Tag Archives: love for nature

What’s it like being a Finn – the most distinctive features which explain “Finnishness”

When someone comes up to me and asks me where I’m from, I automatically answer “I am from Finland. You know, the country up in the north. Near Sweden and Russia.” After hearing that, people often look at me slightly confused. I don’t look at all like a typical Finn. I am dark eyed, have dark brown hair and my skin is a warm caramel tone. I am half Finnish and half Sri Lankan. However, I have lived most of my life in Finland. I own a Finnish passport and I consider myself very much a Finn.

I consider myself a Finn, because I consider Finland as my home country. I have grown up with Finnish culture and I can find some very distinctive features and characteristics in me, that all Finn have. Those features are what makes Finns special.

   

Very often Finns are described as introvert and shy. However, I find this to be just a wrong interpretation of character. To me, Finns are original. We are genuine. As people, Finns are very modest and feel more comfortable not being the centre of attention. I can relate to that. I see quiet, modest Finns as people who respect others and who are truthful and honest about how they feel. I truly admire this trait about Finns and feel sad that we are often wrongly understood.

Another thing about Finns, that is very distinctive, is our sincere love for nature. In Finland we are surrounded by outstandingly beautiful forests and lakes. We all love going to the countryside and having our own private moments away from the cities and having to be with other people. Finns enjoy simplicity and also need private space, which is very often something I can understand myself, since I feel the need for it too. Finns find beauty in the smallest of things and respect nature. That is something very true to “Finnishness”.

Finnishness is appreciation of clear water and clean air. Loving the summery field landscapes while on a road trip. Longing for quiet moments in the woods. Missing the seasons change. Finnishness is longing for the warm rays of summer sunshine, as well as the refreshing feeling after a summer storm. Finnishness is loving the new snow that twinkles and blue moments during winter. Sitting by a warm fire, huggled up in a knit and a pair of wool socks. Enjoying the soft warmth of the sauna. Finnishness is loving warm rye bread, milk coffee and Fazer chocolate.

With all of the things listed above, I think one of the most important aspects of being a Finn is how well educated we all are. Also, Finnishness is knowing how to live in a country with a culture where everyone has equal rights and people are treated fairly.

 

Diary entries from Finland

Observations of a girl from the country of many trees, bilberries and lakes. Why are they so important to us anyway? There are some pictures, and real-life stories to prove why. Playing the lead in these tales – exclusively Finland.

Chapter 1 – Hiking in Lapland

What a long day of hiking! We’d been walking through thick forests and over barren fells for a few hours and been fascinated by still ponds, beautifully flowing streams and enchanting silence that can only be experienced in a remote place like this. Along the way there was a wood full of fallen trees. When I went to see those trees a bit closer, I realized that the ground was all blue – of berries! So, there I was, picking up those nutritious delicacies, concentrating on their beauty one at a time, knowing they would serve me as a snack, dessert and breakfast. There is something so liberating to be able to do all this for free, without time limitations or distractions any kind.

You feel such tranquillity and security when surrounded by strong spruce forests and still waters. Just before falling asleep, one might hear the call of an owl or a fish splashing, that’s all.

Chapter 2 – Always changing light

There is only one hour between these two pictures and look how much even short a time affects the scenery. During the darkest time of the year, which is around the last two months, it feels like you are living in a sack. It certainly acts as a nice counterbalance to the summer when the light literally never dies. It gave me such a warm feeling inside to see the sun that day of December – even though it didn’t want to stay for long and was distant and cold as ever. Yet what could be better than getting chilled in frosty weather and going inside after, getting wrapped in a fluffy, colossal blanket and enjoying a couple mugs of hot chocolate and tasty rye sandwiches.

Chapter 3 – Finland objectively

What makes Finland special, I wonder…

It must be our close bond with nature and how we utilize it from day to day. There is also certain beauty in our modest appreciation towards our surroundings. Anyone can go outdoors any time they want, and it is free and completely safe to pick up fresh food from the forest.

Finland is a great place for nature lovers because of its four seasons and diverse, clean environment, which enable a great variety of outdoor activities. A big part of Finnish magic is in the contrasts that can be experienced through four seasons – all having their specific features. Seeing the Northern Lights for the first time, oh that’s something!

Finnish people and their quietness yet strength of character, are like reflections of Finnish nature. The land is frozen eight months of the year, as are our minds prone to melancholy. Like the trees silently carry the heavy weight of snow, we work hard to maintain our privileged position as one of the most equal, educated and safest countries in the world.

<3 Laura