Finnish nature is always nearby, even if you live in a city. If you’re feeling tired, a quick walk in a forest can do you wonders. Finnish nature is beautiful despite four completely different seasons. At summer everything is green and warm and nature is blooming. Temperature at summer can climb up to +30 degrees. If you have a change visit Lapland in winter, i suggest you to take it because It’s a winter wonderland really. Remember to wear warm clothes because winter temperature can dive to low as -30 degrees.

Finland is called a Land of Thousand lakes and for a reason, there is 187,888 counted lakes. Finland is usually at the top of the cleanest air quality. This is because Finland is covered in forests (80%).

Cabin, Forest, Seclusion, Outdoors, Cottage, House

There is no better feeling than spend time at lakeside cottage (mökki) and take couple of cold ones with the boys.


People here respects honesty and straight forwardness. You can trust your friends, co-workers and pretty much everyone here. They will keep their promises and wont let you down.  In my opinion, Finnish people don’t like to take high risks and they usually stick what they already know. We also don’t encourage expressive communication and we don’t show much emotions. I think this comes from how people were raised in the olden days.

People in Finland may seem shy and quiet, but oh boy if you sit down to have couple of beers with finns, you are in for a treat. We pretty much drink whatever happens. If we are sad we drink, if we are  happy we drink, if we don’t have nothing to do we drink and so on. Music here is usually melancholy or heavy metal.

There is one saying: ” Born in Finland is like winning a lottery” and I think this is quite accurate. I feel safe here. Cities and nature are safe. Air is clean. Studying is free and we have a good public healthcare system. I can trust people and government here and most importantly people here are treated equally.

There is a blogspot called Finnish Nightmares and they are hilarious and some of them are accurate.

51 Finnish Nightmares That Every Introvert Will Relate To | Bored Panda



The many layers of independence

This blog post touches on the subject of independence and its meaning to the Finnish people. I actually seriously considered, for a moment, to title my blog ”The Onion of Independence”, due to the different layers of this complicated concept which makes up such a big part of who we are.

Much like an onion, the Finnish concept of independence is down to earth, tough, sometimes hard to get close to, and makes grown people cry.

The country

Finland became an independent nation in December 1917, after centuries of being subservient to alternately Sweden or Russia. Finland fought hard for its independence, which made it all the more valuable. Independence is celebrated solemnly, with candles and annual viewings of both ’The Unknown Soldier’ and the televised presidential gala.

Even though the war times are long gone and only told about as second-hand stories by those who were born after, the idea of hard-won independence is still quite strong in the Finns’ collective psyche. Standing strong and self-reliant is important; having to rely on someone else is not easy, and for many Finns, it is a question of honor that favors are rarely asked, and when asked, are returned fully.

The people

The concept of independence does not only concern the state; as a nation, we recognise people’s rights to be independent as individuals. Young Finns move to live on their own quite early. Gender equality in Finland is among the best in the world, and the rights of minorities are generally high in the ranks. Women in my family are fiercely independent, sometimes to a fault. We stand on the shoulders of generations of strong women, whose role in Finnish societies all the way back in prehistoric times has been that of mystic gatekeepers: capable of producing new life, standing between the land of the living and the land of the dead.

Finland was named the happiest country in the world for the 4th time in a row in 2021. What does independence have to do with it? Behind the happiness and feelings of contentedness is the view that every individual should have the right to rule over their own life. When one has such autonomy, they feel more content with life and more in charge of what happens to them. That is something to cherish.

Finnish nature – our soul

For me as a Finn nature is one of the most important thing and Finland is land of a thousand lakes. We have 188 000 lakes in Finland and you can see those everywhere. Driving through Finland in the summer you will see two colors dominating the view: green and blue. Water is a very important element for the Finns and I could never live a far away from forest and lake, and many people have cozy cottages located next to the water. Lakes are home for many animals but also important way for relaxing.

You can take a nice day cruise between different cities  or you can use own / rented boat and row in different places enjoying the sun at the same time. Some cities have a city boats which you can use for free if you return it to the same place where you started.

 As told earlier, Finns loves lakeside cottages. Holidays are spent with friends and families  away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Boating, canoeing, fishing, barbecuing and sauna before and after swimming are basic things to do in summers. Watercrafts are also good way to see a little bit more about Finnish nature and many places rent those. I recommend to test!

 Sunsets are one of the most beautiful things in summers. An evening picnic, run and night swim are definitely worth to experience during sunset. Sunsets with your own thoughts works very well too and after watching sunset alone you feel so relaxed. Oh, I’m missing summer already.. Just look at these pictures! 

