For the first 18 years of my life I lived in Finland, but only after going abroad, (and then coming back) I started to really appreciate the environment that I grew up in. For me, it’s a country of peace and nature. Wherever you are in Finland, you always have access to nature which has a very calming effect. Finland can be very quiet, sometimes even disturbingly quiet, but it really gives you space, mentally and physically, to connect with yourself and the earth.
Nature and especially water are essential elements to us. We sit by the lake, we swim in it, we walk on it, we ski on it… No wonder I didn’t feel at peace abroad when I didn’t have a lake, sea, or river nearby. We like to keep our environment clean and I think that Finnish culture respects nature a lot.
Another thing that builds peace in Finland is space. The area of our country is huge but then there’s not that many of us to fill it. Finns love their own space because that’s the only way we know how to live. I don’t even remember if I’ve ever had to stand on a bus in Finland. There has always been space.
My favorite part of the Finnish attitude is sisu for sure. In English, the closest word might be perseverance, but in my opinion, the word can’t really be translated. It is the attitude of walking to school when it’s -30 degrees outside. It is about winning the ice hockey world championship when no one thought they had a chance. It is the mindset of making shit happen even though it feels impossible. It is about continuing even when things get rough. The Finnish attitude is also about being humble. It is very unlikely for a Finn to brag about their achievements.
Hopefully, this opened up a bit about what Finnishness can be!