Tag Archives: finnish language

Loving Finnishness

I’m just finishing my one month holiday in Bali before my 4 month exchange in Seoul, South Korea. So..technically not following the task given (“before the take-off”) but because I kind of feel bad about it and I’m being honest about it – I guess I’m giving a great example about what is like to be a Finn.

Here are some things about finnishness and stuff that I appriciate (and miss) about Finland.

 

Honesty and straight forwardness  

Dont ask a Finn if you want the truth sugarcovered. Small talk about shallow topics don’t usually intrest people in Finland. If you ask a Finn prepare yourself for a truthfull answer – whether its about how they are doing in life or how you did your work. But on the other side –  if they give you a compliment they usually mean it.

Also as a person who has lost her wallets and bags and all kinds of stuff countless of times I know that Finns are trustworthy and always returning lost items to lost and found. Thank god for that!

 

Language

Finnish is a beautiful language with a lot of intresting words to play with. You can see this in a song lyrics. Most of the finnish songs are actually lyrically really witty, beautiful, poetic and have a lots of meanings.

Even most of the songs that are consired as “juntti” or “bogan” are actually brilliant. For excample Marraskuu – Miljoonasade (everyone go and listen to that NOW)

Ohi syyskuun                                                                      Through September
Läpi repaleisen lokakuun                                             Through tattered October
Kaipuun kaljakori kilisee                                              The crate of beer of Longingness tinkles
Yli taivaan                                                                            Across the sky
Päivät niinkuin varisparvi                                            Days like a group of crows
Raahautuu                                                                          Are being dragged

The crate of beer of Longigness. Amazing.

 

Drinking from the tab

Fresh cold water from a tab. What a lovely priviledge.

 

Sarcasm

Using and understanding sarcasm is one of my favourite things in a person. Finnish people have a great sense of humor that is mostly based on a sarcasm and making fun of things that go wrong in life. 

Using humour as a defence – definately finnishness.

 

Silence

Learn to enjoy it! Finns know how to. The best friends are recognised on a ability to be with someone silent and not getting uncomfortable while doing that.

What to love about Finnishness

I’m just finishing my one month holiday in Bali before my 4 month exchange in Seoul, South Korea. So..technically not following the task given (“before take off”) but because I kind of feel bad about it and I’m being honest about it – I guess I’m giving a great example about what is like to be a Finn.

Here are some things about finnishness and stuff that I appriciate (and miss) about Finland.

 

Honesty and straight forwardness  

Dont ask a Finn if you want the truth sugarcovered. Small talk about shallow topics don’t usually intrest people in Finland. If you ask a Finn prepare yourself for a truthfull answer – whether its about how they are doing in life or how you did your work. But on the other side –  if they give you a compliment they usually mean it.

Also as a person who has lost her wallets and bags and all kinds of stuff countless of times I know that Finns are trustworthy and always returning lost items to lost and found. Thank god for that!

 

Language

Finnish is a beautiful language with a lot of intresting words to play with. You can see this in a song lyrics. Most of the finnish songs are actually lyrically really witty, beautiful, poetic and have a lots of meanings.

Even most of the songs that are consired as “juntti” or “bogan” are actually brilliant. For excample Marraskuu – Miljoonasade (everyone go and listen to that NOW)

Ohi syyskuun                                                                      Through September
Läpi repaleisen lokakuun                                             Through tattered October
Kaipuun kaljakori kilisee                                              The crate of beer of Longingness tinkles
Yli taivaan                                                                            Across the sky
Päivät niinkuin varisparvi                                            Days like a group of crows
Raahautuu                                                                          Are being dragged

The crate of beer of Longigness. Amazing.

 

Drinking from the tab

Fresh cold water from a tab. What a lovely priviledge.

 

Sarcasm

Using and understanding sarcasm is one of my favourite things in a person. Finnish people have a great sense of humor that is mostly based on a sarcasm and making fun of things that go wrong in life. 

Using humour as a defence – definately finnishness.

 

Silence

Learn to enjoy it! Finns know how to. The best friends are recognised on a ability to be with someone silent and not getting uncomfortable while doing that.

My home in Finland – where my story began

For me being a Finn is a weird concept. I can’t seem to relate to most of the stereotypes of Finnish people on a personal level. I am social and outgoing, I don’t mind people entering my personal space (if I know them), I am very affectionate and I am loud and giggly and I actually don’t like sauna that much. The stereotype of grumpy Finns who prefer to grunt in response and avoid interaction with other people whenever possible doesn’t seem to suit me. But I am still a Finn and it means other things to me as it is different for everyone. I guess belonging somewhere comes from yourself and what you believe it means and requires. In a way I am a Finn because I was born in Finland and lived here most of my life. But my times abroad and meeting international people have changed me as well as a person. So it’s not just about where you come from, it’s about who you are and want to be.

But enough of that philosophical blabbering, let’s get down to the things that I think make me a Finn.

Nature

Whether it is camping outside and gazing at the stars while roasting marshmallows or sausages on a campfire or skinny dipping in a lake and running back into a sauna on a clear summer night, nature has always been close to me. I grew up in the country side so I got to experience it on a whole new level. There’s nothing more calming to going into the forest on a clear snow day and just listening to the sound of nature while admiring the view that unfolds before you. Snowy landscape is one of my favorite sights to see and it holds the candle to the other wonders of the world. This part of Finnishness also holds the sports we get to do during winter time. Ice skating, skiing, sliding down the hill on a sleigh, all of these and many more would not be possible in many other places.

