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Christmas is almost here

18 December 2018

Once again, it’s that time of the year when everybody is rushing to finish their various projects before the year is over. Everyone’s calendar is full and the working pace in the lab and office is at its highest. This can be very stressful time and one should use every opportunity to relax during these hectic weeks.

We had our pre-Christmas party in the end of November for which we gathered in this lovely place with a beautiful view of the Bothnian Bay to relax and celebrate yet another successful year for Admescope. After a nice dinner and some drinks, the activities began. In the first competition, randomly selected teams were given two rolls of toilet paper, some cardboard and a tape roll to dress one team member as a snowman with hilarious results.

The second competition was called the lab challenge in which the teams were pitted against each other with various basic tasks familiar to anyone who ever worked in a lab. Well, it turned out that simple tasks, such as placing pipette tips in a pipette tip holder or pipetting water to Eppendorf tubes (after a few drinks) can be a real challenge when racing against the clock.

After battling with several allegations of cheating and general shenanigans, the jury was finally able to declare the winners. On the right you can see the lucky winners of the snowman dress-up competition. Congrats!

On 6th of December we got to celebrate the 101st year of independence of Finland, which was of course a national holiday. This was a perfect opportunity to get a little break from the end-of-the-year hustle at work and spend some time with family and friends.

But what do we do on Christmas holidays? This is something that should be addressed on a broader scale as we are a multinational corporation now, having a research site also in Sweden. Christmas traditions in Finland and Sweden are very much alike but there are some differences too. 

In both countries, close relatives get together to enjoy the holidays. We decorate the yards and windows with Christmas lights, have Christmas trees, etc. We listen to Christmas carols and watch traditional Christmas shows on TV. On Christmas Eve, Santa who might remind you very closely of your uncle or neighbor, visits every household to distribute the presents while everybody is still awake. You should also note that he comes through the door, not down the chimney. In Sweden, Santa Claus is called Jultomten, which is directly translated into Christmas Gnome and Joulupukki in Finland whose direct translation is Christmas Goat (don’t ask).

We drink glögg or glögi (mulled wine) on both sides of the border during Christmas holidays and eat a lot of ginger bread cookies. Baking the ginger bread cookies is one the most enjoyable Christmas traditions especially among the children. Another important Christmas delicacy in Finland is joulutorttu, a windmill-shaped flaky pastry with plum jam. The Swedish counterpart for joulutorttu is called lussebulle which is a saffron bun with raisins and shaped like the letter S or the number 8 (you decide).

Despite all these “overwhelming” cultural differences, Finns and Swedes have been able to live in peace and harmony for hundreds of years and have even learned to appreciate each other. Another testimonial to this prosperous co-existence is the successful integration of our Swedish unit and the seamless co-operation between our sites.

We at Admescope, wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! And remember to take some time to relax during the holidays.

Written by Jouni Jukka