All posts by Miska Päivinen

Nation with silence

Finland, country far away from everything. Minus thirty degrees cold, Santa Claus riding with reindeers and of course polar bears on the streets. Those are the things what I often hear when people talk about Finland. Now I will tell you few things about real Finland and Finnishness.

Lets talk about Finnish people first. Most of us are humble, quiet and pretty calm persons. We like to give space for each others and if you are thinking small talk with Fins, forget it! Example if you go in bus somewhere in Central Europe, you probably say hi or do little chat with the driver and to the person you are sitting next to. In Finland most of people say hi for the driver, but if you say everything more than that you are going to get weird eyes. And I think we should open little more. Take chat with people we don`t know and share some smiles. Other thing is own space. The rest of the world learned safety distance in about one and half year ago, but in here its old thing.  Example in bus stop or markets cash desk you never go one or two meters closer for another person.

Should I tell something about Finnish culture? Well no problem, sauna, viina ja kirves. I think we have good taste humor about the dark sides of Finnishness, because pretty many things are stigmatizing. Like so many people in Finland think we have a big alcohol problem. I see it this way that we drink lot when we drink, but we spend less in overall picture. In Central Europe people take beer or wine almost everyday with dinner and lunch. In Finnish culture have of course own delicious tradition foods, like karelian pies and rye bread. At first time most of these foods are weird for foreign people, but everybody gonna love those after one taste!

After all Finland and Finnishness is a thing that you have experience and learn. Its unique, beautiful and little weird.