If you have been planning a trip to Finland, you must have come across some of the characteristics of the Finnish culture. Maybe you’ve heard that we have more saunas in this country than there are cars? Or that the number of reindeer in Lapland is higher than the amount of people inhabiting the northern corners of Finland? These are just some of the many things making Finland so unique. We take great pride of our peculiar Finnish manners, our sauna culture and the stunning nature all around us. Ready to dive in to the mindset of a Finn?
First of all, it’s important to understand exactly how remote we’ve always been from the rest of the world. The first people came to Finland after the last ice age had ended, roughly 10 000 years ago. You can imagine, not much around here back then. Due to the cold weather followed up by the just ended age of glaciers and ice, perhaps you can understand our special affection for hot saunas, continuing till this date, as well.
From the beginning of times the Finns have been hard workers living from the land. Though thousands of years have passed from the moment the very first Finns took their first steps on the soil of this country, not much has changed. The berries covering the moss of the forests still create a migration of Finns, graving to fill their buckets and freezers for the winter with these superfoods of the North despite the armies of mosquitos lurking in the marshlands, just waiting the right moment for their ambush. And the buckets we use for the berries, we have to tell you about the buckets . As there is a new supermarket opening, they might hand out free buckets at the grand opening to attract the Finns. And the Finns que for the buckets, one might even say that this nation has a fixation for buckets.
Don’t get us even started about the saunas. Apparently, it’s cold out here during the winter time. On the summer time we every now and then have hot days as well, the temperatures might rarely even climb above +30 C. Finns are not happy with these tropical temperatures, so they calm themselves down by taking a ”löyly” in a +85 C sauna. Logical, right? The saunas have always played an important role in the Finnish culture. People have treated their health in the sauna, given birth in the sauna and had important business meetings in the sauna. Even nowadays it’s perfectly normal to meet your mother-in-law for the very first time in the sauna. Nothing odd in that, right? Did we remember to mention Finns go to the sauna normally naked?
We cannot try and introduce the Finnish culture without mentioning our need for personal space. Ice fishing is a good example. Imagine yourself on the boots of a Finn on a cold winter day. You have your ice fishing gear ready and you are already dreaming of a fresh trout on your frying pan as you step on the solid ice. But bugger, there is already another Finn fishing on the ice. This is a small lake, the length of it being only 10 kilometers. You wouldn’t want to be too close to someone, would you? Better to walk to the very other end of the lake. No risk for small talk there.
The Finns have always lived far from everything. The nature has been our playground, the rich fishing waters our cradle and the green forests our sacred place. The people of Finland might not be the most talkative ones, but friendly we are for sure. If you have problems with your car on a deserted road, no one will drive pass without checking if you are in the need of help. If you are on a bike trip across the country and your tire breaks, complete strangers will leave no stone unturned to find you a new tire to ensure your journey can continue. And, if you were to ran out of buckets due to the abundant amount of berries, the Finns will, indeed, borrow you one of their precious buckets they’ve spent hours queing for. No matter where you go, you will meet friendly faces, kind gestures and true hospitality.
We’ll be taking you even deeper into the pages of Finnish culture as the the winter approaches so stay tuned. If you don’t want to just take our word for how amazing our unique culture is, simply book your dream holiday from Apukka Resort and let us introduce the Finnish culture at its very best to you! (Ps. Don’t worry. We here in Apukka Resort do enjoy small talk, like having company when ice fishing and have plenty of buckets for you to borrow!)