I can say that I’m glad to be Finnish. Our country is beautiful, safe, clean and overall a good place to live. But what is Finnishness made of, what does it mean to be Finnish? There are so many answers to that question, but in this post I will talk about a few things that I think are very Finnish.
Finnish people value peace and quietness. We like taking time for ourselves and not talking all the time while spending time with someone is considered totally okay and normal here. It is a thing that I value too, and too much socialisation and constant noise and talking usually takes a toll on my Finnish soul. When I was in high school, we had a quest from the Netherlands for a week in our home. I remember one time after a long day of spending time together and talking constantly, in the evening I told my mom that “I have to go to my own room and be in total quietness for the rest of the day, I am a Finn and I don’t have the energy to talk anymore!”.
We have some habits that I think are quite uniquely Finnish things that people in other countries never do. Like going crazy when someone outside of Finland, usually a famous person or platform, mentions Finland and aknowledges our existence. Celebrating and saying “torille” when it happens is something that I think only Finnish people would do. And it is such a fun, uniting thing!
Of course, I cannot talk about Finland without mentioning sauna. Sauna runs firmly in our blood, and it is definitely one of the most important parts of Finnish culture. Many events in a Finnish everyday life involve a sauna. Back in the day people were born in saunas, we go to sauna on holidays like christmas and midsummer, go to sauna to spend time with friends and when Finland wins the ice hockey world championships, “the boy (cup) goes to sauna”. Living without sauna as a Finn is like riding a car without wheels – right, you can’t.