Food and drinks

There are quite many foods that you wouldn’t come across elsewhere or there might be something similar. I know these names won’t mean much to you but for example karjalanpiirakka, piparkakku, karjalanpaisti, mämmi (which is disgusting by the way) or salted liquorices. We Finns do love our salted liquorice, we put it into almost anything; ice cream, chocolate, alcohol etc. Salmari, the alcoholic drink, is good by the way. Which brings us to the drinking culture in Finland. In a lot of countries drinking is a social thing where as in Finland we can also just do “kalsarikännit” which basically means getting drunk in our underwear alone at home. That’s another thing we do, we get drunk. Sometimes might enjoy a glass or two when having food or going to sauna but if we go out we go all out. During the weekend around 4 am you can find Finns queuing up to a pizzeria or some snack kiosk with greasy food to get something to fill their alcohol infused bellies. And that’s when we actually talk to strangers even if they wouldn’t want you to.

 

Language

I can’t even count how many times I’ve enjoyed listening to foreigners trying to speak Finnish. I really appreciate the effort though and I congratulate you for trying since it’s definitely not the easiest language. Even Finns have trouble understanding each other depending which part of the country they come from. To many Finnish just sounds like a really long word since we do not tend to breathe in between while talking. We take a deep breath and let it all out in one go. No wonder we don’t talk much. If we don’t have anything to say why say anything at all. Words hold quite a lot of power and verbal agreements can be almost as binding as written ones. If you make a promise you are excepted to hold true to your words. But Finnish language can be quite funny once you learn it (if you learn it).

So I would proudly say, yes I am a Finn. But I am also me and that is so much more.

One of a kind Finland

Finland sure is a country and a nation never seen before. There are couple of things that make Finland special and pop out from the world map. These are some of the things I find the most finnish about Finland:

NATURE

I’m quite sure I’m not the only one when I want to talk about the beautiful nature that Finland has all around. Finland is the land of thousands of lakes and forests so wherever you go you can be certain that those two things can’t be too far away. There are four seasons in Finland (even though nowadays it’s sometimes hard to see it because of the unfortunate global warming). Winter, spring, summer and autumn are all different kinds of seasons in Finland and it can definitely be seen in the nature and in finnish people.

Winter is a unique time of the year when there’s lots of things and acitivities do. It divides finnish people into two categories – some love, some hate. During winter there’s snow and crispy cold climate. On the perfect winter days, the ground and trees are all white covered in powder snow and sun is still shining warmly even though it can get for example as cold as -30 degrees even in the south. When it comes to spring, all finnish people seem to crawl out of their holes that they have been hiding in the whole winter. Trees are starting to bloom and get greener every day and the climate is getting warmer. Never soon enough, summer comes and the whole Finland is praising the warm (krhm) weather, sun and not having to wear winter gear to keep warm. Finland is full of beautiful summercities and pretty much wherever you travel during summer in Finland, you will find beautiful landscapes and various activities to keep you busy. In the middle of summer the sun doesn’t set at all in Lapland, northern part of Finland. It never stops amazing me how incredibly light it is outside during summer, no matter what time it is, day or night. Around September the frightening fall is upon Finland. Just joking, it’s not THAT bad. Fall captures beautiful scenery when the trees are changing colors and the weather requires people to wear a light jacket and something else than flip flops. During November people seem to be a little down, and the energylevels are quite not the same as in the summertime. Luckily finnish people enjoy Christmas, and not too long from November that time is upon everyone. And all of a sudden we are back to winter and snow again!

LANGUAGE

The finnish language is quite special. It’s complicated and difficult to learn since there are no other languages that would even remotely remind or sound the same (except maybe estonian language, which isn’t really more common than finnish). Learning finnish requires patience and undivided will to learn it, because let me tell you, if there’s no desire, there’s also no results when it comes to finnish. There are many different meanings for specific words, letters are pronounced in ways that are not common in other languages such as the letter R, and there are like a billion forms for each word. However, it’s not impossible to learn finnish and if you end up learning it, that if something is an accomplishment and you can be pretty proud of yourself!

SAUNA

Sauna, sauna, sauna. Can it get more finnish than this? No. There are thousands or saunas in Finland and it is very common to have your own sauna at your house. It doesn’t matter whether it’s summer or winter, sauna is being used all year round. During winter sauna and  running to a pile of snow to make snowangels are the perfect combination. During summertime especially at cottages saunas are heated pretty much every day. Sauna and a dip in the lake is almost a requirement for cottage life. It seems like finnish people attach sauna to all the holidays and special or less special days that exist in Finland: Christmas morning sauna, midsummer sauna, saturday sauna and the list goes on.. What can I say, sauna is the answer to everything!

On top of these three things that I find the most finnish ever, there are lots of other things to be proud of in Finland. We value the health system in Finland, that is available for everyone and our free education has been listed as the best in the world. All these things need to be experienced to be able to actually know how amazing and FINNISH Finland really is!