Finnishness as a term is a combination of multiple variables, Finnishness is about being a small united nation in a vast world. Since Finland is rather small in terms of population and most people are of the same ethnicity we are very united regarding our way of thinking and manners. If one was to take two Finns from anywhere in the country and group them together there most probably wouldn’t be any difficulty in finding common ground. If you take a look at Finland today it’s hard to imagine this nation was in civil war 100 years ago. We are that united nowadays.
Finnishness is not only about being a Finn it’s also a state of mind. Adjectives tied to Finnishness include persistence, sulkiness, progressiveness, modesty and the most important of all: honesty.
Persistence: Finns don’t give up easily and prefer to finish what they have started. Finnish persistence in action (WARNING: video contains explicit language):
Sulkiness: Finns may appear sulky because we don’t do small-talk. Small-talk just isn’t a part of Finnish culture. Most of us don’t feel the need to participate in small-talk and we have no problem sitting in silence. People very rarely initiate conversations with strangers on public transports. Even though Finnish people might seem sulky compared to other nationalities that is most certainly not the case. Finns are actually very nice and warm people once you get to know them but compared to people from other cultures Finns are relatively quiet at first. However once one manages to befriend a Finn and gain their trust, they’ve got a loyal friend for life.
Progressiveness: Finland is one of the most progressive countries in the world in terms of human rights and technology. In Finland gender equality is the norm and it says in the law that nobody should be treated differently because of their sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity or gender. Also going green and recycling is considered to be cool in Finland.
Honesty: Finns are incredibly honest. They will tell you about the best deals instead of trying to get as much money out of you as possible. Finns are taught since childhood to strive to be honest and as a result most are.
Modesty (WARNING: explicit language and comedy content, please don’t take too seriously.):
We are very proud of our education system as well as our thousands of lakes and billions of trees. Other Finnish prides include our national ice hockey team and success in winter sports such as cross-country skiing. However whenever Finland has success in something or somebody says something positive about Finland, the Finnish modesty comes in. We always seem to have excuses for succeeding: “We were lucky.” “The conditions were in our favor.” etc.
Finland’s biggest pride, men’s national ice hockey team, in action: