“Ruisleipä” as an example of free will in expat experience

Today I was making a bread order to a local baker introduced to me by my friends in the village. I had a choice between a few different types of traditional French bread that all seemed delicious and some of them, like the “Campagne”, I had already tasted and loved. I googled the pictures about French “Complet” and remembered how I told my friends about the Finnish “ruisleipä” (rye bread), which has so strong and somehow heroic taste and structure.


Then, while looking at the pictures of “ruisleipä” I felt somehow connected to all the other people living away from their countries of origin. I had known many of them while I lived in Finland and I remember the shining eyes of the man who served me strong black tea – Persian style, and the pride my Italian friend took in preparing a decent coffee. There is a window of free will in these moments. Weather your mind goes into the direction of interpreting that something is missing in your life – because you are not in your native culture anymore, or weather you perceive that you have something extra in your life – because on top of the culture you are living in now, you also have the gems of your native culture to enjoy.

You can enjoy these gems as nostalgic, maybe a bit silly and exaggerated tales, similar to those that old people tell of the “Good Old Times” all around the world, or if you really get inspired, you can start an adventurous project of preparing something concrete. If I really get excited about experiencing “ruisleipä” and sharing this wonder with my French friends, I can buy rye flour and learn to prepare it myself. This way I can actually end up closer to “ruisleipä” than I was in Finland, where I never made it myself, but only bought it from the supermarket.