Finnish traits

10 Finnish traits you absolutely love!

~Featured image credits: (c) Jussi Hellsten/Visit Finland~

After living in Finland for more than 2 years, I have come to realize that this much of time in this country is actually long enough to make you (unknowingly) accept and acquire a few certain Finnish ways of life and some of the typical Finnish traits. The sweet realization! It also makes you understand that the amount of admiration and love you have for this country and its people can only be described by how you have gradually come to appreciate your life here.

A few months ago, I was advised by a friend in Expat.com to talk about my life and the kind of changes I have experienced as an expat here on the blog. Expat.com is one great platform to talk about the experiences of living abroad and meeting fellow expats from all over the world. Although it took me so long to know what I want to talk about, I can finally jot down a few observations of my own which prove that I have completely come to accept my life in Finland.

Honestly speaking, the transition phase was not easy and I would still like to go back to my own country as soon as possible. It took me a long time to get settled in the totally different life here and missing friends and family is still something very difficult to get over with. But I am not a cynic. I believe in living in the moment and making the most out of my time here. Finland hasn’t disappointed in that case.

Here are 10 things I want to discuss about my life in Finland which, I believe, can prove my point. Do join in the conversation if you agree or not.

1. You secretly love the solitude:

Even if you hate to admit it and complain about neighbors not being very friendly or the absence of a high charged social life, secretly, you have come to appreciate solitude. Weekends, quiet dinners or simply hanging out at the apartment with you family seem like better options to you.

So, doesn’t matter if the winter days are lonely and gray, you just do not appreciate too much noise anymore. You actually look for excuses when you do not want to hang out with noisy or too many people anymore. Suddenly, life feels tranquil and better. The greatest realization, however, is that now you truly understand that it is not necessary to speak or voice your opinion unless it is required. In other words, silence is fun.

2. You appreciate nature better:

Even if you enjoy the comforts of a modern city, you have realized that there is a side of you that longs to live an ideal Finnish life in the woods or by the lake. And if that doesn’t happen, you are fine with getting lost in nature for now and then. You feel that way only because, Finland offers you with pristine lakes, beautiful archipelagos, and sprawling forests anywhere and everywhere you go.

Even better, you have started bringing nature to your home. Your home looks like a mini jungle with all those pots and plants.

3. The weather affects your mood:

It really does and a large part of your conversations are centered around the weather. So far, this has been my greatest realization as never in my life I had given so much thought about weather and the changing seasons. If you are in Finland, you love the distinct seasons and also know how they come with their highs and lows.

But you love them anyway because from the snow covered streets to the colourful autumn tree to fresh spring blossoms everything is worth discussing. And, you just cannot wait for the summers to come or don’t mind smiling at random strangers when the weather is good.

When summer comes in the end, it is absolutely what you have lived for.

4. You try to follow rules:

Let’s just be candid, nobody follows rules like the Finns do. So you know you have lived long enough in Finland to act like a Finn when you wait patiently at the red light to turn green or queuing for any kind of service. And let’s not even talk about the laws!

For me, I am not even impatient with such rules and regulations anymore. Also, you have learnt to value time and be punctual like your life and death depend on it. You automatically go hush-hush after 10 PM and always sort your waste because when in Finland, you live by those rules.

5. You love and live by the cuppa & the ‘kahvila’:

It is no news that the Finns love coffee and the country has world’s highest coffee consumption which is about 12kg per capital per year! Therefore, it wouldn’t be a surprise, if you find your coffee intake increasing a tenfold over the period of your stay in the country. Because, it is very difficult to smell the coffee in the air and not have it.

To add to the addiction, Finland’s coffee culture is equally grand and the kahvila or the simple coffee-shop at the street corner can alone make you want more coffee than usual.

6. You think Finnish is a cool language:

This might sound funny to you but trust me on this! When you start learning it by heart, Finnish would still be one of the toughest languages in the world but at least you would find it interesting. It needs an enormous amount of commitment from your side to embrace a new language and that commitment comes from the love you have developed for the country.

You are no longer amazed at your own ability to read store signs and labels on the store products. It is a different thing that you would still take ages to speak and write fluent Finnish. Your own language skills and also English speaking skills have changed as you have started pronouncing the word ‘burger’ as B-U-U-R-G-E-R like you pronounce the word SUGAR.

When you are initiated into this kind of love, you know what this line means, ‘juusto makkara tomaatti hampurilainen’! For those who don’t know-it is nothing but a ‘cheese -sausage-tomato burger’!

7. You think about your health more than ever:

Because it is very hard to see the Finns being so fitness conscious and not feel ashamed of your own commitments towards your fitness goals. So you gradually open up to the concept of outdoor activities like cycling to work everyday or regular evening walks in the park. I know, I still can’t bring myself to eat yogurt in the morning but I have started loving short workout sessions even if it is out of sheer guilt.

Also, a romantic date can also mean a sweaty jogging session in the park.

8. You prefer neutral colours:

Your home usually looks like this black & white picture from an architecture magazine but you really love it. Also, you have automatically started buying clothes in black, white, and gray shades. Besides, you feel very self-conscious to wear extremely bright shades of colours and a neutral coloured dress can work like a camouflage. Aah, just perfect for the times when you don’t want to be recognized in public places.

Neutral shades are more convenient for those long winter days when you are too depressed to care about colour coordination anyway.

Totally unrelated but live in Finland and sportswear is no longer a fashion disaster to you!

9. You always have room for that extra ‘makkara’:

They say, the Finns have two stomachs; one is for normal food and the other one is for sausages. So if you are a non- vegetarian and living in Finland it would be impossible to not develop a certain appetite for Finnish sausages. They are extremely delicious and comes in all kinds of flavors.

In fact, it is kind of a national characteristic to love sausages.

You know, you have adapted yourself well when you can always gobble down sausages no matter how full you feel. Be it an outdoor barbecue party of a drinking binge at the pub, the quintessential sausage will always find its way to your plate.

10. ‘Sauna’ is your solution to every problem:

You cannot live in Finland and not be convinced of the good effects a sauna session can have on you. You know and can vouch for its benefits like the Finns do. You think sauna can really cleanse your mind & body and it is fun to sit for hours in a hot, steamy room. Also, you are way past that culture shock phase when you learn about Finland’s sauna culture and etiquette for the first time.

Now, naked people chatting in the sauna feels like the most regular thing on earth, like really! Seriously, what’s the big deal with nudity??

So these were my top 10 favourite Finnish traits that I love and have come to acquire myself as well. Do post your thoughts on how you feel about your life here. There is still a long way to go in terms of having a sense of belonging but I think we are good for now. 

 

6 Comments

  • freebutfun July 19, 2017 at 10:41 am

    LOL. Great list!

    Reply
    • Jutismita July 19, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Thank you. Glad that you enjoyed the list. I am still discovering new things every day 😉

      Reply
  • SHEN June 11, 2017 at 8:02 am

    I can not agree more. As a foreigner, living in Finland there are some complaints, but still love it. Every time you change a living city, to discover the charm of the city and enjoy the city.

    Reply
    • Jutismita Hazarika June 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Thank you Shen for reading and it is true that every city and country has its own charm. It just takes a while for us to realize that.

      Reply
  • leggypeggy May 29, 2017 at 4:16 am

    We have just spent 10 days in Finland and I can already see the truth in most of your points. Great post.

    Reply
    • Jutismita May 29, 2017 at 11:33 am

      Thank you very much for reading 🙂 . Hope you are enjoying Finland as much as I do.

      Reply

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