Friday, January 23, 2015

2014 Africa Reading Challenge

Last year I decided that reading books from the same countries over and over again is boring. I want to know more about this planet and people that live here. And books are always my favourite way to learn. Plus, they are fun! 

2014 was the year I started reading African literature. I'm embarrassed to say this - after all, I've always been a bookworm reading almost anything that came my way - but somehow there never were any books by local African authors. I did read many stories about African nature written by Western travellers and scientists, like Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey (set in Rwanda) and Born Free by Joy Adamson (set in Kenya). Yet I didn't even know any names of African writers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A taste of Ukraine

This is a post for my friend Admiral July, an angry Ukrainian feminist who really loves puppies. ^-^ She ordered me to take a photo of a Finnish dog in the snow, which I failed to do so far (mostly because I'm an asocial creature who likes to stay home when it's too slippery outside). But! I did find something Ukrainian in Helsinki, in a grocery shop...

Червоний борщ!
Red borscht! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Happy Penguin Awareness Day!

January 20th is Penguin Awareness Day. p(^-^)q Which means that my Penny is gonna be the queen of the day. Let's find out all about these curious, (mostly) southern birds!

First of all, penguins can't fly, but they have great flippers for swimming...

...and making cute motions like in this video.

Red Pandas For Dasha

You might know my friend Dasha from the drawing I made a year ago. She likes red pandas, and who doesn't? After all, they are fluffy balls of adorbs! ^^ There are red pandas in the Helsinki zoo, but lately they were hiding. I really wanted to show them to Dasha... Yesterday, finally, the elusive pandas showed up and even allowed me to take a few low-quality photos! :D

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Vegan Raw Chocolate

Have you ever tried raw chocolate?
Well, I have. ^^ And I loved it. 

Lifefood chocolate is
raw, dairy-free, organic, handmade, no refined sugar or hydrogenated fat.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Homemade houjicha

Random unrelated flowers.

This is the teabag that started it all. My obsession with houjicha. I can't just “like” food, I became an addict when the food is great. Tofu, avocado, wasabi, noodles, mango – my love for them is strong. :D

Before my brother-in-law started sharing his (endless?!) stores of tea with us, I hadn't even heard of houjicha. But from the very first cup I was hooked.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pine needle kanji

What do you do when a pine (or maybe spruce?) branch you picked up in the forest starts shedding its needles? You make kanji with them, of course! Like this:


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Books I read in December 2014: lady shoguns, Sailor V and sauna

December books are introduced to you by Bunka!

Milk Morinaga “Girl Friends: The Complete Collection 1” [Japan] 
Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb “I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban” [Pakistan, UK] 
Fumi Yoshinaga “Ōoku: The Inner Chambers” vol. 1 [Japan] 
Fumi Yoshinaga “Ōoku: The Inner Chambers” vol. 2 [Japan] 
Fumi Yoshinaga “Ōoku: The Inner Chambers” vol. 3 [Japan] 
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie “Purple Hibiscus” [Nigeria] 
武内 直子 「コードネームはセーラーV」 (Naoko Takeuchi “Codename Sailor V” vol. 1) [Japan] 

Short stories:
Inkeri Kontro “The Dying Embers” [Finland] (a sweet and weird fantasy short story about... sauna!)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie “Tiny Wonders” [Nigeria] 
S.L. Huang “Hunting Monsters” (a dark fairy tale subversion in short form)

Girl Friends

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Quotes from I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban

“I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.
I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.” - from Goodreads

Let me share a few quotes from Malala Yousafzai's powerful book with you:

'I know the importance of education because my pens and my books were taken from me by force,' I said. 'But the girls of Swat are not afraid of anyone. We have continued with our education.'

If one man, Fazlullah, can destroy everything, why can't one girl change it?

Education is our right, I said. Just as it is our right to sing. Islam has given us this right and says that every girl and boy should go to school. The Quran says we should seek knowledge, study hard and learn the mysteries of our world.

Half a doctor is a danger to one's life […]

Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.

We Pashtuns love shoes but don't love the cobbler; we love our scarves and blankets but do not respect the weaver. Manual workers made a great contribution to our society but received no recognition, and this is the reason so many of them joined the Taliban – to finally achieve status and power.
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