[The Owl] Berlin Index Vs Helsinki Indeksi

BY SIOBHAN ROBERTS

Berlin Index

German population in millions: 82.6
German per capita annual sausage consumption in kilograms: 4.5
German per capita annual meat consumption in kilograms: 29.2
Apropos sausage-inspired idiom: “Mit der Wurst nach dem Schinken werfen”—
“Throw the sausage after the bacon” (bacon being more valuable than sausage in Middle High German times, one sacrificed the lesser for the greater gain)
Existential sausage-inspired idiom: “Es geht um die Wurst”—“It’s all about the sausage” (harking back to the day when a sausage was nonetheless a lavish prize in folk festival games, such as “catch the sausage” or “fish for the sausage”)
Contradictory sausage-inspired idiom: “Es ist mir alles Wurst”—“It’s all sausage to me” (i.e., “It’s all the same to me. Don’t care.”)
Number of words in the German language: ~500,000
Number of words in the English language: ~1,000,000
Number of national newspapers in Germany: 8
Number of national newspapers in Canada: 2.5
Number of words in the Arabic language: ~12,000,000
Number of Syrians in Germany as of December 2016: 637,845
What the Syrian refugee Muhannad Quaiconie longed for most from back home: his books
Name of the first public Arabic library in Berlin, founded in 2017 by Quaiconie with the literary scholar Ines Kappert: Baynatna (“Between Us”)
Languages included in the library: Arabic, English, German (because, as Muhannad noted: “The library is for everybody—it’s an exchange of culture. We can learn from each other, it’s not just one side. If there’s such thing as integration, that’s it: you learn from me, I learn from you.”)
Number of books, from Mahmud Darwish to Shakespeare, in the collection so far: 3,000
Number of Arabic books in the collection so far: 2,200
Also on offer at Baynatna: salons, lectures, dance and theatre workshops, and classes for children and teens to develop Arabic, their mother tongue but at risk of being forgotten over the journey
Unexpected original location of the Baynatna library: 16th floor penthouse in Kreuzberg
Newfound location of Baynatna: the Central and State Library Berlin (Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin)
Unlikely location of the city’s most eerily enchanting art gallery: World War II air-raid shelter
Use of said bunker post World War II: warehouse for imported tropical fruit
from Cuba
Official state-owned company name of said bunker: “Fruit Vegetables Potatoes” Local nickname: “Banana Bunker”
Year the bunker was converted to “the hardest club in the world” with techno music and fetish parties: 1992
Number of visitors at the “Boros Collection” bunker since it opened in 2008: ~500,000
Number of by appointment only tours to date: ~20,000
How to visit the Boros bunker collection, Plan A: make a reservation months in advance
How to visit the Boros bunker collection, Plan B: pull strings via Pia
Best movie to watch while in Berlin: The Lives of Others by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Best book to read while in Berlin: Berlin Stories by Robert Walser
Best place to celebrate 100 years of Finnish Independence on December 6, 2017 while in Berlin: Kreuzberg house party
Best place to celebrate the onset of the dreaded winters in Berlin: Christmas markets
Number of Christmas markets in Berlin: 60
Fitting translation for Glühwein, the mulled red wine that makes wandering for hours around the Christmas markets magical: “glowing wine”
Regional delicacy for the morning after: currywurst, aka “processed sausage dressed up in Allied rations (American ketchup, British India curry powder)”
Best Berlin currywurst: Wittys (it’s organic!)
Most famous Berlin currywurst: Curry 36
Best place to detoxify, “with calm discussion in a heated environment”: FIT mobile sauna in a converted vintage Finnish fire truck (with fireworks)
Sausage-inspired moral of the story: “Alles hat ein Ende nur eine Wurst hat zwei’—“Everything has one end, only a sausage has two”—all good things come to an end, apart from sausages
How to say thank you in German: Danke!

Helsinki Indeksi

Finnish population in millions: 5.5
Finnish saunas in millions: 3+
Average number of saunas per household: 1
Consequence of the proliferation of private saunas: decline in public saunas circa mid-twentieth century
Average number of saunas per person per week: 1
Average number of saunas per prisoner per week: 1
Traditional sauna day: Saturday
Word for the waves of sauna steam: löyly
Phrase for that post sauna glow: “fresh from the sauna”
Hours one should cycle through Helsinki, jetlagged, in a refreshingly chilly April rain, before one’s first Finnish sauna: 3.5
What to do in between rounds of sauna: jump into the Baltic Sea
Among the first buildings to be erected by peacekeeper Finnish soldiers: sauna Hours required, according to a Second World War-era Finnish military field manual, for a battalion to build a sauna and bathe: 8
Date (BC) of the earliest version of sauna: 7000
Date of the first mention of sauna customs according to forefathers of the Finns, written by Nestor the Chronicler, telling of “hot wooden saunas in which bathers beat themselves with branches and finally pour cold water over themselves”: 1112 Number of months of winter in Finland: 10
Number of months of summer in Finland: 2
Typical sauna temperature in degrees Celsius: 60-110
Geographical area of Finland in square kilometres: 338,424
Number of people per kilometre: 17
Best social connector for Helsinki meetups: French expat in Berlin, Vincent Bozek Quintessential Finnish character trait: introversion
What traditionally goes down in sauna: sit naked and talk to strangers
What Finnish President Urho Kekkonen accomplished in the sauna: Cold War talks with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
Hour in the morning that the two men finally exited the Parliament House sauna: 5 Where President Kekkonen was born: in a smoke sauna
Traditional juncture of one’s first sauna: birth
Traditional juncture of one’s last sauna: death (washing of the body)
Historically what else happened in saunas: brew beer, wash laundry, cure ham Location of the Finnish Diplomatic Sauna Society: Washington, D.C. Rationale for saunas in every Finnish embassy: “Decisions and negotiations take less time in the high heat. Sauna cools down over-excitement and melts away political differences.” Sacred location of sacred sauna: Finnish Church, Rotherhithe, London
Depth in metres of the deepest sauna according to Guinness World Records: 1,410 Location of the deepest sauna: Pyhäsalmi Mine
Best place for sauna networking: International Sauna Congress
Number of saunas at the 2018 XVII International Sauna Congress in Sweden: 18 Country Sweden beat out to host the 2018 XVII International Sauna Congress: China Best resource for sauna history: International Sauna Archives
Best resource for sauna science: International Journal of Sauna Studies
Source of grants for sauna studies: Finnish Sauna Society, established 1937
Cause of death at the World Sauna Championships 2010: “sauna doping” Where one would not expect (erroneously) to find a sauna located: Ferris wheel What one would not expect (erroneously) to find a sauna built from: ice Number of Finnish ice breakers: 9
Number of German ice breakers: 1
Number of Russian ice breakers: 52
Number of Canadian ice breakers: 6
Country that is keen to build Canada more icebreakers: Finland
Date marking the revival of the public sauna: 2011
Sauna marking the revival of the public sauna: Sompasauna, an unlicensed self-serve 24/7 sauna made of waste materials in the midst of an abandoned Helsinki dockland-turned-construction site The City’s initial reaction to the Sompasauna “ghetto sauna”: tear it down The sauna team’s reaction the following spring: rebuild
The City’s ultimate reaction in 2016: give Sompasauna the “cultural act” of the year award Sompasauna sentiment of one Helsinkian: “Sompasauna condenses what Helsinki means to me — self-built community emanating from stiff Nordic-ness, with humor and justice for all.”
The only Finnish word that has spread into most foreign languages, including English and German: sauna
How to say thank you in Finnish: Kiitos!

Cancel