Tag Archives: seasons

My thoughts about Finnishness

I have lived in Finland my whole life. Finnishness to me means a lot of different things. Mostly it reminds me of a safe, peaceful and beautiful home. To get the best picture of what it means to me, I’ll list a couple of things below.

  1. Beautiful and fresh nature

I have lived my childhood in a place where the forest with its lakes has been right in the backyard. Now when I live in a city, nature is still not far away. In Finland you can go to enjoy the nature without going far away. You can escape the real life hassle at any time which I love about Finland. It is also true Finnishness if you are able to be prepared for any weather here in Finland. In the same day it can be cold, windy, rainy and sunny…

I would say most Finnish are nature loving and we enjoy going to the cottage at summer and going to sauna and the lake during winter. We also enjoy our own peace with the most important people around. The calmness that the nature brings is good for our soul.

  1. People

Finns are quite modest. We appreciate what we have, the beautiful nature, a country where we can live in peace and where we do not have to fear things as we may need in some countries. Finnish people usually speaks about things that are essential in the specific matter and that’s why we don’t consider silent moments awkward. When you are in a public small place as Finn, we consider that we don’t have to say anything to others. I would say Finns are thoughtful, trustworthy  and straight forward, however we are still quite private people. We usually don’t have the need to be sharing everything about ourselves and we rather listen to others. We like our personal space.

Fun facts:

  • We don’t like to talk money related things.
  • We eat everything on our plate.
  • Being naked is not always sexual (sauna time).
  • We drink way too much coffee.

 

The real Finnish experience

When I think about Finland and Finnishness as a Finn my thoughts are directed towards the vast and beautiful nature of Finland, The forests trails, small lakes, the great Baltic sea and all the four seasons of nature’s diversity. You can always find a quiet place in Finnish nature to collect your thoughts or just to relax and enjoy the day.

The everyman rights in Finland is a one special thing which you can only find in Nordic countries. You can basically camp everywhere in nature and collect mushrooms, wild berries and unprotected plants without any permits from the landowners. These rights are not meant only for Nordic people but to all who visit Nordic countries. The nature provides for us all and we have a lot of it.

Finland is known to have thousands of lakes and you really cannot find a Finn who hasn’t swam in any of them. No matter the season there’s always some crazy Finn swimming in the nature. Sauna’s are often next to a lake and it is common to dip in between sauna sessions, the warmth of the water doesn’t matter at all, you can always go back to sauna if you are feeling cold.

Finnishness – Freedom, Equality and Nature

When I’m thinking what Finnishness really means to me these things come in to my mind first: freedom, equality and clean, beautiful nature.

Finland is an independent country where we have a freedom to choose. The state gives us good basis for living. We have a free education and Kela gives benefits and support for families, pensioners, sickness, the unemployed and students. We have free municipal health services for people under 18 and after that costs also are low compared to other countries. In our country woman can be a president and we have the democracy.

We have four seasons in Finland which differs quite a lot. In summer the days are long and at the midsummer the sun doesn’t go down. Summer is the time of the light. There are a lot of flowers and green trees everywhere. My favorite thing in summer time is go to sauna and swim in the lake (and there are lot of lakes in Finland). After that we usually make food in the grill outside and play “Mölkky” together, the game where you try to push over the wooden blocks of numbers with a block of wood. Okay, it sounds very weird when explaining that… Anyway, don’t forget to go to the marketplace and buy some strawberries, peas and early potatoes. The best smells in the summer are just cut grass and the moment after the summer rain.

In autumn the nature shows its wonderful colors! The migratory birds prepare their travel to south and most of the animals prepare their nests for the hibernation. The nature offers berries, mushrooms and grains. The days get shorter, darker and colder and we are moving forward to winter.

In winter there are snow and frost outside. In the evening or night time you might see the northern lights outside. Winter is time to ski and ice-skate (Finns loves ice-hockey!). A real winter wonderland you can experience in Lapland. Go and meet Joulupukki in Rovaniemi, sleep in a glass igloo, swim in the ice hole, take a husky safari and pack hot cocoa to the thermo and wander to the tipi-like hut.

In spring the nature is waking up again and the snow has melted. Cleanliness and freshness describe the spring time. “Hiirenkorvat” or the new leaves are coming to the trees and catkins have their time to cheer up the nature.

Finland: A Place You Belong

Since I was a kid I’ve always been sort of a little forest fairy or nymph. I spent the first few years of my life in Finland, the second half of my childhood in Sweden, and now that I’ve gotten to do a bit of traveling, I couldn’t be happier to have got to grow up in the north.

