The lazy Bastard's Guide to Finland


Short Facts About Finland for people who can't be bothered with… blah blah, whatever.

Do you want to know more about Finland, but can't be bothered using precious brain cells on reading lots of information? Trying to look busy enough in work to prevent your manager from putting extra work on you before 5:30?

Then sit your lazy ass back in that reclining chair and read on.

What is Finland?

Finland is a fantastic place. So fantastic, in fact, that the UN has named the small Nordic nation as the happiest country in the world.

With an area of 333,145 sq km and a population of just 5.5 million people, Finland is spacious and boasts a whopping 187,888 lakes and over 22 billion trees.

By the way, Finland is technically not part of Scandinavia, so remember that fact for the next time someone tries to catch you out in a pub quiz!

What's the main religion in Finland?


Christianity

70.94 per cent of the 5.5 million overall population thinks Jesus is a solid guy, while the 0.4 per cent of the people that identify as Jewish, Muslim and Hindu etc. probably don't think Jesus is Mr Fantastic.

Finland has two official national churches; The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (Protestant) and the far smaller Finnish Orthodox Church.

How long do Finnish people live?

79 years (men)
84 years (women)

This is just an estimate and is not a green light to push Finns into oncoming traffic. Believe me, doing this will attract attention from the police.

How do you call the police or an ambulance in Finland?


Pick up a phone (any phone will do, although it will more than likely be made by Nokia) and call 112!

Finnish education

The Finnish education system is consistently judged by the UN as one of the best education systems in the world. Finnish children begin school at the late age of 7, which has proven to be highly effective, as many Finns go on to take advantage of the state's generous selection of publicly funded lifelong learning programs.

I make no simplification when I state that any Finnish citizen, regardless of race, social group or financial circumstance, can get a decent education. Why the rest of Europe hasn't followed Finland's education policy is entirely beyond me.

Sisu

Sisu is to Finland what "Keep Calm and carry on" is to the United Kingdom, and "Gee, that Kim Jong Un fella sure is dreamy," to North Korea.

Finns live their lives with Sisu, and although it's often misunderstood by other cultures, we can learn the essence of the word through the following translation.

"Extraordinary endurance in the face of adversity. Persistence, determination, guts, willpower, and resolve. An indomitable spirit."

But living life with Sisu isn't about just being tough, it's about being strong enough to open your heart to others and to life while knowing that when life gives you a bad hand, you will deal with it, and you will be OK.

If you would like to know about living life with Sisu, I highly recommend reading "Sisu: The Finnish Art of Courage." Written by the Finnish photographer and writer, Joanna Ulfsdotter Nylund.

The book is loaded with beautiful images and expert opinions and explains how you can apply Sisu to everything from relationships to careers. It was absolutely the best book I read in 2018 and will more than likely be the best book I read in 2019!

Is Finland dark all the time?


No! Due to Finland's geographical location, you can expect to see the sunrise at 4 a.m and not set until around 1 a.m in the summer months in Helsinki. And some places in Northern Finland don't see darkness for the entire summer.

The winter brings darkness, though. It also hurts your face!

Remember that scene on the Shining when Jack Nicolson is sitting outside the Overlook Hotel, frozen solid with a look of rage on his face? That's called "Waiting for the bus" on a winter morning in Finland.

Finnish politics

Like a fun-loving bisexual, Finland likes a bit of both and has a Prime Minister and a President.

The President

Sauli Niinistö

President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö won the presidential election in 2012. His victory saw an end to the 30-year ruling stretch of the opposing party, the Social Democrats.

Becoming President means the political influence he enjoyed as finance minister from 1996-2001-when he gained an excellent reputation for leading Finland towards economic growth after the collapse of the Soviet Union- has been swapped for a jolly frolic of formal affairs and state dinners.

The President of Finland's role resembles that of Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. They can't really do much, but It's still kind of a big deal when they come to town.


The Prime Minister

Antti Rinne

A lawyer by profession, leader of the Social Democratic Party, Antti Rinne became the Prime Minister of Finland after winning the majority vote in the 2019 election. Before taking his current job, Rinne did a few steady gigs as the Minister of Finance, Deputy Prime Minister of Finland and Speaker of Parliament.

So, there you have it. A few fun facts about Finland you can use to impress your friends.

Now get back to work, ya lazy bastard!

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