The first 25 years of my life I pretty much spent my time only with Finns. Wherever I went, I had a Finn next to me. Even when abroad, it was either my family or my friends that were there. The Finnish culture was the only culture I knew and everything else seemed rather odd. I was surrounded by Finnishness, until I finally made it out of the bubble.
Past three years I have been co-working with people from all over the globe. It has opened my mind for other approaches on life than my own. It has improved my manners. It has had me wondering why I haven’t figured this out before. Therefore it is crucial for me to discuss Finnishness as a phenomenon for me currently instead of how I have experienced it in the past.
I am definitely not proud of every aspect of Finnishness, even though I feel extremely proud when I say I’m a Finn. Things like looking at our feet all the time, mainly talking about bad things (the weather posts on Facebook……) and stereotyping masses of people simply disgust me. But when a Finn says that something will be done, it actually will be done – in a timely manner! We also value the nature and environment and don’t litter (at this point some may say ‘what is this guy talking about??’ trust me, it gets a lot worse) AND we recycle.
Three years ago this blog post would have been super easy to write. Everything is well and things work out eventually. Lately though my self-image has alternated to a more open person and the exact characteristics of Finnishness are now hard to describe. That sentence pretty much covers my views on Finnishness – it seems rather blurry now that I am not a 100% Finn anymore.