The truth about Finland and Finns

Finnish people are warm, open and honest, even though they might tell you the exact opposite. Us, as Finns, may see ourselves totally differently than other people. There’s a myth Finns are awkward and quiet people but if you’ve ever met a Finn, we are actually talkative and hospitable people.

But not all the things you have heard are a myth: we indeed value our personal space and love to sit naked with other people in a steamy, hot sauna. We are aware of this stereotypical image but we don’t take it too seriously. We actually are good of self-deprecating humor and we can laugh to ourselves. Finns are not big small talkers and quiet moments in conversations are not considered awkward. Silence merely means the person doesn’t have anything important to say. This means we, as Finns, are genuine and honest. There’s no necessity to fill gaps in conversation with chatter. This can be a good or a bad thing. Since we are very punctual, and want everything to make sense, we might come out as boring and serious. Even when World Happiness Repost announced that Finland is the happiest country in the world, we criticized the methodology of the study and questioned its conclusions. I guess we criticize it because we are modest and as a small nation, it is a bit overwhelming when our country is mentioned on the news around the world . We are aware of how powerful other countries are and how small ours is, so it might be hard to believe our country could be the best in something.

What I have always valued about Finland is the feeling of being safe. Finland is ridiculously safe. I’ve walked in the forest in the middle of nowhere at 3 a.m. and never had trouble or any reason to be frightened. You do read or hear about violence in the news, but it’s nowhere near as frequent as in the news in US or rest of Europe. I feel perfectly safe here, I consider myself lucky to live in such a trustworthy country, as I can be pretty naive myself. From my perspective, maybe one of the reason’s I feel so safe here is because of people and the nature.

In Finland, nature is never far away and Finns have a love connection with it. Getting away from civilization time to time is greatly valued, that’s why you can see many Finns walking in the woods, collecting their thoughts or spending time with their friends or family. The spring is an amazing time in Finland. After long and dark winter, it starts to get warmer and sunnier and this springtime is filled with smiling and easy-going people. Spring and summer is the time, when I think, Finns are happiest. The Finnish summer is so short that we want to enjoy it to the fullest. The amount of events from music festivals to local markets, the long summer nights and Midsummer gathering with your closest friends and family, is simply astounding and makes it the best time of the year for Finns. But winter is very much liked as well. There’s nothing better than relaxing at home drinking Glögi after being outside in the cold snow whole day.

As I have been traveling the world I have started to appreciate Finland even more. There’s many things that are good in here: equality, education, cleanliness and silence. As much as I love traveling around the world, it always feels good to come home. Finland is so calm and quiet which you can really appreciate after spending weeks or months in cities, where it is busy day and night, and full of people. Air in Finland is so fresh and you have the freedom to roam around the nature as much as you like. No wonder Finland and Finns are starting to get more popular around the world: we rock!

 

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