When I think about Finland and Finnishness following words come to my mind; honesty, trustworthy and safe.
Finns are almost always described being honest. Honesty is greatly valued in Finland and it is expected from everyone. Finns are taught since childhood that lying is bad and being honest in any situation is the best way to go. Honesty is highly valued in any relationships, whether it is between friends or business partners. This makes Finns ideal to work with.
Being honest, makes Finns also trustworthy. If a Finn promises something, they will keep their promise. For example, if something needs to be delivered within two days, Finn will deliver it within two days. Finns expect that they can trust a person the same way the person can trust them. Trusting people is so common in Finland that we sometimes forget how lucky we are that we can trust other people’s promises.
Safety is a word that is associated a lot with Finland. Finland is known for being safe country to live in and Finns are proud of that. For example, in smaller towns people leave their front doors unlocked and trust that nobody tries to come inside. There are barely any situations where I did not feel safe in Finland. The importance of safety can also be seen in things like safety during plane or train rides, in amusement parks and during festivals or concerts. It might seem that Finland has strict regulations and rules but they are there to make sure that Finland stays safe.
Finnish mentality has been molded by the harsh nature, scarce population and the wars where we have been in the middle. Finnish people are in general more silent and extreverted compared to our southern neighbors. We have strong sense of whats right and whats wrong, we are honest but very considerate, which can lead to some problems with foreign people.
Nature has always been a major part in the Finnish lifestyle. Not many generations ago most people lived outside of cities. I feel as though the lives have changed in these few generations, we are still very close to the nature in general compared to larger countries.
One of the cornerstones of Finland is safety. The phenomenon where parents can’t let their kids play outside after dark because of fear is not a thing in Finland. Although we do have rather high homicide rates compared to other Nordic countries, the chances of random acts of violence are very low. This safety is rare in todays world, and we should cherish it.
One of my favorite things about finland is safety. Sure, there can be danger anywhere but generally speaking Finland is a very safe place to live in. For example, children can walk or take the bus to school on their own without parents having to worry. You also don’t have to worry about getting pickpocketed. Most likely if you lose your wallet or phone, you’ll get it back. Finnish people are generally speaking very honest and I think that has a lot to do with the safety of this country.
Compared to a lot of countries, Finland is amazingly clean. Not only the streets or public facilities, but the air in general. Even in the city the air feels so much cleaner than in many other cities. Of course there is nothing like the air in the countryside, which luckily we have a lot of. Finnish people are very proud of all the nature we have here, and for good reason. Finland is also known to be very eco-friendly and sets a great example to the rest of the world.
Mökki (summer cottage)
I’m not sure how common this is elsewhere in the world but it sure is very finnish. In addition to their own home, lots of people in Finland have a summer cottage. If not, they most likely have been to a friend’s cottage or rented one. Typically at Juhannus, people want to go get away from the city and go spend some time at their cottage. This will include grilling, going to the sauna and lighting up the midsummer bonfire.
Nature is rooted in every Finn. I love just how easy it is to go out to the nature and take a breath of fresh air. How you can escape the stress of everyday life to peace and quiet. How the forests and lakes shape the landscape and change with every season. I do think, that many Finns take their surroundings for granted. Still, one of the first things a Finn brags about their home country for any foreigners is definitely the beautiful nature.
Finns truly love to take a steam, which explains why there are over 3 million saunas in Finland. In the summer, we tent to go to sauna in our summer cottages and take a plunge in cold water afterwards. In the winter we go to sauna to warm ourselves after being outside in the cold. Some do warm their saunas every single day, some not so often. Sauna is a place for relaxation.
Finnish is often described as one of the hardest languages to learn. The fact, that there is no other nation, that speak Finnish as their mother tongue makes Finland pretty special. Whenever abroad, hearing Finnish will make you feel instantly confused, amused and weirdly safe all at the same time. Teaching basic Finnish words to your foreign friends makes you feel very proud of this special language.
Finland is one of the safest places in the world. Finns feel safe to walk alone outside or using public transport despite the hour. You can be pretty sure, that if you walk with your bag open, no one will try to steal your wallet or belongings and you can safely leave your laptop on the table in a cafe and leave to get a refill. Finns generally trust each other and know that the police is a municipality that can be trusted if something happens.