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Hello, Suomi! Working in Finland: Diarisoa Joëlle would like to create a space where people can eat and dance simultaneously

Diarisoa Joëlle was studying tourism in Madagascar, and wanted to get different perspective by living in a foreign country where English is spoken. She had several countries on her list, and Finland was one of them. She began researching information about the country and discovered that Finland has the best education system in the world, exceptional nature and culture. Initially, she moved to Finland as an au pair in 2022. After her au pair stay, she decided to continue her experience in Finland and found a job, and simultaneously looked for a school. She started studying at Perho, to become a travel assistant and she will continue with business studies next year.

The Finnish customers at the Veljekset restaurant, where she works currently provides her the opportunity to learn Finnish language. And also, she appreciates the variety of tasks and the chance to learn about the restaurant business. The staff is international, creating a multicultural work environ­ment and diversity.

The biggest challenge?

The immigration paperwork. Every year, I must think about applying for the next residence permit, and the uncertainty of a negative or positive response is stressful.

What do you hope for in the future?

I want to develop my skills in Finland and start my own business. My first goal is to promote my home country as a travel destination for Finns, showcasing the local cuisine and ingredients, like vanilla and cacao which are the best in the world. I also have a project with my friend aiming to create a space where people can eat and dance simultaneously in the studio.

Your favourite Madagascar dish?

I miss henakisoa sy ravitoto, which is cassava leaves with meat. Cassava is a root vegetable. You take the leaves, smash them, add coconut milk, and beef or pork. You can also cook it without meat for the vegan version.

The best feedback you’ve received?

I’m a quick learner and according to my boss and the customers I have a good sense of hospitality.

The strangest Finnish food or ingredient?

I find it strange that there’s usually no sauce in a salad and you have to add it separately. In Madagascar, we use lemon and olive oil, seasoning the salad with onion and garlic. On the other hand, mämmi is my guilty pleasure.

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

Diarisoa Joëlle

  • Restaurant helper
  • Workplace Veljekset restaurant, Sipoo
  • Born in Madagaskar

  • Tilaa Lehti

    Inspiraatiota ja hyötyä ruuan ja juoman ammattilaisille.

    Tilaa Aromi