torstai 23. kesäkuuta 2011

The land of thousand lakes -Finland!

Finnish flag.

What do you know about Finland? 
Let me fill you in as a native Finn.

First lets talk about the weather, cos it's changes controls us.
We have 4 seasons,the biggest difference is between winter and summer. Most of the year it's cold and dark. In mid winter (about november to march) it's below 0'C, can go down to -30'C. Last two years we have had so much snow, that we don't know where to shovel it anymore. 

Typical winter day. Can be 8am or 4pm, dark after those hours.

In the summer period (about 3-4months) its really bright, meaning @midnight it gets a bit dim, but soon it's bright again. This weekend we celebrate "Juhannus" = midsummer. The sun does not go down at all and we go nuts. 

Generally finns does not complain about the weather, but it's a subject everyone talks about, cos it controls our doings a lot. 
Here's a typical winter morning. You be surprised, cos you think you'll be late for sure where ever your going, but only a true finn can manage this without screwing up the days schedule. 
FIRST shovel your way out of the house. Sometimes it has snowed so much during the night it's a struggle opening your front door. Then find your car, cos you cant be sure you'll find it where you left it.. Shovel car under the snow pile, "hello car". Warm up the car, melt the frozen locks (use special lock melting stuff or booze, that everyone has in their house). Take a sip (of the booze) to warm up. Meanwhile the car is warming, dress up the kids in layers and layers of clothes, when your done they most likely need a nappy change or go to the toilet. Get the picture..? 

In the summertime it's so different, so easy to maintain everyday chores. Best, hottest summer days we can get temperature up to +30'C. Even if its just around +10'C, we're out in our gardens planting flowers, wearing shorts. Extreme weather changes right! How do we manage? Answer is "Suomalainen Sisu" -look at the video. You don't have to understand the words (thank god you don't) just pay attention towards the attitude. 

In a nutshell, winter time we are most likely spending time at home in a small social circle, eating, drinking, decoration our homes. Summertime we're the opposite, social outgoing creatures. Call a finn extempore 8pm in the winter and ask for dinner -not happening! "I'm too comfy in my woolly socks at home". Try it in the summer -response most likely a yes! 

Lake and forrest.

Other facts about Finns

  • We are proud of our nature.
  • We are always on time.
  • We are the most coffee drinking nation in europe (we need the coffin dose cos lack of the sun in winter time).
  • We're are also the most overweight nation in europe. We love to eat and drink.
  • We have a woman president. 
  • Our currency is EURO and we're a part of European Union.
  • Our capital is Helsinki.
  • We where proud of NOKIA back in the 90's, now the national proud goes to Angry Birds.

Angry Birds -game is a creation of an finnish company called Rovio. 

  • 10% of land area is water.
  • We (should) speak both Finnish and Swedish. 
  • We start school age 7. Before that we go to pre-school for a year and before that we can be kids and play.
  • We call Finland "Suomi" in our language.
  • We are honest, but usually very,very modest. 
  • Unfortunately biggest clothing retailers are supermarkets. Waiting that to change!
  • We don't speak if we don't have anything to say. Finnish small talk = no talk.  
  • Corruption is not a (big) part of our social system or politics.
  • IVANAhelsinki and Marimekko (mari = finnish woman's name, mekko = woman's dress) makes us proud design wise.  
This "unikko" print by Marimekko can get out of hand..
  • We have been ruled both by the Swedish and Russians.
  • Generally a Finn does not like if you confuse them for being a Russian, but if you think they are Swedish -that's ok.
  • Finland win the world ice hockey championship this year.
  • We are usually a bit jealous towards Swedish people, cos they look better and produce "hit" music.
  • "If your happy, hide it". One of our sayings. 
  • 20% does not belong to the church, about 78% are lutherans. 
  • Large country, not much people, about 5,4million. 
  • Finland is NOT part of Scandinavian countries.
  • Our school education system is the highest in the world. 
  • Joulupukki = Santa Claus is from Finland! I know where he lives..
  • We LOVE our Karjalanpiirakka = Karelian pasty.


  • We pronounce Finnish language how we write it.
  • We are hard working.
  • We are people who love rules and order.
  • We mind our "own" business. 
  • Mostly when we say something we mean it. 
  • Finland shuts down for business in July and everyone agrees to it.
  • If your a huge celebrity, come here, no one will chase you.
  • The other Northern countries has their monarchy, we have Sauli Koskinen.
  • Sauna is a holy place for us. ATTN! Just strip and go. You'll make a fool out of your self trying to cover your body with a towel. Fat, skinny, boy, girl, whatever.. We are Finns -we have seen it all!

Welcome to Finland = Tervetuloa Suomeen!
-Suvi x x

3 kommenttia:

  1. I dont agree that part "Finnish small - no talk". It depends on where in Finland you are at, in the eastern part people are talkative and they talk to strangers etc. I saw a document on TV, there was a young guy from US who has a Finnish mum. He had been told The Finns are shy and quiet and then he came to Finland to army. Buddies in army were from Finnish Karelia and Savo and so on and they they talk and talk all the time. The american finnish kid was amused at "the Finnish shyness and quietness".

    Basically its a huge culture difference between eastern and western finland. Me personally found very hard to live in The West Finland where people in general are distant and hard to get to know. So go East if u going to Finland :).

  2. Dear "anonyymi",
    thanks for your comment.

    Thank god for East-Finns and some sarcasm in life :-) !
    I generally prefer that part of Finland, cos of relatives and the amazing nature.

    XO, Suvi

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