Now that midsummer (Juhannus) is here and many of the Finns are heading to countryside to enjoy the long weekend with friends and families or to attend some festival around Finland it is quite acceptable time to think about Finnishness. Afterall midsummer is an important part of Finnishness and it is around the time when the days are the longest in here.
Midsummer in Finland usually might include watching a bonfire (kokko) and eating grilled food, going to sauna and having some alcoholic beverages. And not to forget that the night barely gets dark at all which allows Finns to enjoy the long bright day before the fall comes with long dark days.
Another way to spend midsummer in Finland is to attend one of the festivals around the country, especially for the younger people. Renting a cottage or staying in a tent with friends and to see live Finnish artists or bands to perform is a way to enjoy midsummer nevertheless the weather.
When first thinking about the word Finnishness it brings to my mind nature, lake, sauna and good Finnish food, such as rye bread, Fazer’s chocolate, liquorice, Karelian pasty and pea soup. A bright summer nights and dark, cold, snowy winter days. These are just the first things coming to my mind, which probably are very stereotypical.
A Finnish person is also big part of Finnishness. Describing a Finn would include a quiet, calm, honest, enjoying own personal space and not caring too much about small talk. Alcohol would be part of the picture too. I personally do not completely agree with the stereotypical Finn but there are some truth to it.