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What exactly is a Finn?

Wondering what it takes to be Finnish? This week, Saga Raippalinna shares her thoughts.

A Finn is not just an introverted person who lacks the skills of small talk. We are a people that live in homes filled with IKEA products, and use technology and go about our busy Western lives as everyone else does. But underneath all that is a unique perspective on life.

We are a people that communicate non-verbally. We use sounds and intonations to relay feelings and compassion; we use movement to ask, tell or question something. We love many things passionately. In fact, we get excited about almost anything.

A Finn is a person that sits on a rock at midnight on Midsummer’s Eve and sings quietly. A Finn is a person that welcomes people in, sticks them in a sauna and prepares them a feast that’s ready by the time they re-emerge. A Finn is a person that acts hard as a rock, but gives anything to help a friend.

We run through the woods in our nightwear come spring, summer, fall or winter. We sit in a hot room with a slab of ice on top of our head because it feels invigorating. We go out for walks just to think, we tackle the dark of winter by filling our living room with friends and we express feeling and emotions in almost everything we do.

We are a curious people; we observe, we listen. We say things we mean and perplex cashiers abroad by answering honestly when they ask, “How’s it going?”. We don’t shy away from the darker sides of life, we muddle through them. We face obstacles head-on and appreciate the effort more than the result. “We Finns don’t give up!” echoes through the woods.

And we love our mothers, and listen to our fathers. We then decide that we know better, and return home every Christmas to compare notes.

Everyone should befriend at least one Finn.

Published on 23.02.2017