Tag Archives: seasons

Finnish nature

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Finland is the beautiful nature we have. In Finland we have all four seasons summer, autumn, winter and spring. Summers aren’t that warm here in Finland. During the summer Finns visit their summer cottages, barbeques and enjoy life. In Finland we have so called “yötön yö” which means that sun doesn’t set at all.

Autumn is very beautiful in Finland. Trees turn to red and yellow. It is time to go mushrooming and picking up apples. Autumn is also perfect time to go hikinng.

In Finland we get lots of snow during the winter (at least in the north). Winter is cold and dark. In wintertime we have so called “kaamos” which means that sun doesn’t rise at all. It is the opposite to the “yötön yö” that we have in the summer. We have a lot of winter activities such as skiing, ice-hockey, snowboarding and etc. One very Finnish thing to do in the winter is to go swimming into the frozen lake/river. Finns drill hole into the ice and dips in. It is common to go to sauna to warm up afterwards.

When the spring comes people are very happy, because cold and dark winter is behind us and the summer is coming!

Finnishness for me

Finland… What a great country. Finns are little bit shy or introverts but we are also loyal and kind. Sometimes even funny! In three points I will tell you little more of Finland’s nature and important stuff.

 

Sauna

In Finland, we have this thing called Sauna. Sauna has room for two or even twenty people. There are hot stones on top of which water is thrown and it will warm you up. Finnish people are usually shy and maybe even inward but in sauna, everybody are friends with each other! In many familys, women and men goes to sauna together and naked. Yes, naked. And the best part is, we love to “beat” each other with the birch twigs. Then ofcourse have to go to swim in the lake! We take turns who is in the sauna and who is swimming.

 

 

Berries

Nowadays it’s cool to eat “superfood” all over the world. The more vitamins and trace elements there are, the more cooler it is. People pay for this staff. A lot. People buy for example goji berries, chia seed, tried buckthorns or other berries. They can but it from abroads or order online. But in Finland we have these kind of superfood in forests as much as you can it! Many Finns collect different kinds of berries for winter. There are strawberries, blueberries, buckthorns, lacquer, raspberrys and goodeberry. They mature at a slightly different time so there is always a good time to go to forest. Did you know that in lacquer has more C-vitamin than an orange?

 

 

 

 

Seasons

In Finland we have four season; summer, autumn, winter and spring. I like them all! I love that seasons change. Every season has their own special thing. The springtime nature comes out of bloom. Everywhere is so pretty, snow melts and the sun shines more day By day. Autumn leaves are beautiful in color and you can start burning candles (I’ll burn them all year round though). The best part of winter is definitely sledding hill! Then the summer… What can I say? It’s short. Every time. Every summer I plan to do this and that and then in August I realise that I’ve done nothing. But maybe next year…

 

 

 

Finnishness

Finland is the land of thousand lakes, but who are the habitants known as Finns and what is the typical Finnishness ? I’m giving you the answer from my point of view:)

Four seasons

No, I’m not talking about the luxury hotels when I say four seasons. I’m talking about Finlands’ one of the special things; spring, summer, autumn and winter, which together compose “four seasons”. Special about this phenomena is that every season has its own character and positive side.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle suomen ruska

Finlands winter is the longest, coldest and darkest of the seasons, but it also has positive sides. Myself, as maybe many of other finns think that if there is not snow in the winter and especially at Christmas, then it’s no real winter and Christmas time. In winter the white, sparkling snow and the January sun is great experience. Spring is knocking on the door already!

Spring is the time, when finns are “waking up” and smiling behind their sunglasses. In winter you don’t see so many people hanging on the streets because its so cold, but spring is encouraging people outside. You know it’s spring, when you smell fresh grass, see the first coltsfoot and can take of your jacket.

Timo
            Veijalainen

Finns appreciate the summer a lot, because they have waited it almost nine months to come again. Finns like their summer hot, but not too hot because then the weather is too stifling for the people who has cool weather most time of the year.  Finns enjoy the summer with full hearted, because they don’t experience it too often.

