We had our yearly Kesäpäivät event in the beginning of August 🙂  This time the destination was Tampere (last year it was Hämeenlinna). More pictures in Photos

Here are few words written by our Chairman mister Benjamin Musuku:

African Polony at kesäpäivät

With a baby strapped on the back, a bundle of firewood balanced on the head, in one hand a water plastic container covered in wet brown sack and a small hoe in the other hand – a woman would emerge from the thick bushes in the evenings, with a man following behind a ‘stone throw away’ as he pushed his bicycle with three bags of charcoal, carefully fastened onto it with black rubber bands while an axe hungs on the back of his left shoulder. More often than not, the dog would be leading the way, however, the few times you would see the dog behind meant it was a very long day and they are all exhausted. This used to be a common sight in all villages in Zambia.

Another vivid hallmark of village life was the food, not surprising at all. Women in the village had an inborn skill to mesmerize the taste buds and leave one’s mouth watery after a uniquely tasty meal. Men were usually left imperturbable as they reclined on chairs under shady trees, shirtless with their tongue protruding and eyes ‘dimming out’ – such a sight meant only one thing, the woman had conquered with a cooking stick. Typical traditional meal would always be a meal from maize or cassava powder served with relish which would range from vegetables to insects, birds to meat – such good meals were always a reward for previous day’s hard work.

‘Chikanda’ also known as African Polony, is one delicacy that has lived beyond time and has spread to almost all social classes in Zambia. It is a vegetable and type of orchid known as wild edible orchid.  It takes special cookery skills to prepare it and a sixth sense to ‘feel’ the correct amounts of additives. Principally, Chikanda is prepared from mixing powered orchid and groundnuts, and hardened by addition of sparing amounts of ‘soda’ – sodium bicarbonate. The correct amounts of these portions is almost always a mistry and depends on unknown factors other than gut feeling – it needs an intuitive cookery skill.

This year’s Kesäpäivät was very special in every sense of it, and the food was at the center of it. Besides the goat meat and ‘vitumbuwa’, one of the favorite delicacies in Zambia referred to as African Polony and locally known as Chikanda was served – thanks to Ngosa Mumba. In no time the basket was emptied as everyone wanted to have a taste of it – the mild chill ignited the sensational captivating tasty feeling, forcing one to go for the second, third and even fourth round when no one was looking – evidently Ngosa nailed it! It brought fresh memories of village life in Zambia.

Among other things, FinZam aims at promoting Zambian culture in Finland and equally bringing awareness of Finnish culture among the Zambian community – food is at the center of every culture.