Finnish culture, what is it all about? Some might picture the reindeer and the snow and even the Santa Clause. Yes he DOES live in the North Pole and yes, North Pole does exist in Finland, every kid in Finland knows that as a fact.
But I think many people have quite wrong idea about Finnish culture. Most Finns have nothing to do with any kind of deer and do not own any colorful “tribe” type of clothing.
Finns love music and dance. There is dance restaurants in every town and older folks tango and polka with ease. Then there is the other side. Many Finns are somber, they do not want to be bothered. There is this over all attitude telling foreigners to stay in the distance. Finland is quite big country but has only 5 million people living in there. And trust me, they want to keep it that way!
Don’t get me wrong, tourists are welcome and they get to see all the “traditional” Finnish pastimes, including the sauna and vodka. But if you want to dig little deeper you’ll find out that Finns are well educated and often speak several languages and they had cell phones before most Americans even dreamed of owning one. Yes, Nokia is Finnish brand.
There is great opera singers born in Finland and touring around the world and many Europeans travel to Finland just to hear them in some of the famous Opera Houses in Finland. Extreme sports are very popular and if there is jumping high up in the sky and twisting around involved in the sport you can bet there is many Finns on top of the charts!
Finns love to gamble. You can place a bet on just about anything from first score in a hockey game to who will win the singing competition. Lottery is very popular.
Finns love motor sports. They have their share of Formula 1 champions including the latest one, Kimi Rikkonen and rally cross is another sport you’ll find a Finn on the top of the game.
Just about every Finnish family has a place to go by the lake, little cottage and a sauna and they will treasure their time closer to the nature fishing and picking their own berries.
Some call Finns the most jealous people in the world, everyone wants to be better and bigger than their neighbors, maybe it is the competitiveness of the people.. Finns are not big on any “small talk” they rather sit quiet than say anything unless they really have something to say. This is one reason many Finns do not like Americans, Yanks tend to talk too much and it is considered to be little awkward behavior by some Finns.
But if you do make friends with a Finn and get to know her or him better, I bet you will have a friend for life.
And yes, I am a Finn and I am very proud of my country. Come and visit but remember to have a ticket back to your own country to keep most Finns happy!