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Hello, Suomi! Working in Finland: Nepalese Smriti Gurung on waitress job, vitamins and mustamakkara

Smriti Gurung arrived in Finland September 2022 to do her computer science master’s program at the University of Eastern Finland Joensuu. Smriti is doing her studies online, so she is in fact living and working in Helsinki. Smriti used to work as a waitress in Nepal, so she decided to apply for a job in Bastard Burgers to avoid loneliness. She enjoys her work in customer service and thinks the international work community is like a big family.

The biggest challenge?

Oh my gosh, the weather. In Nepal it is never below zero degrees even in winter. It never snows either, so it has been my first time experiencing snow. At the beginning, it was also difficult with the darkness. Luckily my manager told me that I have to take vitamin D and C during winter months to get more energy. I was also worried about the language, but there is no reason for it because every Finnish person can speak English. Whenever I’m taking an order and I say, “I’m sorry I can’t speak Finnish,” they order in English. That is sweet.

The best thing at work?

The people. People at my workplace are friendly and they teach each other everything.
I had never worked at the cash register, but here on my first day, I did it because of them.

Your favorite Nepalese dish?

Thakali khana set which is a dish with basmati or jasmine rice, spinach, lettuce and pickles, fried potatoes, chicken curry and yogurt. The thing about Nepalese food is that it takes care of the nutrition we should get to our body. It is all about nutritional balance. Personally, I need rice every day for energy.

The best feedback you’ve received?

It comes from the customers when they are happy with the food. Whenever I hear good feedback, I go to the kitchen and share it with the kitchen staff. It gives good vibes for the whole team.

I bring to the work community…

I’m an extroverted person and I want to talk nicely with everyone. And of course, I want to do my work the best I can.

What is the strangest finnish food?

The blood sausage, mustamakkara, looked strange and sounded distasteful because there is blood involved. I tried it but did not like the texture because it is so gooey. I couldn’t eat more than two bites. I normally do not eat red meat but I tried reindeer meatballs with mashed potatoes and cowberry jam because it is so authentic. It was a strange combination, but it tasted surprisingly good.

FURTHER READING: Hello, Suomi! Working in Finland: Angola-born Teresa Kuango talks culture, customer service and… the strangest Finnish food

FURTHER READING: Hello, Suomi! Working in Finland: Malaysia-born chef Boo Niinivaara talks surprises, challenges, people

Smriti Gurung

  • Waitress
  • Workplace Bastard Burgers Helsinki
  • Born in Nepal

Mustamakkara translates into ”black sausage” in Finnish. CREDIT Jaakko Sandqvist

  • Tilaa Lehti

    Inspiraatiota ja hyötyä ruuan ja juoman ammattilaisille.

    Tilaa Aromi