– Two years has gone by really quickly, it’s lovely to get to know people and see familiar faces every day, says Ms. Kallio. All products at Viialan Leipomo are handmade and use no artificial flavours or preservatives. The atmosphere has a comfortable, cozy feel and the homemade-style food is very reasonably priced. It’s terrific being able to pick out what you want from a line-up that is not quite uniform.
The premises are rented from the Tampere Pentecostal Church, whom also host an International Coffee House meeting at Viialan Leipomo every Friday from 7pm – 11pm. The Coffee House meeting has proved quite popular and has brought in new customers for Viialan Leipomo.
A typical purchase is coffee and a sweet bun, but also savoury foods such as the infamous lihapiirakka, a type of meat pie that is quite well described as a ‘meat doughnut’. It is also possible to buy a giant lihapiirakka, or a possumunkki, a jam-filled doughnut. While at first these giant versions may seem like a strange purchase, they are designed to be divided amongst several people and are often bought by customers to share at work or for a children’s birthday party.
Viialan Leipomo also make cakes to order, available for the following day. While they have a range to choose form, they are also able to prepare personalised cakes of any sort, almost anything you can dream up.
Housing co-operatives usually have a few different rubbish bins available for separating and recycling waste. These bins often include one for paper, cardboard and biodegradable waste, in addition to the sekajäte bin, which means ‘mixed waste’ and is for most forms of refuse.
So where can you recycle things that there aren’t specific bins available for at your place of residence? Hervanta offers six Ekopiste recycling places where you can recycle substances such as glass and metal. To find the one closest to you, visit this website (in Finnish). Select what material you wish to recycle and type in your address. The site will provide a map showing the location closest to you.
– I always take my glass and metal to the Ekopiste, it’s easy because it’s so close to me, says TUT student Ngaia Te Kuiti.
Another common question is what to do with more unusual refuse, such as hazardous waste or furniture. A great website to visit (in English), which describes what waste needs to go where and how best to recycle. Hazardous waste should always be disposed of properly.
For example, medication should never just be thrown into the rubbish bin, it should always be returned to a pharmacy for proper disposal.
Shops that sell batteries will have a disposal box for used ones and things such as bullets and explosives may be taken to the police. Things that are too large or heavy for a rubbish bin need to be taken to the rubbish dump.
For things like furniture, appliances and building supplies, it is a good idea to find out first if there is someone that would still benefit from their use. For example, some recycling centres accept even broken appliances, which they then fix and sell.
When moving to a new country there can be many obstacles, such as language barriers, dealing with bureaucracy and learning the cultural norms. Quite often foreigners in Finland may experience feelings of isolation. Offering a sense of community and support is the main focus of Naistari, a multicultural meeting place for women and children in Hervanta. Naistari was first established in 1996 and has had visitors from over 80 different countries.
Naistari’s purpose is to aid foreign women and children with their integration into Finnish society. They offer a broad range of services including club and group activities, help with student and work experience placements, crisis and trauma counselling and they also arrange language courses, during which time childcare is provided. An important aspect of their work is the special services they offer for the elderly. Naistari is able to provide a support person, whom often also acts as an interpreter, to help elderly people through difficult times such as hospital stays and also in dealing with Finnish administration and social services.
The main language spoken at Naistari is Finnish, as learning the language is an important part of fitting into the Finnish community. The idea is to provide a comfortable environment in which everyone is able to practice speaking Finnish in a relaxed manner.
– All forms of participation, togetherness and peer support are very important in contributing to the social wellbeing of immigrant women, Executive Manager Kirsti Viljanen explains.
Musti & Mirri, a name that roughly translates to ‘Fido & Fluffy’ in English, is a large pet store located on Lindforsinkatu in Hervanta. The whole store is a generous 750m², which encompasses a large range of pet foods, accessories for a variety of pets and an ample floor space which is used for various classes and activities. The reserved floor space is currently 160m² and expanding, with refurbishments expected to be complete by mid-April. The space is often rented out to groups and professionals that hold classes and training, for example show preparation, breed presentations and obedience training.
One current use of the space is for Pentujen puuhaperjantait, Puppy Group Friday, which is intended for the socialisation of young dogs and is open to all dogs under one year of age. Manager Tanja Väänänen explains:
– Puppy Group Friday is quite popular; on occasion we have had up to 25 puppies here.
For small puppies, approximately under 10kg, Puppy Group is from 4pm – 5pm on Fridays. Large puppies meet at 5pm – 7pm. For especially tiny puppies that are considerably smaller than the other dogs, a separate area is cordoned off. Socialisation is a very important aspect in the development of young dogs and Puppy Group Friday also welcomes those puppies that haven’t yet had all of their vaccinations. The environment is a safe one and there is no need to wait until your puppy is of a certain age.
Hervanta also offers two dog parks and one dog trail. Dog parks are a fenced in area where you may let your dog off the leash to run around and socialise with other dogs.
Image: The young and fuzzy participants at Puppy Group Friday at Musti & Mirri Hervanta. Image credit: Musti & Mirri Hervanta image archives
Many people share the misconception that the library is simply a place where a bunch of books sit on a shelf. Tampere’s many libraries are in fact great cultural and educational centres that supply information in a range of languages. Hervanta Library has a collection of adult, youth and children’s books in several different languages. The library’s foreign language books work on a rotation, so even if you’re able to read through all the available books, you’ll soon be presented with some new ones.
The library is not just about books, it also provides events, exhibitions and computers with internet access. Hervanta Library has previously had an international costume event, during which photographs were taken of all the participants. The photographs are now on display as an exhibition at the library. The Hervanta branch also arranges story-time for children in foreign languages. Recently there was a native Russian speaker that read Russian stories for children at the library. American Genevieve Meehan says:
– As a mum it’s a good place to take small children and a great place to find some new stories in English.
The library also organise guided tours, for example last week a group visiting from Naistari was shown the services Hervanta Library provides. Libraries are a great place to visit when you’re keen to learn the Finnish language, as they have many books and audio recordings available for borrowing. Tampere Main Library Metso also arranges a Finnish Language Café which is intended for those wanting to practice speaking Finnish. It is also a place just to socialise in a friendly and cultural environment.