My experiences of Finnishness

Being a Finn is so much more than just living in Finland and speaking Finnish as my native tongue. Travelling has opened my eyes to some of these specialities of Finns.

Shyness

Everyone knows that Finns might be a bit shy and quiet. (On the other hand, Finns are pretty talented at drinking alcohol and booze makes us seem more social.) Especially older people in Finland don’t mind the silence at all. I think I’m pretty social and talkative – when I’m here in Finland. When I travel abroad, it hits me how shy and awkward I actually am. I also need more personal space than people from another cultures. As a Finn I think a firm handshake is enough when greeting someone you just met. I guess kisses on the cheeks or hugging would scare me a bit too much and bring out all my awkwardness.

Finns might be shy but one thing I know is that we are also very proud of our country and our inventions, for example, Angry Birds and Nokia. We’re very committed to using those products since they’re Finnish. Even when Nokia was hitting the low point, Finns didn’t abandon Nokia. When Angry Birds became popular, every Finn had to play it. It isn’t that fun but it’s Finnish. On the other hand, our personal accomplishments mostly make us feel awkward. We’re humble.

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Angry Birds

Education in Finland is widely known to be good. Most Finns can speak also English and Swedish – not only Finnish. There’s also so much people who can also speak German or Russian etc. Our shyness just keeps us from using our skills. We’re too afraid of making mistakes. Questions like “What if I’ll spell that word wrong?” and “What if my pronunciation isn’t right?” are crossing our minds and make us really nervous. This is one reason why Finns are so shy.

Favorite things of Finnish people (food, countryside, sports and sauna)

Usually when people ask about Finnish food, we’re likely to say there’s nothing special in Finnish food. It isn’t spicy or anything extraordinary. Still, that’s our speciality – mostly healthy food preferably from our own garden. We want to hunt our own food or at least go fishing every once in a while. It makes us feel a bit more Finnish. Finns appreciate simple things. We also enjoy coffee, beer and barbeque. We like to have a good time with our families and friends, those simple gatherings with the closest people in our life make us really happy. Finns enjoy quality time spent with their loved ones instead of meaningless small talk.

Finns enjoy quiet environment and being on the countryside. That’s where most Finns spend their holidays – summer cottages are great venues for relaxing and gardening. The most important thing every Finn needs to have is sauna. We enjoy hanging out naked with a bunch of random people we’ve never met before. It’s funny how Finns can’t stand small talk but are fine with this.

One thing every Finn must love is ice hockey. Finns love watching ice hockey and when Finnish team wins, we celebrate, A LOT. The most important ice hockey game is always against Sweden and it really brings people together. Even if you don’t mind sports a lot, you have to watch the game. Football, basketball and floorball never reach the same hype as ice hockey in Finland. This could be linked to being committed to Finnish products and inventions.

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Ice hockey

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