Need more Finnish Nightmares in your life? Well, you’re in luck! Finnish Nightmares: A Different Kind of Social Guide to Finland has just been released by its creator, Karoliina Korhonen.
It didn’t take long for Finland to fall in love with Matti, the socially awkward protagonist of the Finnish Nightmares comic. Within just a few short months of his appearance, Matti has captured hearts both here in Suomi and around the world with his “do unto others” philosophy that values personal space and respect. And it’s no wonder Finns identify with him so easily — Matti’s personal views on peace and quiet tend to be the norm in Finland.
Happily, you don’t have to be Finnish to enjoy the book. With chapters on Social Relations, Public Transportation, At Work and more, Finnish Nightmares: A Different Kind of Social Guide to Finland has plenty of helpful tips on how to handle tough situations in the truly Finnish way. Matti’s experiences will ring true for Finns, introverts, and foreigners in Finland alike. Finns, prepare to chuckle when you realise just how many of Matti’s inner thoughts you share. Introverts, expect to cringe along with Matti as he navigates the ins and outs of social interaction. Foreigners, expect a ton of “Aha!” moments while following Matti on his daily adventures in Finnish life. This book will undoubtedly clear up a few social misunderstandings for you. With something for everyone, Finnish Nightmares: A Different Kind of Social Guide to Finland takes you on a trip into the Finnish mind while exploring the sometimes small, but always awkward, social expectations of Finland.
Here are our top 7 reasons why you need to read Finnish Nightmares: A Different Kind of Social Guide to Finland — in our opinion, it should be a must-read for anyone living in Finland. We can all unite under the umbrella of Matti’s self-consciousness — just not together. That would be weird.
1. Because while not all Finnish stereotypes are true, some definitely are
Yes, riding polar bears while rocking out to metal and not talking to anyone is tons of fun. Any Finn can surely tell you that.
2. Because you check your peephole to make sure the hallway is clear before leaving your flat
We know you’ve done it. We’ve done it too. Why subject yourself to needlessly awkward social interaction with your neighbours? Even a quick “moi” can be too much for Matti.
3. Because public transportation occasionally makes you question your self-worth
Do I smell bad? Was I taking up more than my fair share of space? Do I simply look “off”?
4. Because you’ve had a moment of panic when someone goes in for a hug
What’s wrong with a quick handshake?
5. Because the sight of a full bus makes your palms sweat
…and nothing makes you happier than an empty one
So many seats to choose from!
6. Because you know to stick to the gravelled parts of the sidewalk
You know the drill: take a quick look around to check if someone saw, then get up quickly as possible and slip away into the shadows before they can ask if you’re okay.
7. Because we all have a little Matti inside us
Finns are well-known for their appreciation of personal space and meaningful discussion rather than small talk. But no matter how outgoing you are, there’s probably still a part of you deep down that frets over social interaction. Happily, you don’t have to go it alone — Matti is here to share your pain.
With the release of the brand new Finnish Nightmares book, Finland’s favourite cartoon introvert is officially a star! We can’t help but wonder, what would Matti say about all this attention?
Needless to say, we’re huge fans of Finnish Nightmares and Matti. We’ve read the book and loved it, and we’re sure you’re going to love it just as much. You can find the book, in either Finnish or English, here. Happy reading, and happy commiserating!
Joel Willans is the Co-founder of Ink Tank Media and author of the short story collection, SPELLBOUND: Stories of Women’s Magic over Men. His prize-winning fiction has been broadcast on BBC radio and published in dozens of magazines and anthologies worldwide. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.