Celine reminisces about ending up in an unfamiliar country
Updated: Sep 15, 2023
How did you end up in Finland?
In 1989, I worked in Hong Kong with my sister and met a Scottish lady with a Finnish husband. They told us do we want to go to Finland. We were surprised and asked where Finland was. My sister said, why not. My boss was Scottish, and they were doing business between Finland and Hong kong. The Scottish lady is a model in Hong Kong. Then my sister came to Finland in 1991 while I was still in Hong Kong. After I finished my contract in Hong Kong, I came to Finland in 1992 as Aupair. We had the same employers, then I met a Finn, and we got married. I have two kids, and they are adults now. That is the way I came to Finland.
How are your Finnish language skills?
Not perfect, but I can manage. I have worked as a translator too.
What are some unforgettable moments of your life here?
When I arrived here, I took the bus to go to the church for the first time, and I could not find the catholic church. Therefore I used the same ticket for the whole day because I didn't know that the ticket was valid only for one hour. It was amusing when I learned that I did wrong, and I will never forget how much I laughed afterward.
What is the meaning of integration for you?
I think, of course, the integration for me is that I always learn new rules here. So I feel sad if I didn't know some rules and did not obey them; for example, in the bus ticket story, I was using the same ticket the whole day, and I didn't know I was doing something wrong.
How did you become a Salad Master?
Before becoming a Salad Master, I worked in Helsinki city center as a cleaner for 16 years. In 2008 I built my own company, and several of my relatives came to Finland to work with this company. Since then, my company is still ok and going on.
About the salad master: two ladies from Sweden demonstrated Salad Master for the first time to me. I was the first one they made the demo for in my home in Finland. Then I asked if I could invite my friends, they said it was ok. So that is how I got to know about it, and I was immediately amazed and liked this work.