Monthly Archives: August 2018

Finnishness

Finland, that great country where you can drink tap water because it’s one of the cleanest in the world. There are hundreds of reasons why to live in Finland but I’m going to tell you a few of them.

First of all, Finnish summer. What could be better than having a good time with your friends in your summer cottage when the sun shines and a grill is hot and you can smell how your steaks are getting ready to eat.

If you don’t have summer cottage or you don’t like that kind of things you can go to a music festival. There’s some festival in every weekend so it’s easy to find a festival that fits in your music taste.

One big thing that’s good in Finland is education. Education in Finland is free for kids and when you’re in a university you get money for studying! That’s why Finns want to get educated and because of that Finnish people are very smart.

I love Finland. You should too!

Crazy country in the north

Many people have written in this blog about us Finns being reserved, quiet and not so easy to approach. We don’t care much for small talk and blabbering, and we tend to be honest and straightforward. The image of Finns living in a cottage in the middle of a forest, fishing and enjoying the silence of nature is still living strong in people’s minds.

I would like to point out that this is not the only truth about us Finns. Thoug we from time to time need our own space, Finland is also the land of peculiar, extraordinary and unique events and gatherings.

First comes the sport. We are quite competitive in Finland, and we can make a sports competition of about anything. One of my favorites is the swamp soccer championships, that take place every summer. Basically this is about playing soccer in the swamp, there are over two thousand players and two hundred teams involved. At the same time is also held the swamp rock festival, and the spirit of the event is unbelievable.

And have you ever heard about the wife carrying championships? It’s a race where the male competitors carry the female competitors on their shoulder trough a track filled with obstacles. It has it’s roots in the 1800’s when it was apparently common practice to steal women from the neighbouring willages. There are over 80 teams attending this event, many of these foreign also.

Last but not least is of course the beer floating! It is an event where thousands of people float down the Vantaa river in all kinds of self-built or bought rafts and enjoy a beer or two. This event is the perfect example of the crazy and spontanious side of Finns. You come up with an idea, gather some friends and make it happen – in a few years it might have become a tradition for hundreds or even thousands of people!

You can find me on the lower right corner 😉

 

Loving Finnishness

I’m just finishing my one month holiday in Bali before my 4 month exchange in Seoul, South Korea. So..technically not following the task given (“before the take-off”) but because I kind of feel bad about it and I’m being honest about it – I guess I’m giving a great example about what is like to be a Finn.

Here are some things about finnishness and stuff that I appriciate (and miss) about Finland.

 

Honesty and straight forwardness  

Dont ask a Finn if you want the truth sugarcovered. Small talk about shallow topics don’t usually intrest people in Finland. If you ask a Finn prepare yourself for a truthfull answer – whether its about how they are doing in life or how you did your work. But on the other side –  if they give you a compliment they usually mean it.

Also as a person who has lost her wallets and bags and all kinds of stuff countless of times I know that Finns are trustworthy and always returning lost items to lost and found. Thank god for that!

 

Language

Finnish is a beautiful language with a lot of intresting words to play with. You can see this in a song lyrics. Most of the finnish songs are actually lyrically really witty, beautiful, poetic and have a lots of meanings.

Even most of the songs that are consired as “juntti” or “bogan” are actually brilliant. For excample Marraskuu – Miljoonasade (everyone go and listen to that NOW)

Ohi syyskuun                                                                      Through September
Läpi repaleisen lokakuun                                             Through tattered October
Kaipuun kaljakori kilisee                                              The crate of beer of Longingness tinkles
Yli taivaan                                                                            Across the sky
Päivät niinkuin varisparvi                                            Days like a group of crows
Raahautuu                                                                          Are being dragged

The crate of beer of Longigness. Amazing.

 

Drinking from the tab

Fresh cold water from a tab. What a lovely priviledge.

 

Sarcasm

Using and understanding sarcasm is one of my favourite things in a person. Finnish people have a great sense of humor that is mostly based on a sarcasm and making fun of things that go wrong in life. 

Using humour as a defence – definately finnishness.

 

Silence

Learn to enjoy it! Finns know how to. The best friends are recognised on a ability to be with someone silent and not getting uncomfortable while doing that.

What to love about Finnishness

I’m just finishing my one month holiday in Bali before my 4 month exchange in Seoul, South Korea. So..technically not following the task given (“before take off”) but because I kind of feel bad about it and I’m being honest about it – I guess I’m giving a great example about what is like to be a Finn.

Here are some things about finnishness and stuff that I appriciate (and miss) about Finland.

 

Honesty and straight forwardness  

Dont ask a Finn if you want the truth sugarcovered. Small talk about shallow topics don’t usually intrest people in Finland. If you ask a Finn prepare yourself for a truthfull answer – whether its about how they are doing in life or how you did your work. But on the other side –  if they give you a compliment they usually mean it.

Also as a person who has lost her wallets and bags and all kinds of stuff countless of times I know that Finns are trustworthy and always returning lost items to lost and found. Thank god for that!

 

Language

Finnish is a beautiful language with a lot of intresting words to play with. You can see this in a song lyrics. Most of the finnish songs are actually lyrically really witty, beautiful, poetic and have a lots of meanings.

