The first things that come in my mind when I think of Finland and Finnishness is our beautiful nature, sauna, quietness, and summer cottages. It also means our world know education systems, high suicide rates, depression and prejudice towards diversity. It is not perfect but it is still my home, a place where I suit in and feel comfortable in.
For me Finnishness is a combination of happiness, luck, peace, sadness, sisu and authenticity. Finnish people are quiet, and I love it. It is the only place where I can trust that my quietness is not taken as a bad or weird thing, but as a normal trait of me and us as a nation. With quietness also comes conversations with meaning. I feel like when we ask how one is doing, the question is real and gives opportunity to tell the truth if one’s willing to.
I combine my Finnishness together with the love and respect for nature. Relaxing hikes in Lapland and night swims during Midsummer are something you will miss while away. I can’t but help longing back to these landscapes even while at home. It also means huge areas of forest, that I deeply hope we are protecting and respecting. It means grilling by a bonfire in full silence or a small, respectful chit chat. One of the biggest and most important part of my Finnishness is also our precious sauna and dipping in the icy water during winter. It is a place that gives you a feeling that you can’t get anywhere else. I know already now that it will be one of the things that I long the most.