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Functional, punctual and awesome: my first 12 months in Finland

When I was a teenager in my home country of Bangladesh the only thing I knew about Finland was that it’s the land of Nokia.

After completing my bachelor’s in electronics I worked as a journalist for 3 years, I then decided to come to Finland to pursue a master’s at the University of Oulu.

I observed a number of interesting characteristics about Finland in my first 12 months of living here and I present them below…

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Midsummer sunset in Finnish lake landscape

Isn’t it dreamy? Save your rainy day with stunning photos of Finnish lakeside midsummer sunsets

Midsummer sunset in Finnish lake landscape

When Finnish summer weather disappoints, there’s always pictures and the internet. We were contacted by young photographer Markus Watkins, whom we interviewed earlier this year, about his fun collection of summery activities shot in winter landscapes.

Markus wanted to share another set of his with our readers. Since the sky is grey at the time of writing, we can’t think of a single reason why we should turn down this set.

Scroll down for Markus’ dreamlike lakeside shots featuring the legendary Finnish midsummer almost-sunset.

We also suggest you read our interview, if you’re not already familiar with Markus’ work. You can also follow Markus on Instagram.

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Dancing bears and mirror lakes: Valtteri Mulkahainen’s spectactular photos of Finnish nature

Finnish photographer Valtteri Mulkahainen's iconic shot of "dancing" bear cubs

 
A few years ago, Mr. Valtteri Mulkahainen of Sotkamo hit the news in Finland and globally, as his pictures of “dancing” bear cubs in the Suomussalmi forests captured the imagination of nature friendly people everywhere. We wanted to feature Valtteri in our series on Finnish photography, so we’ve caught up with him in a short interview on wolves, using camera gear in the extreme, iPhone killing cold… and Pokémon Go.

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Young man jumping into icy lake, like it was summer. Photo in Asikkala, Finland.

The impossible contrast: Young photographer drops summer-like scenes into freezing Finnish winter

Young man stuck with rowboat in snow on icy lake, Asikkala, Finland.

At the time of writing, it’s rather cold, around -20°C, here in Helsinki. To make this a bit less insufferable, let’s enjoy some summery pictures. Almost.

Sixteen-year-old, award-winning photographer Markus Watkins has just published a very timely set of summer activities set in freezing cold Asikkala. We asked some questions about his set, which he named The Impossible Contrast.

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Aurea borealis over cottages in Lapland, Finland

Arctic #nofilter: 15 Instagram snapshots that show why Lapland’s the crown jewel of the North

Aurea borealis over cottages in Lapland, Finland

Free pro tip: too much Instagram at bedtime will mess with your sleep. On the other hand, if you open Instagram first thing after your alarm rings in the morning, your phone’s screen will help you wake up. Put simply, Instagram can be a fantastic infusion of beauty into your day when you need it the most.

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Simply Suomi: 5 everyday delights that make Finland fantastic

finland

We all know that Finland is very high on the list in the international rankings on education, freedom of press, equality and social security. For example, according to the 2016 World Happiness Report, Finland is the 6th happiest country in the world, and Helsinki ranks 3rd on the 2016 Metropolis Magazine most liveable cities list. We live in a wonderful place. Let’s embrace it!

Lists and rankings are a great thing, but what about personal experience? My expat years made me think about my Finnish happiness from a different, everyday-life perspective. There are four things that make life in Finland better than anywhere else: simplicity, design, functionality and access to nature. To understand what I mean, here is a list of five everyday things I really missed while living away from home.

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