Finland is a small country with big opportunities. We have four beautiful seasons, outstanding pure nature and a society that takes care of its members. Like all countries, Finland has its issues, but I highly believe that they are been seeing smaller when putting in to perspective. This is one reason why people should explore the world and its differences; it makes you see your home country in a whole new light. In this case – very positively.
Finland has some things that no other country can offer to a Finn, such as sauna and the outstanding nature that gives us energy and pure oxygen to breathe. We have climate that provides us with four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. Every Finn waits for the Finnish summer through all of the other seasons and just wishes it is a warm one. I guess that’s the beauty of it – you never know how it’s going to be, but you know it’s coming.
Personally I love all the four seasons and each one has its own good sides. Spring is the time when everything comes back to life and the nature starts to really show its beauty. Finnish summer is amazing with all its pure lakes to swim in, grilled food and cottage life. It is a time when you can explore different cities in Finland and feel like a tourist. Fall is stunning with all its colors and fallen leaves. The weather is crispy and this is a time of the year when usually something new starts. Finnish winter is like no other – endless possibilities for activities, breathtaking views and a perfect season for the Finnish privilige – the sauna. Nothing beats the combination of cross-country skiing followed by sauna on a crispy winter day.
Finland is a great place to live in. When travelling, you will see that not many countries take care of their members the way Finland does. Our country offers same options for everyone, regardless of the background. We have a free education which is utopia for most of the people. So let’s appreciate our beautiful home country and all the things it offers to us.
Even though, I’ve always wanted to travel as much as possible and maybe even move abroad at some point, Finland will always be THE home for me, a safe haven. Finland might seem a bit boring with a quick overview, but in my experience it’s everything except plain and boring compared to other countries. We might not have exotic jungles, huge mountains and beaches with turquoise water, but we have four totally different seasons, which makes every place four times more interesting.
We can enjoy the summer nigths by the lake, and we can use the same exact spot to go ice swimming in the winter. We can take a boat ride around one of the thousands lakes we have in the summer, and use the same lake for skating or cross-country skiing while it’s frozen in the winter. The diversity of the Finnish nature makes it unique in so many different ways.
Although everything stated above is amazing, in my opinion autumn might still be the winner out of the four seasons. The melancholic people we are, we enjoy to wrap ourselves in the blankets and stay in to watch the raindrops falling into the window surface. The transition from summer to winter is a short period of time, but it can be insanely beatiful, naturewise. When the leaves change their color before they finally fall, and the cold breeze finally wakes you up when you decide to leave your house.
The fact that we can enjoy the beatiful nature of Finland in four totally different ways is something you just can’t ignore.
I have always been a shy kid; although I am comfortable with talking one-one with another person, it just seems more and more difficult to communicate when there is a bigger group around me. And when I come to Finland, this seems to be my ultimate comfort zone. Privacy is something very valuable to Finns. No small talks with strangers, everyone is wrapped up in their own little world. That’s why I feel so relatable when reading “Finnish Nightmare” by Matti. Actually, nowadays I see young Finns are very active, and they acknowledge that being in this comfort zone is not a good way to make friends.
But besides this matter, I think there are a tons of Finnishness that I appreciate living here as an international students. The way people always say thanks, no matter if they are giving or receiving stuffs. This makes me feel very appreciated, for every single thing I do for anyone. Saying thanks is not something we say commonly in my home country, Vietnam. Often we just walk into the shop, buy something and leave. But after I return to Vietnam in my summer break, I said thank you a lot. And I think that would make someone’s day a bit brighter than usual. Finns are also very kind when it comes to helping others, even when they are someone you do not know. They always try their best to help you if they could, and doesn’t mind anything. When I was at the gym, trying to bench press and couldn’t lift it up, a very kind guy quickly came to help me spot the weight.
All of these Finnishness is why I feel like Finland is my ultimate comfort zone. But yet, I still chose to go exchange abroad and not staying here for whole 4 years. Because I think if I go and explore different cultures, I will appreciate the Finnishness even more. Or maybe, I will find another comfort zone, since my destination country will be Japan whose characteristic is very similar to Finns. But there is still a whole journey ahead, let’s see how it’ll go!
If you ask from foreigners about how Finnish people are like, they can give a many different answers, but the main things, what I have noticed so far is that Finnish are quiet and honesty.
Quiet reflects almost everywhere in our lives. You can see it in your everyday life. When we are waiting a bus on at bus station, people keep a little distance to the others if they do not know each others before. That way you can easily avoid a conversation with strangers. We may not small talk to strangers for instance if we ask directions to somewhere. We are not small talk folk! The silence reflects also to environment. Walking in nature or being home, you really can notice that we love silence. Many people go to relax to the forest and enjoy fresh air and silence. There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying a good relaxing walk while you can thinking about your stuff or whatever you have on your mind. Even if you are in city centre in the middle of the day, you might feel the peaceful atmosphere.
On the other hand, there’s a large difference, when Finnish drink alcohol. Then we turn out to be very social and every person we meet is our friend. It can be a quite odd to foreigners to see two totally different sides of Finnishness. It doesn’t matter, where you come from or who you are. You are then one of the others. We could say that the best way to get to know to Finnish is having a beer with them.
Being Finnish means also that you are supposed to be honest. In most cases it’s true. Of course people are different and some of us are not honesty. Though, we like to consider ourselves honesty. It has both positive and negative aspects. For instance, if they have an appointment, they are on time. Being on time shows respect to the other. Also, when they are talking, they get straight to the point, which may be a reason, why we don’t have a skill of small talk.
There’s a reason, why foreigners may feel Finnish are sometimes rude. Being honest means also you will get the straight answer whenever you ask something. Usually it doesn’t matter if you know the other person before or not. We don’t like to mince words. If you have something to say, it’s better just say straight than wonder afterwards, what you should have said. Even though we say things straight, it doesn’t mean we are rude. We just express our opinion whether it sounds rude or not.