Over the past twelve years I’ve lived in Finland, I’m never found such tranquillity in a place such as this, not like back home in Scotland. At the beginning it was hard, not to mention experiencing a proper cold winter and full of darkness but over the course of my life, growing up during my teenage years, to early adult years — It really has dawned on me that this is a home all on it’s own; for the people who breath in the fresh air and truly value what Finland has to offer. One of the most interesting parts of when I moved here was actually being pretty outgoing and talkative: As Finland is more of a peaceful and calm place to set up camp but to truly live and study here, I started to become myself more calm and shy and sort of adapting to their culture. Of course personal space doesn’t bother me too much but it’s definitely taken a transitioning turn to let me become sort of Finnish myself in a way just by living here so long.
In terms of ‘Finnishness’ — It’s just a beautiful thing on it’s own. You’ve got your cottages to grant you a sense of escape in the nature of the forests, you’ve got your saunas burned with the likeness of some lovely smelling wood. In terms of other countries relying on technology as a huge thing in society, Finland would happily live without electricity in their cottages and not to mention; picking berries in their forests and building their own houses out of wood. Sure, Finland is relatively dark half of year but during summers, they truly bring such spirit — Especially during their midsummer festivals where skies never go dark, they celebrate all weekend and come together and celebrate. Common space isn’t always a huge factor, perhaps in cities or on public transport — but that wouldn’t stop anyone from going to the sauna fully undressed and squashing up next to each other just to enjoy the hot burning air which helps their blood flow and jumping into the snow right after.
My time in Finland has been ever so amazing, just a few years ago I had never been to Northern Finland and I took a weeks trip up there with a bunch of students and it was really magical. Trees covered in snow, visiting the Santa Claus village, petting reindeer and husky rides. So Finnishness, for me atleast is not just one particular thing: It’s a feeling you get when you experience so much at once and gives a sense of adventure you couldn’t find anywhere else.