Tag Archives: Finnish

A quick glance at Finnishness

During my travels outside Finland I’ve observed foreigners reactions and behavior against Finns. When I’ve introduced myself as a Finn, the reactions have been positive every time. From this you can conclude that certain characteristics unite us Finns. I’ve noticed that Finns have a reputation of being trustworthy above all. One Yank I met didn’t even know exactly where Finland is, but still he had heard only good from us, and most importantly knew we weren’t Swedes.

Me and few of my friends put the Finnish reputation to the test during our road trip in Jordania when we agreed that at the first military checkpoint we speak English and don’t mention our nationality. The result was a full vehicle and passport check. At the next checkpoint me as driver shouted from the car window, in arabic, “Hello, we are from Finland” and without a doubt the soldier greeted with a smile and a thumbs up and let us be on our way without any further questions. At that time I really understood how superior our reputation is around the world, even in a poor city at middle of Jordanian desert.

Finnish reputation has spread over the Red Sea to Jordanian desert

Of course, Finnishness is much about preconceptions which are true in far too many occasions. For you who wants’ to get familiar with Finnish culture and blend in, here’s a small to-do list just for you:

– Learn to hide you feelings. Work your poker face daily.

– Get to know Finnish traditional delicacies like mämmi and salty liquorice. After that, offer them to any foreigner and laugh at their reactions.

– Watch highlight videos from Youtube of ice hockey World Championships from 1995 and 2011. Learn who Timo Jutila is and what “6-1” means.

– Learn to hate Swedes. Hate their language, friendliness and their trendy clothes. Hate also Finnish Swedes, they are almost as bad as Swedes. Or maybe even worse with their boats and accent.

– Never ever talk to a stranger if they don’t start the conversations. Just don’t. That’s definitely not Finnish.

– Be proud of everything related to Finland. But don’t show it to anyone.

Horrible day for a Finn

 

So here was a quick glance at Finnishness and what it means to be a Finn. Hope you enjoyed!

Being a Finnish abroad

While traveling long time abroad, not meeting any people from your homeland, makes you think why you feel togetherness with people who come from same area as you, even thought you are still strangers to each others? My opinion is that you can feel the same with anyone, from anywhere in the world, because of other reasons, like same kind of interests or past or anything..

But still there is something special when you can start to speak your own language after a long time, talk about recent news from Finland and maybe have common friends or special places back at home. I think for Finnish people specially this is important, because we are such a small country, foreign people don’t always know much about us, and meeting another Finnish far away might be sometimes really rare.

rauma
Street food in Vietnam. Made me feel homesick to my home town Rauma.

My favorite memory about this subject is, when I was travelling in South East Asia. At the time I had traveled for about 1,5 months, and meeting only one Finnish before this. So there I was, in Thailand, traveling from Koh Tao to Bangkok by ferry and night bus. When we got to bus, somehow there was me, two girls traveling together, and two guys, all at the back of bus. We chatted for a while, and when it got late we could say good night in Finnish. That felt really special and made me feel cozy in this really uncomfortable bus.

Some personality traits that I appreciate especially in Finns, are honesty, accuracy and keeping what they promise. Sometimes you can hear that Finnish people are shy, even rude for strangers. But I think it depends on you. If you smile to Finnish people, they will smile back, if you ask for help, they sure will help you.

lippis
Sometimes while travelling, you can find something really silly that only you can understand. Here is one good example I found from South Korea.