Even most of the songs that are consired as “juntti” or “bogan” are actually brilliant. For excample Marraskuu – Miljoonasade (everyone go and listen to that NOW)

Ohi syyskuun                                                                      Through September
Läpi repaleisen lokakuun                                             Through tattered October
Kaipuun kaljakori kilisee                                              The crate of beer of Longingness tinkles
Yli taivaan                                                                            Across the sky
Päivät niinkuin varisparvi                                            Days like a group of crows
Raahautuu                                                                          Are being dragged

The crate of beer of Longigness. Amazing.

 

Drinking from the tab

Fresh cold water from a tab. What a lovely priviledge.

 

Sarcasm

Using and understanding sarcasm is one of my favourite things in a person. Finnish people have a great sense of humor that is mostly based on a sarcasm and making fun of things that go wrong in life. 

Using humour as a defence – definately finnishness.

 

Silence

Learn to enjoy it! Finns know how to. The best friends are recognised on a ability to be with someone silent and not getting uncomfortable while doing that.

I’m just finishing my one month holiday in Bali before my 4 month exchange in Seoul, South Korea. So..technically not following the task given (“before the take-off”) but because I kind of feel bad about it and I’m being honest about it – I guess I’m giving a great example about what is like to be a Finn.

Here are some things about finnishness and stuff that I appriciate (and miss) about Finland.

 

Honesty and straight forwardness  

Dont ask a Finn if you want the truth sugarcovered. Small talk about shallow topics don’t usually intrest people in Finland. If you ask a Finn prepare yourself for a truthfull answer – whether its about how they are doing in life or how you did your work. But on the other side –  if they give you a compliment they usually mean it.

Also as a person who has lost her wallets and bags and all kinds of stuff countless of times I know that Finns are trustworthy and always returning lost items to lost and found. Thank god for that!

 

Language

Finnish is a beautiful language with a lot of intresting words to play with. You can see this in a song lyrics. Most of the finnish songs are actually lyrically really witty, beautiful, poetic and have a lots of meanings.

Even most of the songs that are consired as “juntti” or “bogan” are actually brilliant. For excample Marraskuu – Miljoonasade (everyone go and listen to that NOW)

Ohi syyskuun                                                                      Through September
Läpi repaleisen lokakuun                                             Through tattered October
Kaipuun kaljakori kilisee                                              The crate of beer of Longingness tinkles
Yli taivaan                                                                            Across the sky
Päivät niinkuin varisparvi                                            Days like a group of crows
Raahautuu                                                                          Are being dragged

The crate of beer of Longigness. Amazing.

 

Drinking from the tab

Fresh cold water from a tab. What a lovely priviledge.

 

Sarcasm

Using and understanding sarcasm is one of my favourite things in a person. Finnish people have a great sense of humor that is mostly based on a sarcasm and making fun of things that go wrong in life. 

Using humour as a defence – definately finnishness.

 

Silence

Learn to enjoy it! Finns know how to. The best friends are recognised on a ability to be with someone silent and not getting uncomfortable while doing that.

Four seasons

We have four seasons in Finland, which are winter, spring, summer and autumn. For no reason, let’s start with spring. Spring is just a period when people are waiting for summer. In fact, Finns has this old proverb predicts the arrival of migratory birds as how close the summer is already. But there are also some more reliable things where you can notice that summer is coming. The nature becomes greener and you start to notice a little smile on people’s face. The weather is very varied in that time. Someday it’s 10 degrees and sun is shining and the next day it’s -5 degrees and winter has come back.

 

 

 

Oh summer! I think without the summer there wouldn’t even be Finnishness or at least it would be a way sadder concept. Because summer is the time when Finnish people can enjoy the thousand lakes and long holidays that we have. In fact, I believe that Finland is the only country in the world that has this one month when everything stops. Because in July almost everybody has their summer vacations. And our summer is too short so we must enjoy every second of it. Usually people spend time in their summer cottages and just enjoy the warm weather.

 

After summer comes a long cold and rainy autumn. That’s the time when Finnish people are spending a lot of time indoors reading books for example. And yes, autumn is also noticeable on people’s face. If you see a smiling Finn in a rainy autumn day, you should take picture of it. But when you see the fall colors, autumn isn’t that bad anymore.

 

The early winter isn’t so nice because there’s this slush time. But when the snow stays in the ground, winter starts officially. And then is time for winter sports. Skating, cross country and downhill skiing. In sunny winter day, people like also take long walks on the ice or in the woods. Usually they have packed lunch and hot chocolate in backpacks. There’s also this thing called hole in the ice. First you warm up in the sauna and then you dip or swim in freezing water and repeat it several times. Yeah crazy Finns.

 

Finnishing touch

What is Finnishness? Honesty? Shyness? Awkwardness of having to write a blog post for everybody at school to read? Kidding aside, it’s challenging to evaluate your own culture objectively. Awareness of clichéd national attributes can affect people’s behavior, and sometimes it’s the small unnoticed things that actually set us apart from other nations.