Tampere in summer, picture taken from  cliffs in Pyynikki. Photo by Emilia Brändh.
Keskustori at night. Photo by Emilia Brändh.

So many moments lost and found in the woods, magic discovered in hidden ponds and adventures made in wet swamps, on steep cliffs and misty fields.

My nationality is something I’ve always kinda thought about a lot, and never really been able to pinpoint what I am. What I should answer when someone asks me where I’m from. Here and there? Is that good enough of an answer? Being a bilingual dual citizen and culturally confused kid, I’ve spent a lot of my life wondering who I really am, and what country I really belong to. Because even though technically it’s just a word on a passport or ID, it still matters and means a lot to us.

Lush green pine forest in Ylöjärvi. Photo by Emilia Brändh.

If you’re a bit of a “citizen of the world” instead of belonging one country in specific, nationality can be tricky.

But when I swim in Finnish lakes in the golden evenings, run through Finnish woods in the foggy mornings, light candles on Finnish cemeteries around the cold, harsh Christmas times… I feel like yeah, this is who I am.  I am really Finnish, and I feel like I am home.

It’s like a tangible magical dust floating in the air.

Keijärvi in summer. Finland is THE PLACE to have deep thoughts in nature. Full solitude. Photo by Emilia Brändh.

Finnishness is something I can feel on my skin.

It’s the light on summer nights when the sun doesn’t set. It’s the raindrops on your face when you leave your umbrella at home because there’s no way it will suddenly start raining when the sky looks so clear (but this is Finland we’re talking about, so you should know better and always be prepared!). It’s the chilly breeze in the autumn. It’s the frost biting your cheeks, and it’s the wet pine branches slapping against your body when you take a brisk morning walk in the forest.

Finnish people value honesty, silence, responsibility, cleanness, calm, loyalty, security and determination.

I love how our nature and the beautiful, peaceful landscapes around us are a constant reminder and expression of all those values.

That’s the kind of Finnishness I want to be a part of.

Frosty trees and frozen Iidesjärvi lake seen from Kalevankankaan hautausmaa. Photo by Emilia Brändh.
Golden strolls in the evening sun. Photo by Emilia Brändh.

Finnishness

There are many things to be proud of when thinking Finland or Finnishness; school system, health care, safety, equality, honesty … And of course, the nature of Finland and the sauna!

In Finland we are happy to have four different seasons of the year. They all are very special and have their own perks.

Winter
December to February
-30’C – 0’C
White activities; downhill and cross-country skiing, ice-skating, ice-fishing
Christmas and Santa Claus
Northern Lights

Spring
March to May
0’C – +10’C
Birds singing
1 of May – Vappu
Grass growing and the leaves bursting forth
Flowers

Summer
June to August
+15’C – +32’C
Endless summer days when the sun doesn’t set
Midsummer
Festivals
Relaxing summer cottage life

Autumn
September to November
+2’C – +15’C
Colourful leaves, “ruska”
Forests, mushrooms
Cozy evenings, hot drinks, candles, books, movies

 

“Build the sauna, then the house”

The Finnish sauna is a big part of Finnish culture. There are over three million saunas in Finland – so an average of one per household. I have heard that there are more saunas than cars in Finland! Another fun fact – even a Burger King located in Helsinki has the world’s first in-store sauna and spa.

For Finnish people sauna is a place to relax, socialize, have a couple of drinks and enjoy. Many Finns who have the opportunity usually take a sauna at least once a week. There is no matter what season or time it is, you can always go to sauna.

What I love about Finland

I’m very proud of my home country and I like to live here. Our country is unique and beautiful. Finland is one of the safest country to live, we have free health care and our school system is also one of the best in the world and these are things that Finns are proud of. 

The most important thing for me in Finland is our nature. Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and forests. The air is fresh and clean which tempt Finns and also tourists in the nature. Finnish nature serves many opportunities and our four seasons are amazing. In winter we have snow and ice and the temperature may drop even over -20 degrees.  In winter our ski centers fill with skiers and ice rinks with ice skaters. In Winter you can go ice fishing and the most relaxing activity in winter is ice swimming.

Finnish spring and summer is full of light. It is funny to notice that just a few months ago you could walk on iced lake and now you swim and drive with jet ski on that same lake. I think in summer Finns truly wake up after a long and dark winter and become totally different people, relaxed and cheerful. In summer Finns like to spend time on summer cottages with their family and friends.

