If you have ever cruised the online and came across a topic about Finland through an online messageboard or a just news comment section you probably have noticed the “Torille!” chants and memes and crazy language. Probably the news were about Finland being number one at something. Whether it was Ice Hockey, the happiest nation in the world study, or just any random news were Finland is surprisingly number one, we go and celebrate it!
Crazy finns right? Well it gets crazier.
It is hard to be a tiny small nation in a huge land at the edge of the world where the ice age begins and the winter lasts almost 6 months. There isn’t THAT much stuff to do except the obvious outside trekking stuff. You have to be inventive to pass the time. You go and invent your own sports like the “Eukonkanto” (Wifecarrying run), Throwing a rubber boot, or an old nokia phone, play swamp football, battle for the best air guitarist in the world, and even your own baseball that you adapt to your national sport that no one else plays. Why?
Because it can get boring.
But now that I am leaving my home behind me. It’s all the boredom that I will miss. The silence, the frosty snow on top of the pine trees and the sound your footsteps make when walking at winter. The endless lakes and rivers and forests. The nightless nights or the everlasting darkness.
I bet you that every finn is a 30min away from being completely alone surrounded by nature and companied by peace. I will miss that. The idea that you can just go and be alone whenever you need it.
But yes, it can get boring. That’s why in the rise of internet people of our nation have been every where in the internet, educating people that we are not baltic, or russian, or swedish, but finns. And we like to embrace our stereotypes. Even though we are nothing at all like those stereotypes. Those commets are usually just for fun and written in tongue in cheek. It is a way to feel healthy national pride of our small nation that goes unnoticed most of the time. So next time when you see a topic about Finland, you can experience a little bit of Suomi!
Though it’s true that it is hard to make friends in Finland, or that we love our personal space and distance. But not to the extreme. We love to go out whenever we can (which is just summer), smile and be happy with our loved ones. We can be awkward and brutally honest sometimes, but most of finns know the difference between honesty and cruelty. I can trust what a finn says almost always.
And let the words of Michael Palin tell you more honest words about Finland in the spirit of our people.