Posts

Northern lights in Helsinki

Pet peeves: 10 things Finns love to hate

Northern lights in Helsinki

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.

 

2. Sweden

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.

 

3. Russia

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.

 

 

5. Wolves

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.

 

6. Themselves

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.

 

7. Sobriety

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.

 

8. Neighbors

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.

 


 

9. Politicians

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.

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more super stories




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.

Read more

Jani Ylinampa's photo of northern lights over a small river in Lapland, Finland

Lapland safari guide Jani Ylinampa’s Northern Lights photos are out of this world

Jani Ylinampa's photo of northern lights over a small river in Lapland, Finland
Jani Ylinampa works as a safari guide in Lapland. But on the side, he’s a photographer who’s developed quite the following on social media, in part thanks to his stunning shots of northern lights. We saw it fitting to feature Jani’s work and ask him a couple of question on his work and lifestyle.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Burning street car in Helsinki during USSR air raids, 1944.

Photos of bombed, WWII Helsinki mashed up with prosperous modernity

Burning street car in Helsinki during USSR air raids, 1944.

During WWII, Finland was twice involved in military confrontation with the Soviet union. For the capital, Helsinki, the most intense air raids and bombings occurred in February 1944, a campaign which is usually referred to as The Great Raids Against Helsinki. These amazing photographs, created by the Finnish Defence Forces Combat Camera unit, mash up haunting photos of wartime destruction with modern pics from a couple years back, in nice black and white plus colour images.

The USSR was under the impression its bombing campaigns were more successful and expected Helsinki to be pretty much gone by the end of the war. The Soviets didn’t learn of the relatively limited damage until after the war when Allied Control Commissioner Andrei Zhdanov visited Helsinki.

Read more

Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights in Helsinki

12 ways Finnish Christmas loneliness can eat you alive

Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights in Helsinki

Christmas, at least in Finland, is supposed to be a lot of things: family festivities to contrast almost constant darkness. Gifts, rituals, traditions, journeys to home towns.

Everyone isn’t able to go with that flow. Not everyone wants it either.

However, Finnish society shuts down around Christmas, whether you have people to be with or not. So, if you know someone who might want company around Christmas, it’s probably not a bad idea to invite them to some part of your festivities.

Mental health crisis center hotline, Finland

If you’re on the side of waiting out Christmas and things get really gnarly, please be in touch with the crisis hotline of the Finnish Association of Mental Health.

We think this topic is serious: If you have suggestions and helpful tips on things to do during Christmas, let everyone know in the comments down below.
Read more

This amazing Instagram photographer will teach you about Helsinki’s walls

HelsinkiWalls

Anyone who’s into Helsinki should take note of this Instagram profile, Helsinkifacades. The account has one goal: documenting the facades of Helsinki, in glorious detail.

The idea isn’t new: the Ihaveathingforwalls Instagram is a must-see for any friends of architecture, but this hyper-localized account documents Helsinki, one wall at a time.

We warmly recommend reading the captions too. The unnamed photographer gives well-researched detail about the origin of the buildings, including architects and years built. The same photographer has a general repository of more Helsinki goodness in a separate account: @somewhereinhelsinki_.

Read more

Finn and Loathing in Las Vegas: The day I attended a Donald Trump rally

DonaldTrump

They say magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone. This casino hotel in the southern end of Las Vegas must be full of magic then, as I’m surrounded by 10 000 trumpists. Me, a guy from the liberal leftist-green bubble of a Scandinavian capital, now surrounded by people who’d like nothing more but to see Donald Trump as their president. Donald Trump, who from my European perspective mostly seemed as a comic relief in US politics and yet another proof that the rightmost wing of the American political spectrum has completely lost its collective mind. But even the northern end of Europe had received news indicating that Trump’s success might not be just a sudden fluke – and that he even could be on the brink of accomplishing something revolutionary in the US political scene.

So when I noticed Trump would be doing a rally in Las Vegas during my holiday there, I quickly booked the tickets. This seemed to be a fascinating opportunity to see history in the making, and at the very least it would be a chance to get an insider look into what it is in Trump that people are drawn to. And let’s not forget: Trump has loads of comic value, so if all else fails I would, at least, get a stand-up comedy set for free – in Vegas that’s a formidable deal.

Read more