I have always been a shy kid; although I am comfortable with talking one-one with another person, it just seems more and more difficult to communicate when there is a bigger group around me. And when I come to Finland, this seems to be my ultimate comfort zone. Privacy is something very valuable to Finns. No small talks with strangers, everyone is wrapped up in their own little world. That’s why I feel so relatable when reading “Finnish Nightmare” by Matti. Actually, nowadays I see young Finns are very active, and they acknowledge that being in this comfort zone is not a good way to make friends.
But besides this matter, I think there are a tons of Finnishness that I appreciate living here as an international students. The way people always say thanks, no matter if they are giving or receiving stuffs. This makes me feel very appreciated, for every single thing I do for anyone. Saying thanks is not something we say commonly in my home country, Vietnam. Often we just walk into the shop, buy something and leave. But after I return to Vietnam in my summer break, I said thank you a lot. And I think that would make someone’s day a bit brighter than usual. Finns are also very kind when it comes to helping others, even when they are someone you do not know. They always try their best to help you if they could, and doesn’t mind anything. When I was at the gym, trying to bench press and couldn’t lift it up, a very kind guy quickly came to help me spot the weight.
All of these Finnishness is why I feel like Finland is my ultimate comfort zone. But yet, I still chose to go exchange abroad and not staying here for whole 4 years. Because I think if I go and explore different cultures, I will appreciate the Finnishness even more. Or maybe, I will find another comfort zone, since my destination country will be Japan whose characteristic is very similar to Finns. But there is still a whole journey ahead, let’s see how it’ll go!