What it means to me to be a Finn? Shortly, when I think about Finnishness, I think of sauna, fields, forests, pride, traditions and relationships. Since I’m from as countryside as anyone can be, all these things have become important to me.
Ever since I was little, I have enjoyed the nature. We have a forest right behind our home, and it’s owned by my dad. It’s our tradition to go and get a Christmas tree every year. Dad has already looked it up on fall and on Christmas we make time to get it together. It’s one of our family traditions that I cherish. The forest behind our home is so peaceful and quiet, so I think it’s the best way to relax and to ease all the stress that I might have. And it’s absolutely the best when I listen to some music and dance in the midst of mosses and sunshine.
Especially since I’ve moved to Tampere, in the middle of a busy city, I’ve started to appreciate the quiet and peace a lot more. And since I’m a traditional Finn, sometimes I need some quality time with my self, away with all the people and traffic. So, I strongly recommend going out and explore the forests! (Even though bears are one of my worst nightmares and I’m afraid I’ll encounter one someday…) The flat fields (in Southern Ostrobothnia, where I come from) are really beautiful, especially in the summer. If you go jogging, you might see a herd of cows on the both sides of the road. They really make a good company while jogging.
Finnish people has their own traditions compared to the other world. And especially in Southern Ostrobothnia. In the Easter, we gather up a bonfire to scare away all the witches. If you go for a drive in the evening, you can spot the bonfires almost everywhere. Usually the neighbours gather up at the bonfire, and maybe grill some sausages in the fire. I’ve always felt a special atmosphere at the bonfires. In other parts of Finland, the bonfire is gathered up in the midsummer. I’ve never been to a midsummer bonfire, but I bet that the atmosphere feels just as magical as in the easter. Because in general, I feel that me midsummer is one of the most magical nights in a year. When it’s basically bright all night, you stand in the middle of a field or sit in a rowing boat in the middle of a lake and you can’t hear a thing. No sign of any traffic, just the nature and you. That’s why I enjoy more spending midsummers at home or at someones cottage than at a festivals.
I come from this very small village. There we have a summer theatre every year. I’ve been a part of the play twice, and I absolutely love it. Other times I’ve been helping at the kiosk, and I have to go and see the play every year. I feel good when people come to see the play, some might even come from other side of Finland. I’m very proud that our village has something that special, and that it draws people to come by. I think that the play and our village is a good example of Finnish community; tight, warm, accepting and kind. Even if we might seem as introverts when abroad.
All in all, I’m more than proud to tell people in the world that I’m Finnish. We have achieved so much and are a good example to the world. It’s safe to live here and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
All of the photos in this post are taken by me, and all of them are taken from my home. 🙂