Finnishness means different things to different people. There are many things to be proud of, and also some things I would rather not mention. The list of things to be proud of or to have joy about is endless. There are the big general things like good educational system, free health-care and fair justice system, as well as clean water, honest people and pristine nature. I love the things every Finn has experienced and reminisces with a happy mind. We love going to the cottage in the summer, cooking food over the campfire and going for a swim and sauna after that, maybe rowing a boat for a bit or even go fishing, whether it’s a fun thing to do with friends or a serious hobby of the participant.
We love going for a hike in one of the national parks with our friends and looking at the view over the ridges and the lakes. We love doing road trips through the never-ending forests with music blasting from the stereos, singing every lyric, right or wrong, with all we’ve got, which is at least a very strong Finnish accent we like to call rally English. And all the fun games in the snow, not being able to avoid getting wet and cold in the end, but having the best time anyways. There is something so Finnish about going to a frozen lake to ice skate or cross-country (cross-ice?) ski, stopping at a laavu, a lean-to, to grill some sausages and drink a cup of coffee or hot juice. There would be so many more things to write about, like salmiakki and rye bread, but I think the most Finnish of them all is our attitude, sisu. We are proud of that and all the fun things that we have. The most important is to feel the Finnishness in your heart, no matter what you do.