All posts by Linda Sjöblom

Thoughts on Finnishness

Finnishness describes the culture and identity of Finns. It can mean a lot of things but there are a few that stand out to me. Here are a few points on these matters and what I think of them.

Honesty is a practice that I feel Finnish people master. Either way looking at it from a positive or a negative perspective. It can be seen in different aspects of a Finn’s everyday life and attitude. For example, if they have an appointment, they are on time. You can depend 100 % on what they say is honest. Also, they get straight to the point when talking and that’s why they don’t have the skill of small talk.

Practicing “every man’s right” by hiking in Lapland

On the other hand, the prospect of freedom is seen in few examples. When considering rights and laws for instance Finnish have the “every man’s right” which means we are allowed to roam freely in the forests. Then looking at it from a social perspective, in Finland you are free to be whatever you desire. No need to fit in a hierarchy system. Also, the social security helps with everyone being able to achieve their freedom by themselves and not being held down by their past or history.

Lastly the classic word connected to Finnishness, Sisu. It translates to e.g. resilience, bravery, and grit. It is something we have seen throughout history, say in wars and athletics, but also just in everyday life. You can also say it’s how Finns fight through the dark and cold winters including the polar nights.