Monthly Archives: December 2019

My Finland

I’m Finnish. I have born and raised in Finland, and my roots go to deep in eastern Finland, me being “savolainen.” I come from the area where people speak more russian than english, you know when autumn has come by seeing ads of moose eating gatherings (“hirvipeijaiset”) and you actually have 4 full seasons in all their glory. 

Now I live in the city, what is big, but not too big. At Tampere we have this urban environment if someone needs it, but within 15 minutes you’ll find real forests and green areas to scout. 

Finland as an place can mean so many things for different people. For me it’s

Clean water (both in lakes and faucets)

Clean air

Green trees

Quiet and safe forests

Mostly harmless animals and insects

 

But it’s too

Good public transportation

Easy to access with prams

Safety when walking at the city

 

 

 

 

Finland is something old, something new, something borrowed and definitely something blue. We are kinda young country, so we have sponged of different cultures, but we still have our own old habits and traditions. You see that best when you visit the rural areas, versus cities. 

We finns are proud of our country, but modest of our personal selfs. We will look _every_ news where some foreigner country have noticed us, but if we are an expert with something and get a feedback of it personally, we will belittle ourselves.

We are proud of our traditions. We are fighting over that should schools Christmas celebrations stay on our churches, only because that has been a tradition. We eat pancake with the pea soup on thursdays, and if you take the pancake without a soup, that just isn’t right. 

Being a finn abroad is also fighting stereotypes. All of us don’t like salmiakki. (I do but many I know don’t). All of us don’t like sauna (not me, I love it). All of us are not good at school. We don’t have polar bears and actually we have kinda small amount of snow these days, at the cities at least. Not all of us are introvert, and not all of us hate smalltalk. 

But we are honest, and we mean what we say. If a finn asks you “How are you”, they really want to know how you are feeling. If finn says “I love you”, you are one of their top persons or even their number 1. 

We have really high sense of justice. People here are basically at the same line, not depending of your income or social status. Money gives you extra, but the state takes care of the poor ones. 

I feel lucky to live in Finland. Here I feel safe, in the city and in the nature. Here I feel like I can trust to people and trust my state to keep care of me. We have things to fix, but compared to other places, our things are pretty well in here.

Finnishness


How would I describe my lovely home country Finland to someone from abroad? First I’d probably confirm some of their prejudices: yes, it is very cold. Yes, people don’t talk much and sometimes can even seem rude. After this I would also deny some of the prejudices like “you have polar bears in Finland right?” and “you are always drinking tons of alcohol”. Not everything you read on the internet is true….

About the winters: yes they are actually cold, dark and long and I probably wouldn’t recommend visiting Finland between november and march or at least not the eastern part as the eastern parts might not even have snow. But there are some good things about the cold winters like going to sauna few times a week to warm up. Finnish people are well known sauna fanatics and I can say I’m one of those people who are crazy about going to the sauna. Sauna is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the warmth and even have a conversation with a stranger.
What’s better than going to the sauna? Ice swimming and then going to the sauna obviously. Ice swimming has gained lot of popularity during the past few years and new ice swimming spots are opening up.

So what about the summer then? Well, usually it’s really nice. Sun is shining non-stop and even the finns start to smile and even talk to strangers! Temperatures don’t go that high but sometimes they do and then everybody literally runs to the beaches to enjoy the warmth. Only downside of summer is the fact that it’s so short. So better enjoy every day of summer before it’s cold again.

Finnishness

” Finnish people are warm, open and sincere, even though they might tell you the exact opposite. ”

People from abroad tells us that it’s hard to get to know a Finn, because we’re so quiet and have a wall to protect us. I would consider it’s true, but there’s a reason for it. Let’s start with the small talk. We don’t do that, expect about the weather, that’s what we love to talk about. So that might be the first thought of Finns being a shy human.

      Usually in groups, Finn is the one who’s being polite and waiting for his/hers time to talk, but in international groups, that usually never happens. Because us Finns, we consider talking on top of another all the time, is rude. And I agree.

The wall infront us, it’s there but not everyone has it so up high as some Finns. I would consider the wall being our protector of people we yet to trust. After spending time with each other the wall usually gets broken a bit by bit and after that you’re really getting to know the warm and chatty Finn.

No other to say than, when you’re friends with a Finn, the friendship is real and loyal and we expect a total trust between that..