All posts by Elise Aaltonen

Finnishness for me

This blog has presented so many different sides of Finnishness. I would like to focus on Finnish values from another perspective. Sure, we love sauna, frozen lakes and beer but I think there is so much more to mention.

Finns are very humble on everyday life. Don’t mind me -attitude is very common and it is always just easier to eat the wrong meal at a restaurant than to mention it was not what you ordered. Despite this attitude, we are very proud of anything that has made Finland knownto the whole world. Leijonat have won the ice hockey world championships three times already, Lordi won the Eurovision song contest 2006 and Sanna Marin was mentioned in Time magazine among the next 100 most influential people as a rising leader.

We have a beautiful country to live in, and at least once a year we remind ourselves how we got there.  Every 6th of January we watch Tuntematon Sotilas and Linnanjuhlat on TV, eat well and have a drink to Finland and to all who fought for our independence. Finland is a free country where the state takes care of everyone, offers free health care and considers making new laws when 50 000 people agree on something.

So, among our war veterans we have many national heroes in addition. Finns have succeeded in many fields, and we take pride in all of them.

Like many of the Nordic countries, Finland has made huge progress in people’s equality and human rights issues. Gender equality has been improving fast. Finns have had many fighters for women’s rights and big steps have been took. Having female prime minister or female president has been normalized. Same sex marriages have been legal since 2017. The list goes on and the work for equality continues.

To me Finnishness is represented by sauna, sisu, the most wonderful coast, nature and lakes and always respecting social distance. As much as Finnishness is all these things, it is also safety, equality for everyone, freedom of speech and desire to go forward. For all these things, I am proud to be Finnish.