Tradition worth breaking?

Susanna Hasenoerhl of Joice of Cooking shares why she broke a tradition at a patriotic Finnish celebration by swapping out sweet and sugary for fresh and fruity:

While traditions give us that great sense of belonging, some can be questioned as times are changing.

In my home country Finland, May 1st is a carnival that signals the end of the long winter (yep, it’s that far up north). A traditional beverage at this celebration is ‘sima’ – a home brewed mixture of water, sugar and raisins. As I was asked to prepare it for our community event in Singapore, I really had to think twice whether to honour it, or not.

Torn between a custom and my principles, I finally decided not to prepare it. Why?

A sugary drink may have been a rare treat in the past, but kids today are constantly bombarded with sweet(ened) offerings. And while folks in Scandinavia enjoy a ‘temperate’ climate, the hot weather in Singapore requires us to drink a lot – preferably water.

So my solution was to create a new habit: I prepared fruit & veggie infused water. And my younger daughter absolutely loved serving it to the other kids, who could safely drink any amounts of it while taking a break from running around the park.

As for a treat, there were many other options available. A fellow mum baked sort of doughnuts, which we enjoyed a lot – while keeping the sugar load somewhat in check.


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