  

It is always a bit pity when the summer ends but luckily autumn in Finland is colourful and even if the weather isn’t that nice there is still something in the darken evenings. The best thing in the end of the summer are berries and mushrooms which you can find and pick up in forests. The best thing you can do with your own picked blueberries is delicious blueberry pie.

Another thing that I love in Finland is sauna. When the weather gets cold it is wonderful to heat up the sauna. Also in summer it is nice to heat yourself in sauna and dip to the lake to cool off. For Finns sauna is the place where to go relax and flush your worries away. Sauna is also only place where Finns forget their personal space and it is totally okay to go to sauna with strangers.

Humble and honest

The icy shores of lake Pyhä

Finnish people are humble and honest, but not very talkative. We don’t make a big deal out of ourselves. Finnish are gentle and thoughtful like the Moomins. Our education and public health care system are high-class and funded by taxes. In Finland we have a very good waste recycling system and we appreciate our nature. The Finnish passports is one of the best in the world: You can get to 175 from 218 countries with the Finnish passport without a visa.

A frosty winter day

The nature has a huge impact in the Finnish mentality. We live in a country of 200 000 lakes and almost every family has a summer cottage (by the lake of course). The best way to spend the summer vacation is to go to your summer cottage, have a sauna, swim and eat barbecue food. The Finnish sauna there is hot (preferably 80 to 100 Celsius) and the best ones are heated with wood rather than electricity.

Pure and bright waters of the lake Saimaa

Finnish people are people of the woods: We pick berries and fungus from the forests during the fall and spend our vacations doing activities in the nature, such as skiing, fishing and hiking. In Finland we have these Everyman’s rights, which allows us to hike, pick berries and camp in the nature, no matter who owns the land, as far as we don’t make a damage or disturb others.

Finnish summer

In Finland we have four seasons, which all come with their unique beauty. In the Finnish Lapland the sun doesn’t set at all during the summer and in the winter the polar night lasts about 50 days during which the sun doesn’t show at all. But you don’t have to go all the way to the Lapland to experience the beauty of Finnish nature: In the winter, if your lucky, you can spot the aurora borealis for example in Tampere also. The Finnish summer is short but lovely: The people come out of their shells, there’s a lot of laughter and joy, and people spend their time outdoors as much as they can.

The springtime in Finland

Finland has it’s own national epic, the Kalevala, compiled in the 19th Century by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish folklore and mythology. The tale begings with the traditional Finnish creation myth and is followed by a lot of magical spell casting and singing. There are stories of lust, romance, betrayal and seduction and the nature is present throughout the story in the scenery and dialogue. J. R. R. Tolkien has told that he has taken inspiration from the Kalevala to create the elf language to his famous fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.

A beautiful summer night in Tampere

On a nightout, Finnish people love to drink beer, tell bad jokes and sing karaoke. Finnish is the only language that has a word for getting drunk at home wearing only your underwear, it’s “kalsarikännit”.

 

Finnish nature

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Finland is the beautiful nature we have. In Finland we have all four seasons summer, autumn, winter and spring. Summers aren’t that warm here in Finland. During the summer Finns visit their summer cottages, barbeques and enjoy life. In Finland we have so called “yötön yö” which means that sun doesn’t set at all.

Autumn is very beautiful in Finland. Trees turn to red and yellow. It is time to go mushrooming and picking up apples. Autumn is also perfect time to go hikinng.

In Finland we get lots of snow during the winter (at least in the north). Winter is cold and dark. In wintertime we have so called “kaamos” which means that sun doesn’t rise at all. It is the opposite to the “yötön yö” that we have in the summer. We have a lot of winter activities such as skiing, ice-hockey, snowboarding and etc. One very Finnish thing to do in the winter is to go swimming into the frozen lake/river. Finns drill hole into the ice and dips in. It is common to go to sauna to warm up afterwards.

When the spring comes people are very happy, because cold and dark winter is behind us and the summer is coming!

Finnishness for me

Finland… What a great country. Finns are little bit shy or introverts but we are also loyal and kind. Sometimes even funny! In three points I will tell you little more of Finland’s nature and important stuff.

 

Sauna

In Finland, we have this thing called Sauna. Sauna has room for two or even twenty people. There are hot stones on top of which water is thrown and it will warm you up. Finnish people are usually shy and maybe even inward but in sauna, everybody are friends with each other! In many familys, women and men goes to sauna together and naked. Yes, naked. And the best part is, we love to “beat” each other with the birch twigs. Then ofcourse have to go to swim in the lake! We take turns who is in the sauna and who is swimming.

