Ah, Finland. Home sweet home. Being Finnish is definitely something I hold in high value. But if I’m being completely honest, that hasn’t always been the case. Most of these blog posts have many reoccurring themes: nature, mökki, sauna. All of these are things that wee little me hasn’t always been able to appreciate. As a child, going to the mökki and spending time in the nature were short of being the worst thing imaginable. I’d rather have been cooped up inside in the city. But times change and people grow. Nowadays I can definitely say that I enjoy all of those things. Those were just some crude examples, but the point is that my view on being Finnish has evolved as I have matured. Seeing the world has shaped my perspective, increasing my appreciation for Finland.
I appreciate Finland’s relative safety. Being able to mind my own business anywhere, any time of the day, in any state of mind. Not having to tape my windows and protect my car when the typhoon season hits. Being able to park that car on the side of the street and still find the windows intact the day after. Not having to fear my encounters with law enforcement end up as a trip to the coroner’s office. Never having to stress over finding my loved ones under a pile of rubble from where our home stood before an earthquake. I can confidently say that in a world of danger, Finland is amongst the safest places you could think of.
In addition to safety, I highly value freedom. The ongoing pandemic has shown us how free we actually are. We have certain rights which are protected by our constitution, much more so than in other “free & democratic” countries. The freedom and safety that have been bestowed upon Finland are of course of major influence when it comes to contemporary Finnish culture. For example, the freedom to roam and the ability to enjoy our surroundings without fear feed into the fact that things like nature come up as a reoccurring theme when talking about Finnishness. In a way freedom and safety act as the backbones of Finnish culture; without them, there wouldn’t be a Finland as we know it.