Wenyin ZHU Expo Family from Shanghai I am invited as one of ten Expo families by Shanghai Morning Post. It is our great honor to come to Finland during June, 2010. This expo program aims to let Shanghai knows the world and let the world knows Shanghai.


The Second Honeymoon in Finland

On the last night before left Finland, I said to my husband ‘we should come to Finland for honeymoon if we know it before’. He joked at me ‘Now it is our second time for honeymoon in Finland.’

Yeah, it is a nice country full of forests, lakes, and saunas. Here are just a few examples of the popular attractions that we like most.

If you want to hold the wedding ceremony, I believe that both the Cathedral and Temppeliaukio Church are wonderful. The Cathedral is a distinct landmark in the central Helsinki, with a tall green dome surrounded by four smaller domes. The church represents the neoclassical style with long history. It looks attractive and gorgeous. The Temppeliaukio Church is very special that it is quarried out of the natural bedrock. It doesn’t have the spire and bell tower as the normal church. The interior walls are created by the rock and the dome is made of the copper wires. This church is often used for concerts, because of its excellent acoustics. It is simple, nature with unique charm and deserves to visit!

If you like sports, you can try canoeing in Espoo. We tried almost 1000 meters in the lake and went to the island for rest. We drank tea, ate snack, chat and enjoyed the nice views. In Finland, all of the islands are free open to the public. If interested, you can also pick berries roadside. Another choice is to the Levi’s adventure park. It tests your physical strength and inside courage. When I went to the third rank, my legs were shaking on the swing. The coach encouraged me to continue. I moved step by step nervously and nearly fell off on the last step. At that moment, I felt the power of love from the hand of my husband.
If you love animals, there are the reindeer, polar bear, husky dog, and wild boar in Finland. The most interesting was to see the alpaca in a farm, looks like the new Chinese character囧. It was also the first time for us to ride on the horse in the forest. People swung by the horse walking rhythmically. I imagined that we went back to the eighteenth century like the British aristocracy.
If you like fairy tales, Lapland has the mysterious Christmas Village. We visited the Santa Claus and sent a crystal gift for him. He wrote the wishes on our Expo passport, which also means the footprint of 2010 expo reached the Arctic Circle. Both my husband and I were missing the little baby during the travel. It was fantastic to send the postcards from the Christmas post office.

Next time we want to try the Glasshouse on the peak of Levi. Lying on the bed, you can look at the stars from the glass of dome. In winter, there is aurora across the sky. What the graceful feeling! Another part is the SPA for me, water park and science center for my baby in Vantaa. Who can imagine that I am able to lift the car? It is true in the science center and I want to take my baby to experience more. Taking a ferry to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress and so many other things are also on my plan.

Happy time is always short! It is pity that we have limited time to visit Finland. Hopefully we will come back in the near future.

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Happy Education NO.1

One day I read Shanghai morning post that it took the interview on the child when they applied to the kindergarten in Shanghai. They have multiple tests such as distinguish color, count number, walk bridge and so on.

During the visit to Finland, I am very curious about kindergarten as a new mum. The Master and the teacher sincerely gave us the nice introduction.

First, it doesn’t carry on any interview to select children from kindergarten. On the contrary, children and parents choose the kindergarten by preferences.

Second, it fully respects child as individual. At home, sometimes we could see such a scene that the child is crying loudly when he is dragged into kindergarten by the parent. In Finland, there is a program called ’soft landing’, that is, in the first six weeks, parents can accompany the child in the kindergarten together, watching them eat, sleep and play. On one hand, it lets the child feel safe, slowly get familiar with new environment. On the other hand, it also allows the adult further check the nursery is really appropriate to the child. In addition, children can bring the mother’s photo, his favorite toy, and so on. It makes him feel at home. Everyone has the typical growth plan.

Last but not least, all the teachers in the kindergarten hold the master degree. One teacher is only responsible for the average of seven children. The little baby will get more care that is counted more than one child. Before the child enters into the kindergarten, the teacher visits the child’s home, talks with parents and get familiar with the habit of the child. It is no formal classroom training, but a lot of ‘play education’ instead. For example, the teacher lets the children know the leaves, grass and insects when they play in the forests. It is flexible to educate among different environments.
We had a nice conversation at that morning. The children were playing sands, swing and toys outside the house. We can see their smiles, listen to their laughs and feel their happiness. I believe that the happiness is most important for childhood.

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