In winters when lakes are frozen, people are ice skating and snowmobiling on the ice. Some people likes also ice fishing, and fishers are completely normal sight on ice. When there is snow on ice, people come also skiing on frozen lakes. Finns loves also go to sauna in winters and then make a dip in freezing water. It might sound crazy, but after dipping the feeling is just so amazing!

All in all, Finnish nature is wonderful in every season!



Weather in Finland

We – finnish people – are often proud of our multifaceted seasons. We have cold, white winter,  rainy, cloudy and sunny spring, short but light summer and colorful autumn. Though, in reality, our autumn is a three-month-long period of rainy, dark evenings. Our winter is a combination of slush and slipery roads whereas spring stir us to miss warm, sunny summer which temperature actually is barely between + 5 and 15 degrees. We often have different expectations about the weather as it is in real life. That is one of the reasons why we often speak about the weather, I guess.

According to the researches, finnish people are the happiest people in the world. Would you have believed that? Well, I know from my own experience that our happiness haven´t always been seemed. Finnish people like to complain – usually about everyday things – for example just about the weather: The weather has been too cold or too hot. There is a lack of snow or too much snow in the winter time et cetera. Honestly, there is a solid trust in society in the background and it gives us a possibility to complain. Our life is really safe and definite and we are content with it.

We take many good things in our society for granted and we often don’t remember to appreciate those things enough. However, I think we have learned something important due to Covid-19-pandemic: the appreciation of finnish nature has increased. Nature and four seasons have offered us a wonderful possibility to do exercise, to be with our friends and close relatives when the society has been closed. And now I can understand an old lady who walked past me in the forest one day, stopped, gasped very happily and asked me: It is a really great weather, isn’t it? And we stood quietly in the snowy forest, in “winter wonderland”, breathing a biting frost air and looking sunset which spread red and yellow colors to the sky.

On the other hand, finnish happiness can also be seemed in our just ordinary life – even when we speak with the strangers about the forecast.



No need to make coffee just for me!

Why do Finns sometimes feel that they are the odd ones out in Europe? Well, our neighbors in Scandinavia seem to have their own thing going on and Russia’s culture is also very different from ours. Finland is geographically separated from the rest and the language is kind of weird too. Not to mention the metalhead coffee vampire stereotype. Still, besides pop culture always arriving here late, it’s been pretty nice living in this “special” Finland bubble.

people on a picnic in Helsinki

When meeting a foreigner, Finns often ask “Why would you choose to come here?” as if it was the strangest thing that someone would want to visit this country. Admittedly I’ve also asked this before. But secretly Finns actually love Finland and Finnishness. We just don’t think anyone else would for some reason.

This excessive modesty seems to be deeply rooted in our culture. Finns only say they speak a language when they are almost fluent in it, and sometimes they need an outsider’s perspective to realize what they have. I’ve been so lucky to have met many exchange students during my studies at TAMK. They have opened my eyes more to what was always there. This is something I would love to do for my future friends during my own exchange!

White boat in Finnish archipelago at sunset If I ever get the chance, I will take my foreigner friends to the heart of Finnishness for me: mökki (summer cottage). There is something so authentic and calming about mökki. I think of last midsummer. Light pink shades reflecting everywhere at midnight as we drive to the place that feels like home. The surface of the sea is still and the warm air hits my face. This is it – the dream that I’m living, and would love to share.


Finland is a country of beautiful nature with many lakes and forests. I think it is also reflected in the Finnish lifestyle. Many Finns enjoy doing outdoors activities no matter the season. Sometimes just a simple walk in the forest can lift your spirits.




Many holidays take Finnish people outside to celebrate, if the weather allows of course. For example in the spring there is May Day, which is a classical picnic day outside, and in the summer Finns celebrate Midsummer. A classic Midsummer is spent at a cottage with friends. Usually including swimming and sauna. Oh the sauna! Sauna is a very big part of the Finnish culture, and one of my personal favourites too. Especially after a cold winter day there is nothing better than a hot sauna where to relax.


Finns are special. Or are they?

“Finnish culture is so unique!” Why is it always the Finn who brings this fact up and not the foreigner? Also, why Finns do not like to talk about themselves and are generally quite reserved, but when the conversations’ focus shifts from individual people to one’s culture, the quiet Finn rises from the corner table and talks hours on end about our sisu, sauna and Koskenkorva? This picture sums up my thoughts quite well. Our culture is not in the minds of foreigners even though we believe so.


In regular conversations about Finland, the most common topic Finns bring up is how Finnish language is among the hardest for foreigners to learn, as if it would be some kind of trophy to be proud of. The funny thing is that this notion among Finns is not even true. Recent study has shown that Finnish is not considerably harder to learn than other languages. The misconception of “Finnish being hard” in itself causes the language to become hard to learn for some because it discourages them to even begin. While it is true that a new language completely different to your own might be difficult to learn, it is far from impossible like some Finns boast.

