What Finnishness means to me are the values that Finnish people honor. In Finland, people value equality and justice which means that everyone should be treated equally and regardless of their background and gender. Unlike in other countries in Finland, there is equality between women and men, for example, responsibility for taking care of children and home belongs to both. This day is normal and after the birth of a child, a man takes paternity leave. Also, in working life men and women are treated equally which is not common in many other cultures, for example, in many countries, some fields are only suited for men or women.
Traveling around the world and seeing other cultures I have also understood my personal space and how important it is for me as a Finn. Finns respect their peace and space, for example, at the bus stop people keep their distance and even line up. Finns value their private space so much that it would be weird if someone sits next to you on the bus if there are free seats left. Also, Finns don’t much talk to a stranger or have small talk with an unknown person, for example, with shop assistants. I have visited them a few times in the United States and their people are so open and have small talks everywhere and with everyone.
In Finnish culture, people value independence and punctuality. Young people are encouraged to be independent and move into their own homes. Many young people move their own to another city to study at a really young age. Punctuality is also important for Finnish which means that if you have a meeting you should come at the right time. On the contrary, Spain, where I’m going for an exchange, is famous for its unpunctuality and usually, they come and go whenever they want.
Free time activities
For Finns, nature is very important for outdoor activities and just relaxing. In nature, you can be at peace and it’s very good for your health. Many Finns enjoy staying in nature and hiking or collecting berries and mushrooms. Also, fishing and skiing are very popular for Finns to do outdoors. Not to the mentioned sauna which is an important part of Finnish culture because it’s for many Finns to relax in peace. In summary, Finnish people value a lot being in a peaceful environment and having their personal space. As a Finn, I can totally agree with all these things also with myself.