All posts by Eetu Lehtonen

Finnishing touch

What is Finnishness? Honesty? Shyness? Awkwardness of having to write a blog post for everybody at school to read? Kidding aside, it’s challenging to evaluate your own culture objectively. Awareness of clichéd national attributes can affect people’s behavior, and sometimes it’s the small unnoticed things that actually set us apart from other nations.

From personal experience I feel modesty is a characteristic Finnish trait, even to the point of unnecessary underappreciation of one’s abilities, and I feel like we would really benefit from resorting to just a little bluff at times. On the other hand, our tendency towards self-critique has brought us unbelievable success in some fields: think, for example, of the numerous world-renowned Finnish composers and orchestral conductors. Social equality plays a role as well, allowing talent from all social classes of our tiny population of a little over five million to receive the education they deserve.

Finns are said to be very honest and I like to think we really are that way, at least well above global average. Related to honesty, a certain level of bluntness also exists in our conversation culture, where beating around the bush can be considered rude and small talk may appear insincere. Besides that, Finnish appreciation of nature is admirable, and I love how in this day and age a flying squirrel can have the power to thwart major tramway construction plans in our country. That’s what I call taking everybody into account.

To celebrate Finnish nature and to conclude my little post, here’s a photo of the very pretty lake Vihnus near my home. This is a view I will miss.