This is not to say that our nation wouldn’t be unique from the rest. The sheer fact that our country is over one thousand kilometres long guarantees that there’s bound to be many distinct sub-cultures which makes our culture as a whole very diverse. There are many things in the Finnish culture none other culture has, but in all honesty, which culture is not like that? All cultures are unique in some way, Finns just seem to make a big deal about it.

Also, Finns laugh at foreigners for believing that there would be polar bears here. In fact, there are at least two, in Ranua zoo. Who’s laughing now, Finland?


My Experiences of Finnishness

As I have been here in Finland since 2018, I can understand now the basics of the Finnish language. Finnish is quite interesting & joyful to me. Finnish had generally fine presentation in other foreign countries. People in Finland had precise punctuality in any events or working life. You can trust Finnish people as a nice friend and a good co-worker. While the Finnish neighborhood meets each other, they start first talking about the weather always. Long talk culture when they met each other, it’s a bit different than elsewhere but deep interpersonal relationships are treasured.

Already been in Finland for many years, I noticed that many of the people like have their own privacy here. Wherever you travel in Finland, you will find out the silence (for e.g. In the bus, train, etc). They are really reserved with strangers when greetings or when talking. Although, Finnish people have honesty, discipline & well-organized.

Personally, I love nature, swimming in the lakes & playing ski was a most attractive place not for me but whoever comes here will going to love these things. I also like doing sauna & having swum in the iced lake which helps in the circulation of the blood. Basically, I enjoy the summertime most even though it short and sweet.

Finland in my soul and heart

Finland in my soul and heart

Finnishness is so deep in my own identity that it is surprisingly difficult to think about what to bring out of the Finnish culture.

In fact I think that foreigners have generally positive picture of Finns. Finnish people are assumed to be on time. It is also nice that in Finland you can trust friends and co-workers. Finns are considered honest and straight-forward. Small talk culture may be different than elsewhere but deep interpersonal relationships are cherished and adhered to.

Finns are often reserved when greeting or talking to strangers.  This may be due to the fact that in Finland being too loud is considered rude. Finns are rule-oriented and respect  each other’s space and limits. For example when queueing people stand obediently in the line.

Personally, I love nature, lakes, saunas and rye bread when talking about Finnish things. Jean Sibelius’ music is close to my heart and his music is a matter of pride for Finns. I also think that it is a privilege to have four seasons in a year.

My Finnish experience

So I was born in Finland, but pretty soon after ( like 6 months after my birth ) that my family and I moved abroad , only for me to return to Finland 20 years later to start my studies at TAMK. My mom is from small town Karkkila in Finland while my dad was from Sarajevo , Jugoslavia and those two things from the very begining have made my perspective and shaped my understanding of Finnish and other cultures. 

While living abroad my mom refused to speak to me in other languages, even though for the most part we lived in Serbia and she learned Serbian language fairly well… So my dad spoke to me what is kind of a mixture of very similar languages: Serbian and Bosnian, while my mom spoke to me exclusively in Finnish, and expected me to reply in Finnish as well.  One day she thought it would be of use and knowing a language is powerful knowledge that nobody can take away from us. 

Also every chance we got, for holidays for example or even when there were none, we traveled to Finland to visit our Family here, and this Is something that has also ingrained the Finnish spirit in to my life. Since it was early on and consistent, deep in to my psyche some patterns and feelings got attached to Finnishness. 

Often I have thought, even from early on what is this Finnish part of myself and my life compared to a Serbian that I developed during the 15 years I lived there. 


clear, deep, wide 

these are some the associations I have when I have thought about Finland.

clear like the sky, air and sea.

And this I think Is very well represented by the Finnish flag, that has the colors white and blue on it, since these are the colors I have often seen when looking at the finish landscape. 


Then Deep, this probably comes From and most notably a house that my mothers grandpa built in small town Karkkila and still lives in up to this day…It is a place that grounds me, a feeling that my roots go very deep here and It has brought  this feeling of lives lived before mine and significance of that History, and  all the finish customs and manners that have although not shape me fully still touched a part of my personality and spirit. 

Wide , This again for me comes back in a way to the landscape of Finnish nature… not surprising since the nature here is very beautiful with lots of forests and lakes, and great views of distance can be seen, giving the sense of spaciousness. 
And as well Finnish landscape can come to life in wide variety of ways, given the season. and these views can be quite a contrast to one another. 

Over all I feel like there is a lot here for me to Dive in to an it is a topic that will be relevant to me through my life and something I will be returning to again and again… 

 What does Finnishness mean to me…. well that is like a onion with many many layers one on top of another, and peeling off one layer only reveals another one.