I’m Finnish. I have born and raised in Finland, and my roots go to deep in eastern Finland, me being “savolainen.” I come from the area where people speak more russian than english, you know when autumn has come by seeing ads of moose eating gatherings (“hirvipeijaiset”) and you actually have 4 full seasons in all their glory.
Now I live in the city, what is big, but not too big. At Tampere we have this urban environment if someone needs it, but within 15 minutes you’ll find real forests and green areas to scout.
Finland as an place can mean so many things for different people. For me it’s
Quiet and safe forests
Mostly harmless animals and insects
Good public transportation
Easy to access with prams
Safety when walking at the city
Finland is something old, something new, something borrowed and definitely something blue. We are kinda young country, so we have sponged of different cultures, but we still have our own old habits and traditions. You see that best when you visit the rural areas, versus cities.
We finns are proud of our country, but modest of our personal selfs. We will look _every_ news where some foreigner country have noticed us, but if we are an expert with something and get a feedback of it personally, we will belittle ourselves.
We are proud of our traditions. We are fighting over that should schools Christmas celebrations stay on our churches, only because that has been a tradition. We eat pancake with the pea soup on thursdays, and if you take the pancake without a soup, that just isn’t right.
Being a finn abroad is also fighting stereotypes. All of us don’t like salmiakki. (I do but many I know don’t). All of us don’t like sauna (not me, I love it). All of us are not good at school. We don’t have polar bears and actually we have kinda small amount of snow these days, at the cities at least. Not all of us are introvert, and not all of us hate smalltalk.
But we are honest, and we mean what we say. If a finn asks you “How are you”, they really want to know how you are feeling. If finn says “I love you”, you are one of their top persons or even their number 1.
We have really high sense of justice. People here are basically at the same line, not depending of your income or social status. Money gives you extra, but the state takes care of the poor ones.
I feel lucky to live in Finland. Here I feel safe, in the city and in the nature. Here I feel like I can trust to people and trust my state to keep care of me. We have things to fix, but compared to other places, our things are pretty well in here.