After short and hopefully warm summer it comes autumn, which makes the trees to bath in colours. Leaves paint themselves from green to yellow and finally to bright red. I think this is with summer the most beautiful season. In autumn the finns starts to welcome the winter by wearing woolsocks and lighting up candles.

 

Sauna

Sauna belongs to finnish culture and finns belong to sauna. In Finland the winter is long so we need something to warm us up and sauna does the trick. Sauna is still needed also in summer and quite many finns have own sauna at their summer cottage, next to the lake of course. The best feeling is to run to the refreshing lake from hot sauna.

Finns think that the sauna is a place to relaxation, silence or a long, deep chat. For finns the nudity in sauna is very natural and even a group of unknown finns together in sauna is not suprising anyone.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle suomalainen sauna

Finnish sauna speciality is a “saunavihta”, that is made of birch branches. We use saunavihta to hit each others backs to improve the blood circulation. Birch leaves also give a good smell to sauna.

 

Finnish personality

I think finns are a bit quiet and introverted especially when they meet new people but they still enjoy exploring new cultures and meeting new people. Finns just don’t want to make a “scene” of themselves and they rather observe first and they warm up a bit by bit.  Even though finns are quiet, they are very helpful and friendly also for the unknown if they ask for help or wnat to chat. Usually finns don’t start the conversation with unknown people, but they answer when asked. Some finns are flattered the given attention but some try to stay concise.

Finns are usually hard working people, very consicientious and quite self-critical. They always want to do their best. Finns are also cultural people now a days; they know what happens in the world outside of Finland, are interested of other cultures and english skills are mainly fluent. Finns hear english from tv all the time and at school english is taught well from third grade.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle avuliaisuus

I think finns have good skills at serving a client and maybe this is because education highlights the interaction between customer and servant. Good customer service is shown at shops, health care and between people when they interact with each other. We finns don’t show our real nature at first  or not even the second, but when we do, we are worth of getting to know for!

For me the word Finnishness crystallizes in the four seasons. Finland wouldn’t be Finland without the seasons. They bring out the different sides of the Finns and their character, the nature and the culture.

Winter

IMG_6959When a Finn thinks about a winter, he often imagines an idyllic landscape with snow and frost. We remember that when we were children we could go skating, skiing and snow sliding the whole winter time but that doesn’t necessarily hold true. Especially nowadays the snowy winter is guaranteed only in the middle Finland and in Lapland.

In southern Finland there’s often frost but only a little snow. If it’s snowing heavily it probably also melts quit quickly. The temperatures range between degrees below and above zero and it’s also raining so the roads are very slippery. What we do? We complain about the weather and wish for snow and frost, like in the old days. And then it snows and gets cold (under -20 °C). And what we do? We complain because the cars stuck in the snow and it’s too cold to go jogging outside.

Some Finns living in the southern areas like snow when they want to go out for winter sports or when they wish for white Christmas. In the everyday life it just causes too much trouble. Many people living in the northern parts are so used to the snow that they don’t waste their time complaining about it.

WP_20150207_005The middle winter is quite dark in the whole Finland. The real polar night (the sun doesn’t rise at all) can be seen only in Lapland but the daylight is also quite short in the southern Finland. In addition to that there isn’t necessary snow in the South what makes the view even darker. The weather in the middle winter is often also quite cloudy.

 

 

The cold and dark days have had an influence to our WP_20170121_003culture and customs, too. In the winter the Finns spend more time indoors. We live our everyday life, children go to school, adults go to work. We also celebrate our Independence Day and Christmas quite peacefully. Some may, however, have more hilarious pre-Christmas or New Year’s Eve parties.

The late winter is often the best time for winter sports. Then the days are brighter and warmer and sun is shining more often.

Spring

20070505_0086When the summer is coming and snow is melting the nature wakes up and so does the Finns, too.  We make plans for the IMG-20150316-WA0002summer and enjoy the sunny spring days. Many Finns like to spend time doing garden work or walking in the woods and spotting the first spring flowers. In the spring many pupils and students also have a final stretch at school because the summer holidays often begin already at the end of May.

