The freedom to roam – Everyman’s right
Finnish people live in the middle of forests, lakes and peatlands. Everyman’s right is an important part of Finnish lifestyle. Everyman’s right means that all people in Finland can freely walk in forests, pick mushrooms and berries, boat, camp temporarily and so forth. People don’t need a permission from the land owner and neither do people have to pay for anyone to do things that are everyman’s rights.
Of course, when you have rights you also have responsibilities. It is not allowed to harm nature, make fire without permission, litter, disturb animals or hunt without appropriate permissions, etc. I think that everyman’s rights are a very significant for Finns. These rights give us a feeling of freedom. Many people go to nature to relax. Also, many nature related sports are quite popular such as skiing, orienteering, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and many other. Everyman’s right makes Finns more equal because everyone has the same opportunity to enjoy our beautiful country.
Finland has 39 national parks. National parks encourage Finns and tourists to go to nature and enjoy the beautiful wilderness. Finns appreciate their own space and that is one of the reasons why we want to enjoy the nature in our own peace.
Festivals are a big phenomenon in Finland in summertime. In winter Finns like to keep to themselves, but when the summer finally arrives Finns gather together for all kinds of festivals. Many successful heavy metal bands come from Finland like Nightwish for example.
Iskelmä music is very popular, too. Mainly a bit older audience likes iskelmä hits and likes to dance tango, but also some young people like it. Finnish summer is filled with all kinds of music festivals and also several other festivals.
“If tar, liquor and sauna will not help the disease is fatal”.
Sauna is always mentioned when told about Finnish culture. Winters in Finland are rather cold and dark and saunas have provided us a hot place to warm up, have a bath, give birth and nurse sick people. There is this old Finnish saying about sauna’s healing powers: “If tar, liquor and sauna will not help the disease is fatal”. In some parts of Finland people have smoked meat in the sauna. Finns have even used sauna to get rid of evil spirits. Most Finns have their own sauna but public saunas are popular, too. Nowadays sauna is used mainly for bathing and relaxing, but still many people have a little sauna elf protecting their sauna.
(The pictures are taken by me.)