Finnishness for the most people is the fresh air, nature, honesty, personal space and sauna, which are the things Finland is mostly known abroad and why people want to come to Finland. But the feeling of Finnishness comes with time. Living for a long time in Finland or being a native citizen gives you the best and real feeling of Finnishness.
For me the Finnishness represents the changing weather and getting used to it. Meeting the people who keep their promises, and you can trust everybody.
Feeling the Finnish summer with its rains, winters with lots of snow and freezing temperatures, hot summer days on the peaceful beach and the mosquitoes when being on the summer cottage or at least outside of the most populated area. Hearing the personal Finnish language spoken which is quite hard to learn according to foreign people or even in some cases the Finnish people too. Those above-mentioned things are few of the things that make the whole “Finnishness” term for me.
Also, the one big thing in Finnishness is the Finnish state of mind. Being little bit reserved, which could make it a bit harder to get to know people. The independency of people that they want to manage on their own. Their personal space which is the most visible in any kind of bus, tram etc. stops where they are like 1 meter away from the next person. Small talk is also one thing Finns are not so good at and the topics with not so familiar people are mostly talking about weather or anything as light to chat about. Those things might sound a little bit cold for most of people, but getting to know a Finnish person and making friends with them potentially leads to friendship of a lifetime.
Something about national identity. Watching an Independence Day ceremony on TV is like a national tradition for many Finnish people. Linnan juhlat (Presidential palaces party)– program gathered over 2 million people in 2022 (reached almost 3 million people) on their homes to watch invited people to shaking hands with the president and his spouse. Who does it like this like the Finns? That’s something to add on the theme of Finnishness and the traditions of Finnish people.