I. Winning the ice hockey world championship
Finland won the ice hockey world championship for the first time in 1995 and that moment has a special place in finnish person’s heart, if he/she was there to witness it. Since 1995, Finland has won the championship twice more.
For me the special one was the championship of 2011, because in 95 I was too young to understand. In 2011 I was 21 years old, so I could go out and enjoy the atmosphere where all the people are friends with each other, and most are really drunk and celebrating. It’s a magical feeling.
II. Winning the Eurovision 2006
Finland won the Eurovision song contest for the first (and probably the last) time in 2006. A heavy metal band called Lordi was representing Finland that year, and it is the first time a heavy metal band has won the contest.
Most finnish people didn’t like Lordi or didn’t take them seriously before that year’s Eurovision success. But finnish people are really happy when their small country and it’s efforts are noticed on the world, so after the victory, every finnish person celebrated it like the nation itself had won something.
III. “Winning” different titles like “the least unsuccesfull nation in the world” and “happiest nation in the world”
I think finnish people especially enjoy holding the title for being “least unsuccesfull”. Although that list wasn’t about which country is least unsuccesfull, but which one is most unsuccesull. Finland just happened to be on bottom of that list. It is somehow very finnish to call yourself “least unsuccesfull” instead of calling yourself “most succesfull”.
Finland has also placed #1 in some of the “happiest country in the world” rankings. Finnish people find this ranking wierd, they’d rather call themselves “least sad”.