It is not my first time living abroad, and before for me Finnishness has always been about food and nature. Main things I always miss are the dark bread, sauna and quiet forest. Maybe it is the fact that those things are also available here, I can find “hapankorppu”, “salmiakki” and “savulohi”, also in Germany. I can go to sauna, and the nature in the Alps offers me the quietness, calmness and fresh air I love. So, for the first time, these kinds of things are close to me.
Then what does it mean, this Finnishness now for me?
I have been learning German and struggling with genders of the words. We don’t have that in our language. Our language is equal in a very unique way. I know, it’s in many languages the genders, it’s always been like that and so on, I know, I don’t need a lecture about that.
It is just an insight, that we don’t have that, and I am very proud of it.
It makes many things easier, it makes our country also even more equal in my eyes. We don’t need to define anyone’s gender, workers, family members or friends. We are free from defining us because of the language requires us. We can be whatever we want to be.
Overall this freedom of speech we are having, freedom of being individuals and speak out. When living in Finland, we always talk about how we need to be more forward, be more politically open and so on, but trust me; we are very ahead, in many things! In how many countries could government be run by young women?
Our whole society is so advanced when it comes to digitalization, it phenomenal! Everything is smoothly working, after few clicks you can do most of the official things instead of queuing in various office buildings. Information about important things is available in many languages. And not to even start to talk about sustainable development, and the actions towards it. How our work life and study life is done, how we believe in open conversation, teachers and student are equal and we are being encouraged to think ourselves and to question the knowledge we get. There is no more old-fashioned stiff way to talk, addressing people with their titles and last names.
So for me Finnishness is state of open mind, creativity, equal mindset and freedom.