To me the term “Finnishness” means modesty, summers at the summer cottage and everyone being equal. It is also much more, but those three things came to my mind first.
We Finns don’t like to make a number of ourselves or talk loudly in public places. If someone is praising us loudly for something we have done, it can actually make us feel a little uncomfortable. And even though we know that the praise is to the purpose, we need to belittle it a bit. A part of Finnish modesty is to work hard and not to whine about little things. We have respect for each other, and we value modesty highly as a personal quality.
SUMMER COTTAGE -THING
We Finns are nature loving people and even though most of us live in cities nowadays, we do need some privacy and being close to nature, so on summer weekends many of us go to summer cottages. Usually a summer cottage locates on lakeside remote from cities, so it is a perfect place to relax and stop stressing from work, studies or whatever for a while. For me there is no better place to spend my summer weekends than my family’s summer cottage. Also, it is a perfect place to go to the sauna and have this famous “personal space” that the stereotypical Finn needs.
For me the best thing in Finland and Finnishness is the fact that everyone is equal. We value each other as equals despite one’s gender, religion, origin or whatever. Our sense of justice is fair, and we all are on the same line according to law. We have free education and health care, so it doesn’t matter what your social status is, everyone has an opportunity to become what they want and live healthy life. Nice, huh?