In the darkness of a smoke sauna, stories and memories of womanhood come alive. A wordless mask and object theatre performance set in the heat of the heart of Finland. Masked bodies – naked memories.

That is the description text for one event of the Turku International Puppetry Festival called Sauna which we had a look at on Nov 22, just the day when everybody else was watching the ice hockey match between Turun Palloseura (TPS) and Kalevan Pallo (KalPa) from Kuopio … anyway, my friend Deissler visited me during this time, and at least now he has a nice story to tell (like »there was ice hockey, and guess what we had to see … puppetry theater!«).

So, fully excited about how this womanhood could come alive, we found our places in a beautiful park area of Kupittaa and waited for the show to begin. Actually, I was surprised that it seemed to be even booked out. Before everything started, we just had to leave the building, walk through the dark and finally re-enter the building from the other side.

Ok, after this adventure, the lights were dimmed and the even was about to begin. It takes place in a imaginary sauna. At first, we see a older woman, walking around and also having a sauna turn. She moves slowly and repeats details of sauna-bathing activities such as putting the water on the oven and using the vihta, which means hitting the body with birch branches.

After that, a second character appears. She is younger, more sexy. This woman is presented as rather shy and reserved. She hides her body and enjoys the sauna. Suddenly, both women are on the stage and near the oven. The old is hidden and the young is giving birth (?) to some white creatures that pop out of the oven (and are actually the only »puppets« in this play).

I am not sure if I got the plot right, and I am absolutely not sure what this wants to tell us. So, please correct and interpret in the comment area!


Last Saturday it was time for the first pikkujoulu (pre-Christmas) party this year. Me and Tiina did most of the preparation and spent days buying nice stuff such as decoration, the best Christmas tree in the world, sweets, glögi and other stuff to drink, Dominosteine (thanks again to Deissler to export them to Finland!) and … gingerbread. Well, what is gingerbread? For me as a German, it is the chocolate covered and soft version, Lebkuchen in German. Of course we took the very famous stars, pretzel, hearts box from Lidl 😀 But what do the Finns mean with this term? Right, this crumbling, but nonetheless very Christmas-tasty cookie called pipparit.

Anyway, before our own party began, there was the opening of the Christmas season (Turku is Finland’s official Christmas City), which took place at Vanha Suurtori and continued with a parade to the cathedral square. The Christmas tree was already in its position, but still dark. Before it got enlightened, we had to watch (or suffer?) some speeches and songs sung by a children’s choir. And then there was this giant elf, tonttu, who was entertaining the kids with his team (that consisted of presents and Mr., no Mrs. Sweety). He was a bit scary, indeed he looked like he would eat all the children. But still, we wanted to take photos with him, and those of us two who did not want to, were forced 😉 Photo shooting done, let’s have a short look at the Christmas Market! Said and done, and in fact, it was really short, because most of the huts were still closed.

So, back to our headquarters to pick up all that stuff we needed and took the bus to Haliskylä, our party area. Luckily, no guests were there, so we had still time to prepare everything. Laptop with music? Check. Pot to heat the glögi? Check. Rip open all the sweets and chips and chocolate and place them on cute little Christmas plates? Check. Finding a working fridge to cool the booze? Fail. But at least: dressing up in Santa’s hat and reindeer horns? Check.

Ok, the first guests were arriving, it could begin. The story is told quickly, we drank, sang, danced, had fun. But I want to say a few words about the game we played. Nothing special, just this famous post-it game where people get pinned celebrities’ names on there forehead and have to guess who they are. But thus we were a quite intercultural group, it was not easy for everyone to find out who they were. Our Donkey Kong was such an example and even the hint that it was a friend of Hong Kong did not really help. Same with the King, Elvis Presley himself. I tried to help, »singing« (or whatever you call it) some words of »Love me Tender« with my best Elvis voice, but that did not help neither. Ehem. I was by the way made of plastic, and my three-letter name started with a K. Wuhuu.