Finnishness

A lot of stereotypes are related to the Finnish culture and people living in it. Finns love sauna, salmiakki, getting drunk, lakes, personal space etc. We would have a lot to offer to foreigners and other countries as well but we are so modest in marketing ourselves. There are pure nature and music that are not as appreciated amongst us as it should be. When I’ve travelled abroad I’ve come to notice that people know a lot of Finnish bands, but they do not know they come from Finland. Tourism is a part that could be vastly improved, if skills existed, or the will. As we love our personal space, it could be we do not want to promote ourselves and want to stay on our own. Although the younger generation has been able to see the world as a smaller place, it has changed perception.

For me one of the most loved Finnish things is sauna, as to many others as well. Abroad it is one thing that I miss, to go to sauna whenever I want in my own home. This comes as a huge surprise to people coming from other countries, to tell them that there’s practically sauna in every house. Nudity related to this liked activity is a weird one too. Where we love our privacy, in sauna we can go naked and sit next to each other, whether with strangers, friends or family or whoever is with us.

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Sauna is best when connected to a lake environment. A cottage by water and most preferably including sauna just next to the coast, creates a perfect atmosphere. Finns are obsessed with weather conditions in general, but for me in this kind of moment, it really does not matter what kind of weather is occurring.

A sad part of Finnish, if we can say culture, is the problems caused by alcohol and prejudices. For some alcohol takes the violent person out of you, for some no amount is enough, so it causes various difficulties. Prejudices are not only restricted to immigrants and refugees but also to people who are different or in a leading role (whether in politics or business). Envy is one of the sins that’s amongst us in a strong way.

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Finland holds some special qualities and if only we could get rid off the downsides, I’d suggest everyone to join the country. Unfortunately this is not, nor will ever be the case. I’d love to show foreigners the magic of Finland, not the everyday life.

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