When I think about Finnishness the first thing that comes to my mind is the peacefulness. In our culture peacefulness is appreciated in many situtations. For example we don’t care about too crowded places or too loud people. We appreciate quietness and calmness. I think that’s the reason why we love summer cottages so much. There we can enjoy the beautiful nature in all peace.
In Finland I love our four seasons. The beginning of every season feels like a new start and I think there is something magical with the midnight sun and with the darkness in the winter time. It is just amazing how much the nature changes through the year and that is something I think I will miss during my exchange in Austria.
To me Finnish people are humble and honest. I think the honesty is one of our best characters. It is important for us that you can count on people around you. Humbleness has it’s upsides and downsides. I think sometimes it would benefit us to learn to appreciate our own work and knowledge.
I think one of the best known thing from our culture is the shyness and quietness of the Finnish people. Partly I agree with this stereotype. Still I think that although some of us might be quiet, we are still very polite. I enjoy talking with people and being social, but still from time to time I appreciate the chance just to be quiet.
I think the best way to get familiar with the Finnish culture is to read the comics called ”Finnish Nightmares”. The artist Karoliina Korhonen has been able to summarise the Finnish culture pretty well!
What finnishness means to me?
First thing that comes to my mind about Finland and finnishness is nature and its four seasons. My favourite seasons are spring and summer when everything blooms and people become more cheery. There is also lots of different events on summer and life feels carefree.
Every time I travel some place else, it is always pleasure to come back in Finland. We have fresh nordic air and there is small crime rate in Finland so it is safe to live in there. Also my family and friends lives there, so it is important place to be.
Second thing which comes on my mind about finnishness is sauna. It is perfect way to relax especially when you are spending your time in summer cottage or during cold winter. Most of the apartments in Finland are having a sauna too, so you can relax in your own place too. It is probably the most Finnish thing you can do.
Fazer and Salmiakki
Fazer is one of the largest corporations of Finnish food history. The most famous is probably Fazer blue milk chocolate, called “Fazerin sininen” in Finnish. It is one of my favourite candy to eat. Fazer is also known about different salmiakki products. There is also fazer cafe’s all around in Finland.
Finnish lifestyle varies depending on the time of the year. The seasonal changes can be seen in our behavior and in our habits. Many of our hobbies and eating habits varies depending on the current season. We are blessed to have four different seasons (at least for now) and they mainly control our flow of life. This post presents the different seasons and Finnish ways to spend them.
Autumn is all about getting back to the routines and schedules. Finns have returned from their vacations and are ready to start their normal daily rhythms. This can be seen from crowded gyms and public transports. Mostly Autumn is pretty hectic time and many Finns might feel themselves stressed after the Summer. Weather is getting more rainier and those bright nights are only a memory at this point. Some might feel a bit melancholic about the Summer being over. But still, many Finns also love Autumn because you can stay at home during your free-time without feeling bad about yourself for not doing anything. Roots, mushrooms, blueberries and apples are some of the most common seasonal ingredients used. Many Finns grow these themselves or picks them up from the near forest. These ingredients can also be found from many of the marketplaces or from local markets at reasonable price.
Winter is the time for different outdoor sports such as downhill skiing or just regular skiing, skating and ice fishing. Many Finns travel to the Northern Finland during their holiday to experience the different outdoor possibilities. I bet coffee is probably the most used commodity at this season because the evenings are so long and the mornings are dark. The “sun” rises around 8-9 am and sets around 5 pm. People staying in Finland are highly recommended to take extra D-vitamin during Winter time. All in all Winter in Finland is pretty amazing and offers something for everybody. If you like playing in outdoors when it’s -20 degrees, great, or if you’re the type of person that likes staying at home under the blankets- this is the perfect season for you.
Spring is the time when nature and people wake up after the long Winter. During Spring most Finns plan their summer activities and prepare themselves for Summer. Students are looking for internship and summer job places, companies are hiring new employees, people will prepare their summer cottages and book vacations. Spring in Finland goes fast, everyone is hyped about upcoming Summer and setting expectations for it. People start going out more and wearing less. Narcissus is the symbol of Spring. These flowers can be seen decorating many household’s kitchen table.
Ah the long waited Summer. Like I said earlier, we Finns set a lot of expectations for Summer. Summer is the time to spend time with friends, family and with different hobbies. Most Finns head to the cottages for summer and spend their vacation there. Some travel to countries where there’s actually warm to get proper tan. Some Finns take part in many of the festivals and celebrations that all most every city organizes. There’s something going on in every summer day. The most popular food ingredients are different berries and fruits and meats that you can grill: sausages, stakes, fish… anything mainly. Finnish Summer is truly time for celebration and relaxation.