All posts by Aatos Ojansuu

Finnish is simple, the culture not the language

For foreign people it could seem like very difficult to get into the finnish culture and to talk with a group of people. That is more likely true but happens that is the over analysizing the characteristics of the culture, and ironically that’s actually very finnish! In the sense that if one starts to think too much what might finnish people think of them or where goes the line of their comfort zones, that’s quite impossible to figure out. I admite that finnish are very misterious and quiet people, but the need to be pushed towards a little bit, in the sense that just to hang out with them is allright and no questions asked – you don’t always have to be the person whos talking or ask many questions, that might make them anxious, no the silence or “just to be”.

I’ve been strongly noticing when foreign people who try to know finnish people are making it kind of too difficult for themselves. For many culture talking, asking, telling about oneself or own culture is normal, but a finnish maybe doesnt show him intrest for any of those things. That isn’t usually a degrading thing, but more like a finnish isn’t interested about talking those kind of things, because usually he’s not very keen about talking about himself neither. So small talk or a basic things that kind of are related to a moment are usually discussed in my opinion. When we are more drunk, then we will open up and are also more willing to hear more about you. You will get the idea fast 😀

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It’s good to remember that finnish doesn’t like a “show ups” or a person who is constantly leading the conversation with loud voice, no matter does the conversation focus on himself or the others. When drinking, the good starters are offering a friend a shot or some other not-beer and ask their opinion etc. Rarely they decline when you offer them something and even if they answer you just “good”, but if those are by the far the words words from him to you it means that his going to talk with you later.  And one important thing, if you get to know someone when he’s drunk and he doesn’t greet you after some time, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t remember you or doesn’t want to! Just courageously go to talk them even they dont pay an antention to you, they get used to you, I know that sounds bad and tough work 😛 and yes it’s, even for finnish ourselves, but after that it’s worth it and finnish people are usually very loyal and in many cases too friendly as a friend