Summer

In the summer Finns are often more relaxed, spontaneous and cheerful. That may be due to the summer holidays. There’s of course many ways to spend a summer holiday. Some people want to stay in a town. They can go to a café or restaurant and e20080523_0048at at the terrace. Or walk on the town, listen to the busker and go to a park to read a book and sun themselves. Many music festivals gather people around Finland to the towns to enjoy music and the festival atmosphere.

One way to spend a summer holiday is to drive around with a caravan or a motor home. There’s a few caravanners who spend all of their free time on the road but many Finns also hire a caravan and make a one week trip to view Lapland or visit relatives for example. Or instead of a car some Finns choose a motor bike for their road trips.

But certainly one of the most popular things in IMG-20140813-WA0003summer is to go to a summer cottage. Especially many Finns want to spend the “juhannus” in a summer cottage. It’s a midsummer fest and also the day of the Finnish flag.

2014-06-27-287In many summer cottages it isn’t possible to use electricity, running water or indoor toilet. But nowadays the ever growing part of the “cottages” has the similar equipment as the primary homes and they can be used year-round. A lakeside view is a very important thing for many cottagers. In a summer cottage Finns want to enjoy the silence, peace and nature. Some just want to relax, swim and take a sauna, some want to work in the garden. Physical work outside can be a good counterbalance to indoor office work for example.

In the summer there are hundreds and hundreds of different events around Finland. Every weekend there’s something going on. Many little villages seem to be death silent in the winter but in the summer they all have their own little summer festivals. There’s many summer theatres with non-professional actors and actresses. Finns also have many crazy competitions like wife-carrying, rubber boot throwing and swamp soccer.

Autumn

IMG_0538In Finland the autumn is a time for a new start, like IMG-20141016-WA0008probably in many other countries, too. The schools begin after the summer holidays and many children and young people start at a new school with new classmates. Also many adults return to the everyday life and routines. Many social clubs reassemble after the summer break.

20070722_0035

The autumn and late summer is the harvest time for home gardeners. The forests are also full of different kind of berries and mushrooms. In Finland it’s a public right of access to pick them up free of charge.  The IMG_0563public rights of access include also for example swimming, hiking and angling almost anywhere. Of course it isn’t allowed to disrupt others or cause damage to forest or fields.WP_20151015_012

In the autumn when the evenings get darker and the weather get colder it’s again time to prepare yourself for the winter and light some candles.

 

 

 

I hate to generalize. I can’t imagine any characteristic or custom that all the Finns would have in common. Every Finn is an individual and they have a different culture depending on their background and the area where they live. But we all share the seasons. We don’t live in the same way year-round, the seasons influence our lives one way or another.

What are Finns like?

Most of the people, even Finns, think that we are a introvert population. But really we are kind, hospitable, we enjoy other peoples company and laugh together.  http://www.visitfinland.com/article/what-are-the-finns-like/

But also, every now and then, we Finns need our own space and some alone-time. We might be shy people who don’t like or know how to “small talk”, at least some of us. I think the Finnish Nightmares -comic sums up the finnish mentality pretty accurately.  http://finnishnightmares.blogspot.fi/

finns

finns_bus

One thing is for sure that Finns love our home country and we are very proud of it. For example, the main thing we are proud of is nature. We have four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter (at least we used to have (thanks to global warming)).. http://www.visitfinland.com/article/greatest-things-about-finland/

And then there is the finnish traditional food, many different options, so good! http://www.visitfinland.com/article/iconic-finnish-foods-of-all-time/ Looks delicious, doesn’t it?!

One more thing I believe everyone links to Finland is the sauna. Ask any Finn, one best thing’s we know in Finland is a warm and bright summernight, calm lake, a cold beer or a soda and a warm sauna. And talking about shyness, for Finns being naked side by side each other in the sauna is a very normal thing, meanwhile for foreigners that might be the weirdest thing ever.

kesäyö

Wild Wild Finland

 

