Forming friendships with Finns
First, I want to share my experiences on how Finnish people typically form friendships.
There are different levels of friendships that you can form with Finnish people. If you go to the same school or workplace, people usually are friends in there, but not during their free time. In Finnish culture it can be hard to find true friends from school or workplace, because Finns usually like to keep their life and working culture as “separate lives.”
However, that is not something that is being written on the stone, as if you are the first one to make the effort towards being “true” friends, Finnish people are open minded. But because Finnish people are usually quite “shy” and quiet at first, you need to be brave to make the first move on forming friendship.
Once you form a friendship with a Finn, you will possibly create a lifelong friend who wouldn’t easily turn their back on you. Finnish people are very trustworthy and loyal, and in that way, they are very good friends too. Also, even if you wouldn’t find a true friend from work or school, there are usually some free-time activities on special occasions with whole group and if you want to make friendships you should take part on those events!
Finnish school and working environment
Next topic that I want to write about, is how Finnish people usually function in school or working environment.
In Finland there isn’t usually a high hierarchy that is being shown in everyday life in schools or workplaces. Women and men are as equal and teachers, bosses and coaches for example are one important part of the whole team – they are usually called by their first name, and you can speak to them in a normal respectful tone, as you should speak to everyone else too.
In Finland the first assumption is usually that you are being trusted in deadlines and projects if not proven otherwise, if you show in basic actions that you care about the common goals and rules. That is being shown by not being late and by participating. You will probably be given some tasks for yourself to take care of, and you will have your own space and vision to make it – of course there can be some common rules or guidelines to follow, but you can use your own way to take the task to goal. There will probably be some meetings to check where you are going and there usually is the option to ask help if needed.
If you are used to different way of working, and this way feels weird or makes you nervous, you should talk about it openly. Finnish people usually wants that you feel comfortable in working or school environment and they want to be there for you so everyone could succeed as a team!
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