Tag Archives: people

Finnish culture: the people

People make the culture – so what are the Finns like? The myth of the withdrawn Finn is still alive and well inside Finland, and Finns, with their self-deprecating wit, will be the first to let foreigners in on it. An example of a Finnish joke explains it well: “An introverted Finn looks at his shoes when talking to you; an extroverted Finn looks at your shoes”. In certain ways, Finns are pretty peculiar people and we secretly enjoy conveying that image of ourselves, even if it weren’t always true.

Finland is a country where considerable weight is attached to the spoken word – words are chosen carefully and for the purpose of delivering a message. Indeed, there are very few other culture-specific considerations that visitors need to be aware of. Finns place great value on words, which is reflected in the tendency to say little and avoid “unnecessary” small talk.

We really enjoy our personal space and we only hug people we are close with. Not to mention kissing someone on the cheek, since that would probably require a few vodka shots. And about that – Finns are world-renowned for their fondness for drink. The Finnish people also have a very distinctive way of getting hammered, which often involves copious amounts of alcohol drunk very quickly.

 

Painting with a broad brush, Finns take pride in individualism, moving on their own early compared to most other Europeans, taking pride in working from an early age and taking care of themselves all the way from young adulthood to old age. Speaking one’s mind and being honest and dependable are culturally valued traits. And lastly, Finns are not inclined to compliment other people for nothing; so, if they say something positive about you, you should feel flattered!

Finnishness

Safety, nature and shy people are the first three things that come to my mind when I think about Finland and Finnishness. Finland has been listed several times to the top of the safest countries. The terrorism rate is low compared to many other European countries, and you can trust the police since it’s not corrupted. I have always felt really safe in Finland, even when I’m walking alone in the night-time.

Finnish nature is something I really appreciate. I love how we have four different seasons and they all can be really beautiful. Finnish summer is my favourite season even though it’s usually short. You can do a lot of different things during the warm summer, for example, we can enjoy the summer holidays at cottages, swim in pure lakes and can go berry-picking wherever we want to. Some people like to spend their time on terraces and drink beverages and some people like to drive around and explore our beautiful home country. Genuinely the people just seem happier in the summers.

                                  

The winter in usually also amazing. I love walking in snowy forests and ice skating on frozen lakes. I think it’s calming to wander in quiet forests and I love the sound when you are walking on the snow. Going to a hot sauna feels lovely after being outside in the cold for the whole day.

Stereotypical Finns can be described as very shy and calm people. We are usually work orientated and honest. Punctuality is also common along Finns and this is also appreciated abroad. Because we don’t like having small talk we can seem a bit anti-social. Finns want to have their own personal space and I personally dislike when people I don’t know come too close to me. For example when I was studying in France I never got used to the cheek kisses: I always felt awkward and didn’t know how to react. Finns are also known to be quiet and a bit shy.

I have never felt more Finnish than when I was living in Sweden a few years back. Even though the Swedish and Finnish cultures don’t differ that much from each other I was really aware of my Finnish background. Sometimes it can be hard to be the awkward and quiet Finn, but I’m always proud to say my home country is Finland.

The best of Finland!

I love browsing the world! That’s my hobby and I’ve been lucky to be able to travel a lot around the world. I love each continent and their cultural and nature’s diversities.

By traveling, I began to appreciate a lot of things in my country, Finland. Almost every time I find things that make me miss my home country; There just always seems to be things that simply are better in Finland.

 

I’ve put together all the things I have longed abroad and can be found in Finland. How would you like to live in the following country?

Finland is a country where you can enjoy all seasons and natural colours. Here is a unique beautiful nature, which is at the same time very peaceful and relaxing. There are no earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters in Finland.

In addition to the pure and safe nature, there is everywhere clean tap water (probably the best in the world) and you can easily find healthy food at the stores. Here you can find culinary delights and high-quality restaurants that represent every continent. The schools offer a free lunch, which is also healthy. Studying is free and for college studies, you get what financial aid you do not need to pay back afterward.

 

 

When talking about food, Finland has the best liquorice and rye bread in the world! And as a beer lover, I must mention that the microbrew scene in Finland is quite large and delicious.

This country is a welfare state with freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and there is no discrimination against minorities here as in many other countries. There is hardly any corruption in Finland, in addition to which security and safety are guaranteed. The official is also unbribable. Class differences are quite small compared to many other countries and almost all Finns are honest. All people have the same rights!

So here are a few things that I have longed while touring around the world…

Welcome to Finland! …which, unfortunately, is also more than the things mentioned above.

 

A Love Confession for Finland

In this post I’d like to raise some topics about Finland from the immigrant’s point of view. I moved to Finland about four years ago and I think that was absolutely right decision. It’s a long story, but when I decided to move, I had no idea about the Finnish culture, local language and so on. So, here are a few aspects about Finland, some things that are close to me:

The language
As I mentioned above, I did not know a thing about the Finnish language and when I first came here and heard the speech around – the first thougths were that Finnish sounds just like some Asian language – Japanese or something. All these Ä and Ö on the signboards were amusing and unusual to me. It actually felt like a language of the aliens from outer space.
Indeed, Finnish is like no other! It has almost nothing in common with the most languages. But I gotta say – it was surprisignly easy to learn. Most people claim that Finnish is extremely difficult, but my opinion is – yes, the words are unusual, but it the grammar is very logical and it doesn’t have genders, yay! All in all, the Finnish language is unique and beautiful, it’s soft and pleasant to the ear.

Of course it has its challenges, but I’m used to it and I like Finnish very much. I use it everyday at school and work and I’m happy to know such a rare language. In the picture on the left you can see one of my everyday struggles.

 

 

 

 


Quality of life and the opportunities

The locals may not always notice this, but Finland is one of the best places to live in the world. It also gives incredible opportunities for people living here of any age and occupation. I was surprised, and I still am, how this country is able to use and allocate the resources making it possible to help students, unemployed people, people with disabilities and so on, just as an example. It is felt that the environment for life is made for people considering their needs.
A culture of caring is felt in different spheres of life, in big things and the details.

This topic can be discussed endlessly, so let’s move on.

The people
They say Finns are shy and prefer not to talk –
I don’t agree at all! I believe that this is just a stereotype that the most people just keep repeating.
99% of Finns are friendly and talkative enough. I really like Finns – mostly they are positive, responsible, rational and punctual. I like their love of hockey and coffee. Since I moved, I started to watch the games and drinking coffee everyday – true story! The culture had a sighnificant influence on me and I don’t mind.

Conclusion
Everything is relative and gets to know by comparison. All these things I took from my experience, but I’m sure you’re going to agree with some of the points.

P.S.: Thank you for everything, Finland.

Picture sources:
https://fi.pinterest.com/pin/463941199090502106/?lp=true
https://www.meme-arsenal.com/create/meme/326086
http://finnishnightmares.blogspot.com