Finnish Winter and Spring

The most exhausting time in Finland as an international student are the long dark days in winter and spring, so how do the Finnish people cope ?

Being one of many international students in TAMK, I had a lot of interesting culture clashes and experiences. But one of the biggest challenges was and still is, the reoccurring winter days and short spring.

So how does someone cope with this jump of daylight deficiency and cold, cold weather, where going for a walk is already a challenge due to ice.

The solution lays with the Finns. Looking at them the solution is quite clear. First of all, decorations… what better way to illuminate the dark days of winter then with strings of light. What is mostly seen as Christmas decorations in other countries is a substantial source of light in Finland.

Secondly, family and friends. Winter, cold weather and constant ice means being home is the best way to embrace days and nights. Therefore inviting, cooking and spending time with friends and family is so important. This can be seen in traditions like Pikku Joulu and weekends spend with family and friends.

Lastly, the most visible way of coping is the constant of winter sports, going for walks and going for coffee. Because even if home is the nicest place to be, days need to be spend outside. So with wind and weather, I can assure the reader, that there will be Finns walking their dog, going cross country skiing and walking on the lake.

Next of, what about the spring… Spring itself is a love- hate relationship. Because, in my opinion, spring doesn’t really exist. There are reprieves from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Winters, but there is a short time where everything blooms and then there is summer. So I can just tell from my experience, the spring in Finland consists of blooming trees and constant warning of not-going-on-the-melting-lake (Finns still go) and the stream of people spending time outside.

This means coping with these days is different for everyone, but it is definitely dependent on friends and family and choosing your activity for the day.


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