All posts by Katrin Väyrynen

What Finnishness means to me

To me, Finnishness has several different aspects to it. We are one of the most happiest countries of the world, yet we seem to complain about everything sometimes. We should reflect more on the positive things that living in Finland brings.

Finnishness to me, means being able to go to school from a very young age, receiving an education that is one of the best in the world and eat free, healthy and balanced lunches. And when we get older, we get those lunches for the price of a cup of coffee at a restaurant, while still getting the free education.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle kesä suomi
Finnish lake at summer time. Picture from pixabay.com

Finnishness also means to be able to wander around in nature, breathing clean air and swim in thousands of lakes. It means I can go to the woods, pick berries and mushrooms for free and later on enjoy them. It means I can sleep in a tent in national parks or wherever in peace and quiet.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle marjat
Local berries. Picture from Kotiliesi.fi

It means dark and rainy autumns, sipping tea and burning candles, enjoying it but still complaining. Also crispy cold winters, skiing down a fell in Lapland or dipping into a frozen lake straight form the sauna, complaining about it being cold but yet enjoying it. Springs and summers, longing for the sun to warm the air and then complaining of the heat. We are lucky though to be able to enjoy the four seasons as they are.

It also means going abroad and having to explain to taxi drivers and strangers that we in fact do not have polar bears and penguins, let alone live in igloos. It means feeling uncomfortable when having to ask for help or speak to strangers. We cherish are honest, cherish our privacy and try to avoid any unnecessary contact if possible, which can often be misunderstood as being rude. I think these things are very well interpreted by Finnish Nightmares. I personally often relate to them.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle lappi
Winter at its best. Picture from Lapinkansa.fi