Nursing international students being merry

During the weeks preceding Christmas, Finland seems overrun by party fever. This phenomenon is called the pikkujoulu (pre-Christmas party) season.

The roots of the Finnish pre-Christmas party go back to celebrations of Advent during the 1800s. In the 1920s and ’30s students turned these celebrations into parties, and after the Second World War, the pre-Christmas party started catching on with the general population. Nowadays, almost every company, business, organisation and club, daycare, school holds its own pikkujoulu. The word means “little Christmas,” implying a head start on the holiday season.

It will always include non-spiked mulled wine, called glögi, gingerbread cookies and sandwiches, and last only a couple of hours, the simplest form. The most extravagant pikkujoulu might take place on a cruise to Sweden with cabins, meals, drinks and sightseeing all included. However, the average party is somewhere in between, depending on the budget. Many will go to several or even a dozen different parties: some to socialise with colleagues, others to celebrate with friends and still others to network.

Mulled wine variations of which are popular in Europe, is wine usually red, combined with spices and typically served warm. It is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas.

Non-alcoholic glögi can be bought ready-made or prepared with fruit juices instead of wine. The main classic ingredients are (usually) red  wine  sugar, spices such as cinnamon, ginger, bitter orange,  and optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka orbrandy. In all Scandinavia glögg spice extract and ready-mixed spices can be purchased in grocery stores. To prepare glögg, spices and/or spice extract are mixed into the wine, which is then heated to 60-70 °C. When preparing home-made glögg using spices, the hot mixture is allowed to infuse for at least an hour, often longer, and then reheated before serving.

In Romania it is called vin fiert (“boiled wine”), and can be made using either red or white wine, sometimes adding sugar and  cinnamon. Everything is boiled and served hot.

International nursing students were introduced also to Nordic Christmas tradition. Our teachers welcomed us with a warm glass of glögi and a oficial speach.

Then, because we were behaving nicely, and were doing great in our studies, Joulu Pukki- Santa Clauss was paying us a visit

And, of course, our teachers, were not forgotten

Our pikkujoulu continue in a very nice atmosphere, with teachers  singing Finnish carols

After that it was students turn to sing..

and teachers to enjoy..

International Nursing Students as well as international Santa Claus wish to everybody Merry Christmas!

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