Finnish Beliefs I Have Noticed
Visiting Finland,theses are a few observations of the people and some traits such as Finnish Beliefs that I have noticed.Follow these tips to becoming Finnish
You are familiar with many TV personalities and celebrities, Finnish and foreign.The television is full of American and British serials.There are a few German and Swedish and Spanish
The biggest of Finnish beliefs is that you tend to believe what the newspapers write and whats on Tv;As people are expected to say only what they mean,or remain “silent”
The average Finn has or is planning to have a family.This usually works out to be a wife and 1-4 siblings.In some cases you are a single parent,divorced or just separated,as some Finnish women choose to have children but not live with the father.This are some of the Finnish beliefs I have met many times
Society Based Finnish Beliefs
A strong Finnish belief is that “old people need to be respected”, but you know you don’t have to obey your parents, at least not if you are over 18.
It is commonly known Finnish people are accustomed with the society (and not families, churches or charity organizations) taking care of the poor, sick and disabled. When someone close,like mother or father gets too old and sick to live alone (and that means really old and sick), it’s normal to put her in a nursing home/hospital, not to take her to live with your family.Finns like football perhaps even the strange American version of so-called “football”. In general, however, you feel most comfortable watching sports where people wear helmets: Formula One , ice-hockey or ski-jumping. Cricket is something incomprehensible to Finnish people, but for baseball you have a version of your own, the Finnish pesäpallo. “Skiing” means cross-country skiing, but if you are under 25, you might prefer the snowboard.
You have a Finnish Belief that you should take a vacation of at least 4-5 weeks, at least once a year and you do take it, preferably in July. (although it is generally complained that “in Europe” nobody has vacations of more than a week and we should follow that trend). You spend it at your summer cottage, bathing in the sauna and swimming in the lake, or visiting the many summer events every village in Finland has, from opera festivals to world championships in wife-carrying or rubber boot-throwing. In winter, you take a week or a prolonged weekend to travel to the Mediterranean or the Canary Islands.This is a one of the sensible Finnish beliefs to escape the cold and dark Finnish Winter conditions
Middle-aged or younger and city folks,believe in a kind of all-European gourmet cooking anything from pizza to crayfish and many visit McDonald’s or other junk food places,presumably to not eat alone. If you are old and rural, you eat rye bread and potatoes every day, with either fish (mostly Baltic herring in different forms or “sauces” with kinds of meat. You feed your foreign friends Reindeer and wild berry sauces.
General Finnish Beliefs
Milk comes in cardboard cartons,called Tetra-packs,never in bottles — and you must go to the shop for it!), and the colour of the carton shows how much fat it has. Many Finnish people drink milk at every meal,and milk means plain milk, not hot milk or some fancy liquid with banana or chocolate flavour.
Finnish People drink coffee in every situation which is one of the firm Finnish beliefs,where as I, a typical Englishman would prefer a “nice cup of tea”It is customary to have coffee first thing in the morning. Elderly and rural people literally force their guests to have some Finnish coffee.
Homes are well heated in winter and have electricity, a TV, a bathroom and a toilet or two.A lot of Finnish homes have inside saunas,Again one of the firm Finnish Beliefs is to relax in the sauna in Winter time, although your summer cottage might not have all of these. You don’t kill your food yourself (except a few times a year, if you happen to be one of those who like hunting or fishing).
A bathroom (kylpyhuone) is a room with a tub and/or a shower. Toilets in Finland are found in WC (Water Closet) or behind doors with more or less clearly identifiable male and female creative door signs.
Young people and under 65, you have a cellular phone and you use it, all the time and getting a new phone is routine.Typical Finnish beliefs is to keep up to date with technological advances in telecommunications.Of allthe Finnish beliefs having a Nokia mobile is a sign of loyalty
Public transport is excellent and runs on time, within city limits If you live in the countryside and are over 18, you are accustomed to using your car always and everywhere. In Helsinki, the public transportation works well but seems to be used mostly by women and children.The Helsinki heavy drinkers can be seen often using the tram network
There are many political parties, although the differences between them are mainly ideological cosmetics — in practice, most of them seem to follow a consensus based on the idea that there is only one alternative and that is the one we are using now
It seems natural to you that there are people who (still) believe in socialism or (a kind of) communism, although you know that the Soviet Union even at its best was an underdeveloped oligarchy. If you belong to those who revolted against their parents in the 1960′s and 70′s by singing praises to the Soviet Union, you make public apologies now,another of the Finnish beliefs
You are not really a racist but unaccustomed to different races, maybe a little xenophobic. And then, if you are a male, you might get aggressive if you see black-haired or dark-skinned foreigners in the company of Finnish women.
A Finnish Belief is that,you think most problems could be solved if only people would work harder.
You find Americans ridiculous with their primary reflex to sue when they can get away with it,even though they are to blame.
You trust doctors and respect them enormously. If they fail to cure you, you won’t sue them. (And you wouldn’t dream of bribing or tipping doctors and nurses — as people did in some countries of the former Eastern Europe. But then, you think — unless you are a doctor yourself — that Finnish doctors earn too well already.)
You speak English fluently. At school you have also learned a lot of Swedish and usually German or French, maybe even Russian or some more exotic language, but you might not be able to actually speak these languages, unless hard pressed. You get annoyed at English-speaking people who refuse to learn other languages; at the same time you speak English with all foreigners, also with Swedes and foreigners who desperately want to learn Finnish,You put your children in an English-speaking kindergarten or school if possible, “because it’s useful to learn foreign languages [read: English] as early as possible”. You know that Finnish is the most difficult language in the world (and of no use anywhere abroad) and treat foreign students of Finnish with a mixture of admiration and pity.
You complain about the scandalously high taxation, but not very loudly.
School is free, so is attending universities in Finland
The date comes first : 6.12.1917. Which coincidently is the Finnish day of independence.A day held very close to Finnish Beliefs and hearts
World War II consisted of our fight against the Soviet Union, divided in two periods: “the winter war” and “the continuation war”. We came out “second best”: Finland was the only country on the losing side that was not occupied by foreign armies, we didn’t become a “people’s democracy” (a satellite of the Soviet Union), we successfully relocated the evacuees from Karelia (the area that was annexed to the Soviet Union) and didn’t leave them to rot in refugee camps, we managed to shake off the Germans (they were our Waffenbrüder but not really “allies”!) in time.Finalnd was one of the few countries after the war,that paid its war reparations in full and on time. After the war the country was totally rebuilt without foreign aid.Among all the Finnish beliefs is pride in working to achieve for country
So there you have a rough guide to assimilating into the Finnish way of life.None of the Finnish beliefs I find offensive or difficult to live with.What the Finnish People and country have achieved since the end of World War 2,is miraculous and a tribute to hard work and Finnish Beliefs in themselves