 

Berries

Nowadays it’s cool to eat “superfood” all over the world. The more vitamins and trace elements there are, the more cooler it is. People pay for this staff. A lot. People buy for example goji berries, chia seed, tried buckthorns or other berries. They can but it from abroads or order online. But in Finland we have these kind of superfood in forests as much as you can it! Many Finns collect different kinds of berries for winter. There are strawberries, blueberries, buckthorns, lacquer, raspberrys and goodeberry. They mature at a slightly different time so there is always a good time to go to forest. Did you know that in lacquer has more C-vitamin than an orange?

 

Seasons

In Finland we have four season; summer, autumn, winter and spring. I like them all! I love that seasons change. Every season has their own special thing. The springtime nature comes out of bloom. Everywhere is so pretty, snow melts and the sun shines more day By day. Autumn leaves are beautiful in color and you can start burning candles (I’ll burn them all year round though). The best part of winter is definitely sledding hill! Then the summer… What can I say? It’s short. Every time. Every summer I plan to do this and that and then in August I realise that I’ve done nothing. But maybe next year…

Finnishness

Finland is the land of thousand lakes, but who are the habitants known as Finns and what is the typical Finnishness ? I’m giving you the answer from my point of view:)

Four seasons

No, I’m not talking about the luxury hotels when I say four seasons. I’m talking about Finlands’ one of the special things; spring, summer, autumn and winter, which together compose “four seasons”. Special about this phenomena is that every season has its own character and positive side.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle suomen ruska

Finlands winter is the longest, coldest and darkest of the seasons, but it also has positive sides. Myself, as maybe many of other finns think that if there is not snow in the winter and especially at Christmas, then it’s no real winter and Christmas time. In winter the white, sparkling snow and the January sun is great experience. Spring is knocking on the door already!

Spring is the time, when finns are “waking up” and smiling behind their sunglasses. In winter you don’t see so many people hanging on the streets because its so cold, but spring is encouraging people outside. You know it’s spring, when you smell fresh grass, see the first coltsfoot and can take of your jacket.

Timo
            Veijalainen

Finns appreciate the summer a lot, because they have waited it almost nine months to come again. Finns like their summer hot, but not too hot because then the weather is too stifling for the people who has cool weather most time of the year.  Finns enjoy the summer with full hearted, because they don’t experience it too often.

After short and hopefully warm summer it comes autumn, which makes the trees to bath in colours. Leaves paint themselves from green to yellow and finally to bright red. I think this is with summer the most beautiful season. In autumn the finns starts to welcome the winter by wearing woolsocks and lighting up candles.

 

Sauna

Sauna belongs to finnish culture and finns belong to sauna. In Finland the winter is long so we need something to warm us up and sauna does the trick. Sauna is still needed also in summer and quite many finns have own sauna at their summer cottage, next to the lake of course. The best feeling is to run to the refreshing lake from hot sauna.

Finns think that the sauna is a place to relaxation, silence or a long, deep chat. For finns the nudity in sauna is very natural and even a group of unknown finns together in sauna is not suprising anyone.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle suomalainen sauna

Finnish sauna speciality is a “saunavihta”, that is made of birch branches. We use saunavihta to hit each others backs to improve the blood circulation. Birch leaves also give a good smell to sauna.

 

Finnish personality

I think finns are a bit quiet and introverted especially when they meet new people but they still enjoy exploring new cultures and meeting new people. Finns just don’t want to make a “scene” of themselves and they rather observe first and they warm up a bit by bit.  Even though finns are quiet, they are very helpful and friendly also for the unknown if they ask for help or wnat to chat. Usually finns don’t start the conversation with unknown people, but they answer when asked. Some finns are flattered the given attention but some try to stay concise.

Finns are usually hard working people, very consicientious and quite self-critical. They always want to do their best. Finns are also cultural people now a days; they know what happens in the world outside of Finland, are interested of other cultures and english skills are mainly fluent. Finns hear english from tv all the time and at school english is taught well from third grade.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle avuliaisuus

I think finns have good skills at serving a client and maybe this is because education highlights the interaction between customer and servant. Good customer service is shown at shops, health care and between people when they interact with each other. We finns don’t show our real nature at first  or not even the second, but when we do, we are worth of getting to know for!