70 years ago Finland was still something of an agrarian backwater. Fast forward to today and Finns live in one of the most futuristic societies on earth. They might not be teleporting to their summer cottages yet or clearing snow with robot servants, but here’s are 7 wonderful ways that Finns are already enjoying life in the future every single day.
Finnish summers are short and sweet, but they sure can be spectacular! It’s important to enjoy every single second of them before the long dark winter comes once again. In Finland, summer appreciation has been turned into an art form — nobody soaks up the sun like the Finns do.
Need some proof? Just take a look at these historical photos of Finns loving the Helsinki summer. Take notes, because you just might learn a thing or two.
Are Finnish summer cottages more labour camp than holiday camp? Very Finnish Problems creator, and Helsinki resident Joel Willans, discusses Finns love of forest work with Ink Tank writer Thomas Nybergh. It’s revealed that Joel doesn’t get to play with the chainsaw and that Thomas hasn’t caught a fish in his entire life.
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Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media
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About the show
What’s so weird and wonderful about Finland? British-born Joel Willans, creator of Very Finnish Problems, discusses, with a variety of fascinating guests, what he’s learnt after 15 years living in his much-loved, adopted country.
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Finnish Americans are a tiny portion of the American population, and yet they have made a big impact on American culture. Read on for 10 fun facts about Finnish Americans that Finns probably don’t know.
The general interests of 20-somethings seem somewhat universal. Depending on location, though, the expression of these preferences often vary.
Finland is a small country and has a challenging climate (unless you’re very much into skiing), so young people have gotten creative. From adventurous spots for lovemaking to becoming an internet sensation overnight, here are ideas how to spend your 20s the Finnish way.
This weekend, April 21-23, cultural norms in Helsinki are shaken as the place to be shift towards the oft forgotten eastern suburb, Kontula, for a partially free festival.
Due to long winters and rainy summers, it’s not unusual for someone with the warm, yet reserved Finnish mentality to spend a lot of time being annoyed about things. If you sit down and listen to Finns you’ll probably come across more than a few pet peeves.
To help you prepare, we’ve collected a list of common gripes. If you’re hanging out with Finns, you could do worse than to make bingo cards with these.
1. The weather
What’s there to like about Finnish weather, most of the time? It keeps you from enjoying the gorgeous surroundings.
Our western neighbor is seen as some kind of annoying big brother figure. Then there is the Swedish national hockey team, which deserves a special level of loathing.
For obvious reasons, Finland has a complicated relationship with the great oligarchy of the East. Most annoying: that grumpy bear is a vital trading partner. Infuriating.
4. Smalltalk and unsolicited sociability
It’s not uncommon for Finns to hurry into their flats in apartment blocks as to not have to make the choice of whether to greet a neighbor or not.
Many “suburban” Finns live in what’s essentially utter wilderness. Still, they remain shocked and appalled by the occasional wolf. If a wolf is spotted, panic and hunting mania ensues.
Let’s face it: if most people suck, you probably suck. A popular source of communal self-loathing (‘myötähäpeä‘) is the English language. Finnish, as fascinating as it is, is a weird affair, and Finnish speakers tend to default to a slightly quirky pronunciation of English. Despite great passive language skills and vocabulary, thanks to subtitled tv, Finns tend to think they’re the only ones who default to speaking English with a distinct accent.
This is one of those cases where young people these days are way saner than even gen X:ers. However, you can still run into situations in Finland where people consider you a buzzkill if you don’t drink. In some circles, even vegans aren’t seen as equally annoying as non-drinkers. Doesn’t matter if you’ve discovered that you tend to ruin your life if you touch alcohol, you’ll find out who your true friends are after you decide it’s time to dry up.
The typical Finnish agricultural landscape of disparate homesteads, rather than villages, is due to a relatively recent land reform. However, many Finns remember their roots in these landscapes and have taken to heart an attitude of Finns just being unable to bear too many people. This makes the idealized version of Finnish life a bizarre version of suburbia, highways and strip malls in the wilderness.
If you’re popular for some reason, for example through some general purpose celebrity, don’t make the mistake of turning to politics. People will loathe you and move on to idealizing the police and military.
10. Being successful
The law of Jante has to be one of the most dreadful properties of small Nordic societies – don’t think you’re special or better than us. Or rather, don’t make us think you think you’re better than us. If you have ambitions, leave for whatever passes as cities in Finland.
Now, here’s the thing: if you’re a Finn, our list probably left out some vital object of your annoyance and hate. To tell us just how much you loathe us for missing these important facts, let your rage flow into the comment section below.
Title photo by Title credits.
The Finnish people. We’re a sauna bathing, ice hole swimming, metal music loving and often very gloomy group.
Is there more to the mentality of a Finn? Really dissecting the customs and habits of the Finnish people, we discovered some interesting building stones to their mentality, ones you won’t read about in Monocle.
Finns are world-renowned for their fondness for drink. The Finnish people also have a very distinctive way of getting hammered, which often involves copious amounts of alcohol drunk very quickly. Consequently, learning to drink like a Finn can be a challenging venture (which is helped by a liver with supernatural healing powers). Apparently, being able to down 62 beers and 10 shots of kossu makes it all worthwhile, though.
So, to help you on your way to a Viking level liquor holding skills (or just to marvel at the drinking customs of the Finns, your choice), we have compiled this list of the key elements of Finnish drinking culture.
It’s an absolute delight for a Finn, whenever we are mentioned anywhere. Much like in that old Monty Python sketch, where the town Wains Cotting is mentioned on the telly. For a Finn, the movie Die Hard comes to mind. Also King Ralph, where…ahem, the Royal Family of Finland actually gets some screen time. Or how about the Monty Python song “Finland”, in which Michael Palin pours his heart out about snacking lunch and watching TV in Finland. Stuff like this makes one´s heart burst with pride, so you can only imagine the thrill of reading Stephen King´s Duma Key in its original language.
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@DJVassallo Big thanks for the thumbs up! We love reading this series as much as we love writing it. We always learn something new 😀👍
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