When you think about Finland and Finnish people, you don’t think how social we are. Instead, personal space, lack of small talk and anti-social tendencies might be the ones to come to your mind. At least that’s the reputation we seem to have garnered.

Us Finnish people tend to love our private space. While waiting for the bus in the bus stop, everyone keeps a respective few meters in between others, and a glare might be given out if someone tries to step too close to our personal space. You don’t say hi to strangers and there’s no reason to start a conversation with them out of nowhere. A Finn’s nightmare would be small talk with a stranger, in a situation where they can’t escape.

That being said, all that flies out the window, when a sports team succeeds in their sport. Whether it’s a local or a national team, you can be sure there will be people gathering in their nearest marketplaces or city centres to celebrate the win in unity. The bigger the team, the bigger the celebrations. While a local team winning the Finnish championship makes one city go crazy, a national win, such as World Ice Hockey Championship makes the entire country lose their minds.

That’s the thing I probably love the most about Finnishness. For a nation that has such a reputation of being extremely anti-social, we come together in such unity to celebrate these things. No matter how big or small the sport is, there will be someone swimming in their nearest water fountain.


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