From personal experience I feel modesty is a characteristic Finnish trait, even to the point of unnecessary underappreciation of one’s abilities, and I feel like we would really benefit from resorting to just a little bluff at times. On the other hand, our tendency towards self-critique has brought us unbelievable success in some fields: think, for example, of the numerous world-renowned Finnish composers and orchestral conductors. Social equality plays a role as well, allowing talent from all social classes of our tiny population of a little over five million to receive the education they deserve.

Finns are said to be very honest and I like to think we really are that way, at least well above global average. Related to honesty, a certain level of bluntness also exists in our conversation culture, where beating around the bush can be considered rude and small talk may appear insincere. Besides that, Finnish appreciation of nature is admirable, and I love how in this day and age a flying squirrel can have the power to thwart major tramway construction plans in our country. That’s what I call taking everybody into account.

To celebrate Finnish nature and to conclude my little post, here’s a photo of the very pretty lake Vihnus near my home. This is a view I will miss.

Finnishness

Here is one thing that popped on my mind thinking about Finnishness. I think it’s one of the biggest differences between other countrys.

Finnish people are not the most social kind. If you don’t need to speak, why would you talk to stangers? That is one thing that I hate in Finns. But also thing that I can relate. When I travel, I like to talk to strangers everywhere, often I continue it in Finland. People always answears, hardest part is to start the conversation. I was visiting in Berlin last spring, in the metro people didn’t play with their smartphones or listen music with their headphones. People were watching others, but not a bad way, like curiously and kindly smiling. Everywhere we went, people came to talk with us. I was getting take-away coffee and talked with two strangers at the same time. It felt casual. After Berlin I thought that I would continue it in Finland, because it made me feel good.

In Finland I saw one lady with a fabulous jacket. I wanted to go compliment it to her, but because we were in Finland I had to collect some courage first. I watched her from a distance, slowly went towards her. I was already next to her and almost said it, but she turned her head and I just smiled to her. I thought that how ridiculous I was and then I just said it. She said thanks and that’s it. In Finland we don’t do this, compliment eachothers (except drunk ofc). “Was it sarcasm?” Or why did he said that. That’s sad.

Times when I can relate to this silentness and minding my own bussiness. After work or school I just want to spend some me-time. Listen music and not talk to strangers on the bus. No-one can always feel like talking to strangers.

What I love about Finland

I’m very proud of my home country and I like to live here. Our country is unique and beautiful. Finland is one of the safest country to live, we have free health care and our school system is also one of the best in the world and these are things that Finns are proud of. 

The most important thing for me in Finland is our nature. Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and forests. The air is fresh and clean which tempt Finns and also tourists in the nature. Finnish nature serves many opportunities and our four seasons are amazing. In winter we have snow and ice and the temperature may drop even over -20 degrees.  In winter our ski centers fill with skiers and ice rinks with ice skaters. In Winter you can go ice fishing and the most relaxing activity in winter is ice swimming.

Finnish spring and summer is full of light. It is funny to notice that just a few months ago you could walk on iced lake and now you swim and drive with jet ski on that same lake. I think in summer Finns truly wake up after a long and dark winter and become totally different people, relaxed and cheerful. In summer Finns like to spend time on summer cottages with their family and friends.

  

It is always a bit pity when the summer ends but luckily autumn in Finland is colourful and even if the weather isn’t that nice there is still something in the darken evenings. The best thing in the end of the summer are berries and mushrooms which you can find and pick up in forests. The best thing you can do with your own picked blueberries is delicious blueberry pie.

Another thing that I love in Finland is sauna. When the weather gets cold it is wonderful to heat up the sauna. Also in summer it is nice to heat yourself in sauna and dip to the lake to cool off. For Finns sauna is the place where to go relax and flush your worries away. Sauna is also only place where Finns forget their personal space and it is totally okay to go to sauna with strangers.

In Finland we are all in the same class

I want to tell you about this topic that I have been thinking lately. What separates Finland from many other countries? In Finland we all are in the same class. What I mean with that? Well I tell you.

In Finland we all are equal. The same is in many other countries too but in Finland we take it little bit more far. Like in the school classroom there is students and teacher but here we all work as a team for the goal. The teacher teaches and students learn but if maybe teacher says something that is wrong or there is many possible answers, students can say like: “Hey teacher, I think it should be this way” or something like that and the teacher is okay with that. And so it should go. Nobody is perfect here because we are all humans. But still this does not mean that students don’t  honor the teacher. Yes we do.

Other example of how we are in the same class is our president Sauli Niinistö. He reflects the entire Finnish people by his actions. Like in not so many countries the president calls to the popular radio program like any other ordinary citizen to ask about flowers and doesn’t even tell who he is. Or in not so many countries the president travels in low cost airlines tourist class when he has meeting with other countries leaders. etc. This shows really how we Finns are in our best. We have our own places and jobs and that’s it. Why the president should have his own over expensive jumbojet if there is scheduled flights to the same countries.

 

Finland was divided country for not so long time ago and there still lives people who has seen what it can cause at it’s worst if the people of nation turn against each other. I almost can say that it is good that we have gone throught that time because now we know that we don’t want it to happen again. We all need to remain as equal as possible.