I have lived my whole life in Finland, in the bigger cities and also on the countryside, almost half and half. While I’m in Tampere I feel like a proper city girl, all urban and fancy. And then I go to the countryside or to the nearest forest and find my inner eräjorma (there is no translation for this word, but I feel ranger would be the closest alternative, someone who can survive in the “wild”). And I love it! I love that I can feel fancy or down to earth whenever I want. I live relatively close to the city center and yet the closest forest is less than 2 kilometers away.
To me this is the strength of Finland and in particular the strength of Tampere. The nature is everywhere. I was devastated when some of the trees on the main street, Hämeenkatu, were cut down because of the building of the tram, that damn tram. Those trees had been there for decades, and where a big part of why I loved Tampere. I get why they had to go but still *insert crying emoji*. Thankfully there are still parks near the center and it hasn’t yet become a total concrete jungle.
And now quick before you think I’m a crazy treehugger I’ll jump into one of my favorite topics, fashion and design. Finland is the Mecca of simplistic design, among the other Nordic countries. Especially the current theme in all designing is simplicity, eco-friendliness and nature. For example, the clothing and fabric company Marimekko is well known for their nature inspired and/or simplistic patterns.And the glass and tableware company Iittala is most known for their modern design. To me this speaks very loudly of us finns. We like simple things, we love the nature and we let it show.
In conclusion to me Finnishness is taking care of the nature, enjoying the simple things in life, like being able to go to the forest and listen to the silence and breathe in the clean air.(Funny story; I was at a concert a while ago and the singer said that the first thing they noticed in Finland was how clean the air is! Haha so funny..) Finnishness is also not liking the God damn tram worksite, which is making me crazier by the hour. Finnishness is being crazy, too! Most of us are more or less crazy.
WTF, Welcome to Finland.