4 Weird Facts about Finland

There are a few aspects of Finnish society that a newcomer should consider to avoid any social faux pas.

1. Everyone has seen their relatives naked

Finns are famously private, but they aren’t afraid to show some skin when it comes to enjoying the sauna, their national pass-time.

Almost all houses and apartment blocks in Finland contain a steamy sauna. It’s a spiritual and relaxing place where Finns literally and figuratively hang out with friends, family, and even workmates, often ending their naked gatherings with a dip in an icy lake.

So, if you have a Finnish friend who talks about seeing their uncle Dave’s balls, take a while to understand Finnish culture before calling the authorities. Dave could be a really great guy!

2. Everyone has a place in the country

In many parts of the world, having a place in the country is often a luxury enjoyed by the rich. But owning a summer cottage in Finland is as normal as seeing your uncle Dave’s balls.

With a population of only 5.3 million and a land mass of 338,424 km², Finland has a lot of free land that can support nearly half a million summer cottages.

The love of these summer retreats began in the 19th century when only the rich could afford the luxury. But by the 1950s, most people in Finland owned their own summer cottage, where they can enjoy those long Nordic nights with family and friends.

3. People mean exactly what they say

Being from the UK, I found it difficult to understand this concept at first. In the UK, the question “How are you,” is asked to be polite, when the statement “Oh, good for you,” is said with the utmost sarcasm.

But in Finland, if you ask a friend how they are, they will tell you everything. This means that this casual greeting can turn into a long discussion about how your friend never felt loved by their dad or something.

This is confusing at first, but knowing exactly what someone is thinking makes life a lot easier.

4. Small talk is not acceptable

Despite Finland being a country where you can let your schlong swing freely like the stray trunk of a blind elephant, saying more than a few words to a stranger is not acceptable.

You can say Moi (meaning hi) to someone in a lift just to break the social awkwardness, but that’s about it. A few more words than that, and they will think you’ve been drinking.

So, if you are coming to Finland and don’t want to make a fool of yourself, remember this…..

Get naked, don’t laugh at balls and boobs, and don’t talk to anyone unless you know them. If you do know the person, be prepared to talk longer than you had originally thought.


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