Tag Archives: Finnish

My experience of Finnishness

Short Comparison of Turku and Tampere

Before describing my personal opinion about Finland, I would like to talk a bit about how it all for me. In the beginning, about 5 years ago, our whole family moved to Turku, from where we were given an opportunity to integrate into Finnish society by learning their language. To be honest, the learning was not easy, but luckily the process became possible for me time by time, by ending up with a fluent knowledge of such incredibly difficult language, and a lot of wonderful Finnish friends who are happy to talk with me in Finnish.

By spending plenty of time in Turku, as well I was sometimes visiting Tampere, which fascinated me equally each time I visited this place. First of all, my personal opinion is that the nature looks a lot more beautiful in Tampere, especially the place between two lakes “pispalanharju”. As well, for some reason I realised that there is more happenings in the centre, than in Turku, in addition the centre of the city looks quite bigger and more interesting!



To emphasise a bit more about this topic, I gathered couple of pictures taken by me during my stay in Tampere. Here you can see some of the moments that made me stand for a while and enjoy the happenings. Forests were always really beautiful to me, and it was absolutely difficult to find any kind of garbage around, which made me think that its one of the most cleanest countries in the world.

Of course I did realise that summers here are not really sunny, but I did enjoy winter many times, and actually once I found near supermarket a Finnish man who had an interesting method of transportation by using a carriage and these beautiful four huskies pulling him during the winter time in Tampere. If you ask me, I did not try that, but certainly would want to!

Nevertheless, I am satisfied that my Finnish friends showed me their activities during the winter season, which are mainly snowboarding/skiing and ice-skating. And as well to mention, I learned to ice-skate properly exactly from Finland!



Of course, one of the most important things in Finland is sauna! To be honest, I was really surprised when I realised that you can find a personal sauna almost in every Finnish apartment. This made me love Finland even more; I was literally almost every second day in  sauna!

At the same time, I realised that sauna is one of the methods for Finnish people to socialise, which is mostly supported by a friendly consumption of beer. And actually this is the only way how you can really talk with them about everything, just wait till they get drunk! 😀

As well about the sauna, here you can see a floating sauna. This is obviously one of inventions which only Finnish people can come up to!


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.

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.

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