When I was a kid, I was always super proud to be from Finland. I was admiring our female president and prime minister, loved the forests and simply tought that Finland is the best country in the world. Nothing was better than spending the summer by the lake in our summer cottage. Eating fresh blueberries. Partying when Finland won the world hockey championchip. That’s what Finnishness meant to me when i was a kid. Free and safe to do whatever I wanted.
Then the teenage years started and I thought that being from Finland was so boring and I wanted to be from London or something exciting like that. I wished that English was my first language. There were so many cool popstars and YouTubers from the big world and Finland was just a little piece of land where nothing cool happened. Snow was annoying and winter was my least favourite season. At that time Finnishness didin’t mean much to me.
But when the time went by and I started to travel with my family more, I started to appreciate being a Finn again. Our fresh water, free healthcare, Finnish sisu and how long we have gotten as a small country. The coldness of our land and the frozen lakes, endless forests with wild animals. Now I see all those ”boring” things as one of the most beautiful things in the world.
Now I’m just waiting how my perspective of Finnishness will change druing my exchange.