To me, the meaning of being a Finn and also the term “Finnishness” are both all about being a part of the nature of Finland. I am still young but I have already travelled quite a lot and I have also been working as an international tutor. Interactions with foreigners have taught me that the image of a finnish person variates quite much. You can compare the personality of a Finn to the climate of Finland; There is a great contrast – cold winters VS. fairly warm summers, calm and rational VS. straightforward and hot blooded.  Naturally it depends on the fact have you personally met a Finn or not. A stereotypical Finn is someone who enjoys one’s own personal space and doesn’t care to talk that much. And is a drinker and very passionate when it comes to ice hockey. People are often rather shocked when they see that a Finn can actually form long sentences. The finnish language is difficult, now that is a fact. It is sad but true that finnish folk as tourists can be real thorns in the flesh; they’re loud, arrogant and very much drunk. However, usually harmless, just annoying. So no wonder why some think that the whole nation is the same (thanks guys, geez). Actually we are melancholic and just trying to hide our insecurities. Maybe. I do not honestly know.

However, Finland is an easy country to visit since we don’t have any special customs or manners that visitor could screw up. In other words, we don’t care as long as you don’t violate the public order and break the law. Finns have a strong sense of national identity because of the country’s history but they do not expect foreigners to know a lot about the country. We are still quite isolated, aren’t we?..

huipulla

(look me, hey there peeps)

 

Let’s get down to business~ (did you get the reference huh huh).

My favourite thing about Finland.

Seasons.

I want to think that those are part of this “Finnishness” since all the countries do not have so much diversity during one year. The summer might not be endless in Finland, but there are almost endless summer days and white summer nights. On a fine summer day, you can enjoy the wild nature and ((almost)) clear waters. After all, Finland is a country of vast green forests, Baltic Sea islands, windswept arctic fells and thousands of blue lakes (this sentence was provided by Travel Guide of Finland, please don’t sue me). Just don’t run into a bear. Please. That might get.. nasty. As the Land of a Thousand Lakes, a lakeside cottage is a huge part of Finnish summer. And when there is a lake, there is a sauna. Sauna is indeed a great part of our country’s heritage and culture. It is said to purify both body and mind.

Oh right, Midsummer rules!! Go barbeque!!

lakeynotski

Summer ends with an explosion of color in the forests. This is the season known as ‘ruska’. It’s the time of autumnal reds, browns and yellows, rain, ponds, worms and colourful wellies. My absolute favourite. “When the endless sunshine of summer gives way to dark winter, the Northern Lights appear like magic and lighten up the sky.” The Winter. The cold. And snow. No, rain. No sorry, snow. No wait, what..  Well at least it’s cold, okay!  Do you wanna build a.. Moving on. Spring is even shorter than summer. It’s okay. It’s green. And muddy. And maybe even sunny.

winter lakespring

Just a quick thing before fin(n)ishing this text (oh how rich I would be ..). Finland has a rather high standard of education, social security and healthcare that are all more or less financed by the state. Of course it’s not perfect but it could be worse. So that’s also part of

“Finnishness” I guess.

“Finnishness” in a nutcrack

Darkness, depression, winter, booze, quietness.

Unfortunately these words are common in the stereotype of finnish culture. There’s no smoke without a fire but I’m glad to admit that although many of those words do describe Finland, there’s more to finnishness than one would except.

anothersuomi

Here’s some other words that describe us aswell:

Light, honesty, sisu, friendliness, sauna.

We have nightless night, our nation is one of the most honest in the world, we have guts to not give up and keep pushing on, or as we say it “sisu”, people are not that eager to start making small talk, but when doing so, we are friendly and are said to be quite laid back personalities and above all: we have a lot of saunas.

Winter is very dark and we tend to be kind of melancholic at that time of the year.  Fortunately it’s possible to see the wonder of northern lights. Christmas is celebrated with family in most cases followed by New years eve, which is also celebrated with family or friends. So not that bad time of the year after all.

Summertime is the exact opposite of winter. Sun shines more or less around the clock and people are more lively with all the events, warmer weather and festivals not to mention the summer holidays and possibility to enjoy our thousands of lakes and summer cottages.

kesä

All in all finnishness includes enjoying extremely happy/lively seasons and darker seasons when it’s time to calm down a bit. It includes quiet but friendly and honest nation that knows how to relax in a hot room all year around.