Finnishness from a perspective of a foreigner raised in Finland.

Finnishness from a perspective of a foreigner raised in Finland.

Growing up as a foreigner in Finland has given me a different view of what it means to be Finnish. I’m Anna, originally from Spain but living here since I was seven. Mixing my Spanish and African background with Finnish life has shown me a colorful blend of cultures and experiences.

One thing I love about Finland is its nature. The quiet lakes, deep forests, and starry nights are so peaceful. In places I’ve lived before, city lights block out the stars, so seeing them here is really special.

I’ve also grown to appreciate Finnish people and their way of life. They’re usually quiet, but I’ve had some lovely chats with strangers while swimming or walking in the park. Compared to Spanish or Nigerian culture, Finns are less talkative, but that’s okay. It’s a good balance.

One big difference I’ve noticed is how Finnish society values independence. In my other cultures, community and togetherness are a big deal. But here, people tend to focus more on themselves. Still, Finns are kind-hearted, even if they keep to themselves more.

If you want to experience Finland, I recommend some simple things: swim at sunset, have a cozy campfire, try skiing, visit a Christmas market, and spend time in a cottage.

In Finland, I’ve found a mix of beauty and simplicity that’s made it feel like home. It’s taught me to enjoy the little things and appreciate different ways of living. And in this mix of cultures, I’ve discovered what being Finnish is all about — a blend of nature, culture, and independence.



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