One day, a couple of years later, I started to talk in Finnish with my Finnish family. I did not yet have enough skills to have a conversation, but I had managed to gather enough courage to try. And guess what? They understood me!
I am Céline Kylänpää. I first came to Finland to study as an exchange student, and after only a few months, I fell in love. I fell in love with the person who became my best friend and husband. After graduating in France, where I am originally from, I moved back to Finland.
What to do? I wanted to gain work experience and develop my own network. Yes, I already had Finnish friends whom I met during my studies, and I had a family, my Finnish family, who was at the time my biggest motivation to learn Finnish. I wanted to understand them, speak with them and belong to this very welcoming and supportive clan. So I learned Finnish. Yes, it was hard and frustrating, I will not hide that.
Photo by Natalia Gromova, in front of Pyynikintorin Liha ja Kahvi
One day, a couple of years later, I started to talk in Finnish with my Finnish family. I did not yet have enough skills to have a conversation, but I had managed to gather enough courage to try. And guess what? They understood me! I still remember the evening I was talking with my mother in law in Finnish and my boyfriend suddenly asked, who are you talking with mum? Well, with me!!! Since then, I have been talking in Finnish every occasion I had and today, I am able to even work in Finnish. I often hear other internationals trying to find a motivation to learn Finnish. Yes, you need it to get a citizenship, to take the YKI test and most likely to work in your field, but mostly to understand what is happening around with your Finnish friends, with your team at work, within your hobbies or with your family and kids – everywhere!
After living in Finland already for over 10 years, I recently moved to Tampere with my husband and kids to be closer to our family. I love exploring new sites and as a mum, my priority is to find places where to go to and activities to do with the kids. I love going to playgrounds with them and initiating them to culture by visiting museums. As a Tampere Talent Ambassador, my goal is to share these experiences with other families and communicate about family friendly events and places.
I am also a gourmet. I love eating and cooking. I put efforts into selecting the items from local producers and naturally, the market hall is a place where you can often meet me. I like cooking with seasonal ingredients and spices, that allowes me to travel through flavors. I regularly post about my favorite restaurants and discoveries on social media. Follow me for a tasteful experience!
Photo by Natalia Gromova, at Pyynikintorin Liha ja Kahvi
Lastly, in Finland, I have learned to appreciate the nature and environment around me. In Tampere, we are so lucky to have everything around us: the beach, the lakes, the forest, farms and skiing hills. I am in favor of respecting the environment and so I usually move around by walk or bicycle. The city offers excellent bicycle routes to enjoy the ride all year around. As a Talent Ambassador, I also plan to promote an environmentally friendly way of discovering our surroundings.