As a born and raised Finn the first things that come to mind about Finland are the Saunas, mökki life, drinking, forests, and the shy/reserved nature of the typical Finnish person. These things are amazing and I cherish them dearly and I would not swap my quiet summer mökki evenings for anything but on the other hand, there are those cold dark winter nights that just seem to suck the life out of me, this plays into the idea of Finland being the land of extremes.
Finland is the land of extremity, I feel that there is rarely any middle ground:
With the beautiful warm summer comes the cold dark winter
A quiet and Finn with a bit of alcohol can turn into the most outgoing person in the world
From the sauna which temperature is close to boiling, we like to jump into the frozen lake
In a nation that is so into peace and quiet is remarkable how many heavy metal bands we produce.
Many people have already explained how amazing Finland is in its extremes and beautiful this country truly is which I wholeheartedly agree with, but I want to take this opportunity to explore the negatives that this extremity can bring.
As a half Malaysian- Indian I do not look like the typical Finn having been born here and lived here my entire life my personality at least can be considered very Finnish. Being the way I look I have also experienced extremity in the way I’ve been treated, racism is still a major issue here and I don’t know how but something needs to be done about that, but on the good side, people are more often than not very understanding and extremely kind here in Finland. The extremity can also be felt politically Finns haven’t been this divided politically for a while, this is evident when you hear how people talk about other people with opposing ideologies e.g calling each other terrible names.
There is always good and bad in almost everything and Finland is one of those things our extremity that we experience in this country can bear fruit to the most beautiful things in the world like the sauna and the Finnish summer and the worst part of every year winter.. This is of course how I see it and it is subjective, things that I perceive as good might be the opposite to someone else, hell maybe both sides of the coin are amazing but how I see it Finland is a land of extremes and I cherish it.
Finland is a country of beautiful nature with many lakes and forests. I think it is also reflected in the Finnish lifestyle. Many Finns enjoy doing outdoors activities no matter the season. Sometimes just a simple walk in the forest can lift your spirits.
Many holidays take Finnish people outside to celebrate, if the weather allows of course. For example in the spring there is May Day, which is a classical picnic day outside, and in the summer Finns celebrate Midsummer. A classic Midsummer is spent at a cottage with friends. Usually including swimming and sauna. Oh the sauna! Sauna is a very big part of the Finnish culture, and one of my personal favourites too. Especially after a cold winter day there is nothing better than a hot sauna where to relax.
As a person coming from the Eastern Europe, the first cultural shock when introduced to the Finnishness was a big thing. Upon coming to Finland I did not know much about the culture or the country itself apart from snow, ice, cold and dark, sauna and a few very colorful words I’d rather not share (but I bet you guys know what I mean 😉 ). When I came here I found it was far more than that- a very well organized country with people eager to help you. Finnish law is created in such way that it helps the people and everyone follows it almost unquestionably, which is uncommon for other countries.
One of the things that really amazed me was Finnish nature- the vast forests, the lakes, the wild hares and squirrels running around you. Peace rules here. Untouched, cultivated yet virgin and hiding many miraculous places.
Of course some of the stereotypes turned out o be true- most people are not very open to new acquaintances, sauna is an inseparable part of winter days and it’s easy to befriend Finns there if you bring extra makkara ja sinappi.
Finnish people have very close relationships with nature. It can be observed that Finns prefer to live close by it. Sport activities, spending free time, walking and wondering, family time – all are done in contact with nature. But Finns not only use the nature, they also take care of it and understand the importance of keeping it safe and clean.
I love winter time in Finland, it always feels exciting and magical. It is the perfect time to travel to the north of Finland to visit Santa Claus park and to see the northern lights.
Going to sauna if one of my favourite part of Finnish culture. I myself go to sauna at least once a week. It is a perfect place to relax and to get warm =) It is very interesting phenomena, that sauna can be found in almost every building and even inside apartments.