I couldn’t be happier to be Finn! This small, only five million people, country includes so many privileges which we consider self-evident. For example free education, partly free health care, clear water from the tap and of course one of the safest country on Earth. What else can you even add on that sort of list? I think with those privileges Finland is the best country to live in!
Other thing that makes me happy as being a Finn is our beautiful nature which I appreciate way too rarely. Greatest way to enjoy Finland’s summer is to go to archipelago. In a sunny and warm summer day this is the best way to see the most beautiful side of Finland, in my opinion. A lot of Finns enjoys summer in their summer cottages where they relax and get themselves ready for the cold and dark autumn.
In my opinion Finns aren’t as introverted as usually told. I think we are pretty warm-hearted, kind and helpful. If people just dare to ask for help they will get some even from the coldest persons in Finland. Nowadays younger people are more likely to have some small talk with random persons than the older generation. Finns have improved their social skills a lot from the past. As a good example could be all those crazy events Finns are arranging all around the Finland!
In the picture Finns are celebrating ice-hockey gold medal from 2011 World Championship tournament!
Three things come to mind when you start thinking “what I consider as Finnish?” First and foremost, northern nature. Nature has always been a big part of Finland and Finnishness, it provided for our ancestors and still does to this date! Second thing, this one is only in Finland as far as I know, that comes to mind is Sisu. It is an attitude, a way of living and doing things, and in my books, one the most Finnish things there is. And last but not least is of course Sauna. It is strange how important sauna is for Finnish people, but history plays a big part in this too. Sauna was and is the place to relax, when massagers used to go from door to door, the treatment was done in the sauna. People gave birth in saunas as well!
As I have been travelling, I have noticed that I appreciate Finland in certain things more and more as the years go by. These three things are equality, education and solidarity. Finland is a model country when gender equality is concerned, we have one the most sophisticated schooling systems, and every one is given the opportunity to use their potential to full. I mean, I call Finland a safe haven for a reason.
I love browsing the world! That’s my hobby and I’ve been lucky to be able to travel a lot around the world. I love each continent and their cultural and nature’s diversities.
By traveling, I began to appreciate a lot of things in my country, Finland. Almost every time I find things that make me miss my home country; There just always seems to be things that simply are better in Finland.
I’ve put together all the things I have longed abroad and can be found in Finland. How would you like to live in the following country?
Finland is a country where you can enjoy all seasons and natural colours. Here is a unique beautiful nature, which is at the same time very peaceful and relaxing. There are no earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters in Finland.
In addition to the pure and safe nature, there is everywhere clean tap water (probably the best in the world) and you can easily find healthy food at the stores. Here you can find culinary delights and high-quality restaurants that represent every continent. The schools offer a free lunch, which is also healthy. Studying is free and for college studies, you get what financial aid you do not need to pay back afterward.
When talking about food, Finland has the best liquorice and rye bread in the world! And as a beer lover, I must mention that the microbrew scene in Finland is quite large and delicious.
This country is a welfare state with freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and there is no discrimination against minorities here as in many other countries. There is hardly any corruption in Finland, in addition to which security and safety are guaranteed. The official is also unbribable. Class differences are quite small compared to many other countries and almost all Finns are honest. All people have the same rights!
So here are a few things that I have longed while touring around the world…
Welcome to Finland! …which, unfortunately, is also more than the things mentioned above.
Finnishness describes the culture and identity of Finns. It can mean a lot of things but there are a few that stand out to me. Here are a few points on these matters and what I think of them.
Honesty is a practice that I feel Finnish people master. Either way looking at it from a positive or a negative perspective. It can be seen in different aspects of a Finn’s everyday life and attitude. For example, if they have an appointment, they are on time. You can depend 100 % on what they say is honest. Also, they get straight to the point when talking and that’s why they don’t have the skill of small talk.
On the other hand, the prospect of freedom is seen in few examples. When considering rights and laws for instance Finnish have the “every man’s right” which means we are allowed to roam freely in the forests. Then looking at it from a social perspective, in Finland you are free to be whatever you desire. No need to fit in a hierarchy system. Also, the social security helps with everyone being able to achieve their freedom by themselves and not being held down by their past or history.
Lastly the classic word connected to Finnishness, Sisu. It translates to e.g. resilience, bravery, and grit. It is something we have seen throughout history, say in wars and athletics, but also just in everyday life. You can also say it’s how Finns fight through the dark and cold winters including the polar nights.
Finland. Finnishness. Finn-ishness? A Finn can freely describe themselves as hard work-ish, talkative-ish, sport-ish. However, we have a great tendency not to put ourselves fully out there. We find it uncomfortable to label ourselves into something too specific, especially if that something could, in any way, be understood as something admirable. No Finn has ever said that they are good at something, maybe good-ish but definitely not good or great. We don’t like to put ourselves to a pedestal. You can just picture a Finn responding to a reporter after winning the Olympic gold medal saying “well that went pretty well”, or as the Finnish F1 driver Kimi Räikkönen well put before a race “I’d rather be probably out of second and third place so I don’t have to go to the prize-giving”.
Finnish people sometimes feel inadequate in front of the big world stage. We’re always interested in what other people think of us. Our culture’s DNA has a certain kind of self-regulation encoded into it making it difficult for us to shine as the main star. We are great workers, reliable people and over all else, we achieve as much, if not more, than all the big players in the world. A great amount of inventions and cultural aspects affecting the whole world have originated in Finland. There are even many fields where we continuously hover around the number one spot in the whole world: education, healthcare, technology… We Finnish people deliver it all. For a nation as small as Finland that’s an astonishing feat.
We might be hesitant over labeling ourselves most of the time. However, there has always been one thing which “-ishness” we aren’t ashamed of and will proudly declare ourselves as such. We are, and will always be, proud Finnish people, no doubt about it. We are proud of our country, we are proud of handling the coldness of the north, we are proud of being a tiny nation. That is something no one will ever be able to take away from the Finnish people.