The Amazing Jyväskylä!

The Amazing Jyväskylä!
Me at the harbor of Jyväskylä

16 February, 2015

Internationality series - Restaurant day in Finland (Ravintolapäivä)

This is the first entry attempting to promote the diversity and internationality we have here in University of Jyväskylä and the city of Jyväskylä. In this series, I hope to point out for all of you international students who are looking for a good place to receive both free high-quality education and experiences of international diversity in your living and studying environments, Jyväskylä has the best of both world. 

Restaurant day is an initiative originated in Finland and has become a popular celebrated carnival around Europe. There are several restaurant days every year. You can check it out here. On these days, anyone can open a restaurant of their own and serve any food they want at any place of their desire, with any price they would like to charge for the food. You can open your own restaurant at your house, office, campus, along the street or around a lake. You can serve exotic food from your own countries or of any cuisines that suit your interests. Know what the best part is? You are charged nothing from the authority, which means you get to keep all the profit you earn. If you are looking into settling down in Finland with a permanent restaurant of your own after your graduation, this event is your chance for practicing your business management. This is a big plus for those with business mind. 

A pancake pop-up restaurant on RD 15th Feb, 2015. Photo by Sandi Hipke

For the foodies, you will also have your share of benefits too, in a city with such diversity of nationality like Jyväskylä, when it is Restaurant day; you bet there are restaurants of food from around the world. Among the popular ones around my living area, I would say, is Indian food. It’s hard to resist Indian curry once you can smell it from afar. Also, there are plenty of Chinese food pop-up restaurants, due to the large population of Chinese students here. Just the other day, I saw an ad of a “Cook it yourself - traditional Chinese Hot pot” restaurant. That was interesting. Japanese sushi restaurants seem to be quite popular on demand too. Vegetarians or vegans? There will be restaurant for you too. Apparently, being a vegetarian has become a popular trend in Finland. 

Side note: there are always options for vegetarians in the university’s cafeterias. 

Last year, I went to a Filipino pop-up restaurant in the Multicultural Center. I used to live in the Philippines for a year so I also love Filipino food. Italian ones are also common, I think. Who doesn’t love a homemade pizza? Especially for desserts freaks, pastry restaurants are everywhere with all kinds of baking goods imaginable. 

Filipino food, Multicultural Center, Autumn 2013

This is me devouring the food, hehe

And of course, Vietnamese students have set up their restaurants several times as well with really exotic food that is not for the fainted hearts. Haha, kidding! But seriously, if you come across a Vietnamese pop-up restaurant, go for it no matter what! You know why? I’ll reveal a secret for you. Many of these restaurants are set up by students who often come home to visit at least twice a year. And when they come back to Finland, they bring with them a lot of food that can only be found in Vietnam. If it’s your lucky day, it might be the only time in your life you get to taste something that unique. And this could also be true for other Asian restaurants set up by students as well. 

And think about it for one second, how often would you be hosted and cooked for by locals from where you are traveling too? Not very common unless you have a friend there, right? But on Restaurant Day in Jyväskylä, you’ll get to taste authentic homemade food from around the world without traveling anywhere. 

Friendship family, Restaurant day winter 2013

For those with friendship families (which will be discussed very soon in another entry), it is possible that your Finnish friendship families will take you to an awesome pop-up Finnish-styled restaurants where you’ll get to taste authentic, hearty Finnish food that often accompanied with warm and cozy ambiance somewhere deep in the woods. I've been once with my flat mate’s friendship family. All the money they earned for the day was to be donated to charity, I believe. And the food was delicious! It will definitely break your skeptic about real Finnish food. 

If you become members of some popular Facebook groups such as Foreigners in Jyväskylä or Second-hand items in Jyväskylä, you’ll probably see lots of announcements for restaurants when the day comes. 

1 comment:

  1. so glad to read your blog! i was accepted to JYU and will be going there next month. coming from the philippines, it's nice to know that i would still be able to find asian food.

    would you have any recommendations for local restaurants i should try?