15 reasons I love Finland

On Wednesday (06.12) Finland celebrated its 100th birthday – my Motherland has been independent for a full century and guys, that’s really awesome. We Finns are known for our somewhat lacking social skills, fecking cold winters and most notably Angry Birds but there’s so many more reasons to love the little country that gave you Nokia (among other things). I’ll share my favourites:

 

 

  • Kalsarikännit: Getting drunk home alone in your underwear – with no intention of going out. A drink. At home. In your underwear. And there is a word for it.

 

  • Sauna – because who doesn’t love sitting in a tiny room 100 degrees hot, butt naked with a bunch of other people. No seriously, who doesn’t?

 

  • Salty liquorice, known as salmiakki, is the most loved sweet and I’m yet to meet a single Finn who doesn’t like it. I have, however met about a thousand people of different nationalities who think it’s the vilest thing in the universe. Go figure.

 

  • Finland was the first country in the world where women were able to stand as candidates at elections in 1906 – and we didn’t dally about with it because in March 1907 19 female members of parliament were elected. Boom.

 

  • The education system is the best in the world and it’s free all the way up to university level. Take note, world.

 

  • In theory, everyone who’s been in the Finnish education system comes out of it tri-lingual, speaking Finnish, the second national language Swedish and English.

 

  • Finnish has over 40 words for snow but no word for please, which is why our British friends often think we’re rude – even when we don’t mean to be, if such a thing happens.

 

  • The average Finn drinks 12 kg of coffee per year, more than any other country on earth. This probably explains why I drink my bodyweight in coffee on a regular basis.

 

  • Finns get Christmas a day early! You get presents on Christmas Eve and Santa actually comes into your house with a sack of them. If you’ve been nice. And probably if you’ve been a little naughty but haven’t got caught.

 

  • The text message was invented by a Finn. And so was MiRC (Internet Relayed Chat Client) but that’s probably not as exciting to anyone who isn’t a total nerd (like me).

 

  • If you haven’t heard about them yet, Everyman’s Rights give “people of all nationalities the right to enjoy the Finnish countryside freely.” So you can go picking blueberries and lingonberries in any forest you damn well please. Within reason obvs but you get the gist.

 

  • The Nightless Night of Midsummers Eve. Definitely a strong competition to the “most magical time of the year” title. This is when magic happens for reals, yo.

 

  • Finland hosts the annual Air Guitar World Championships. You heard me.

 

  • The best heavy metal in the world hails from Finland. Apocalyptica, HIM, Nightwish, Amorphis… They dominate the world and our hearts. Finns even make Christmas albums where the most loved classical festive songs are turned into heavy metal versions. Love.

 

  • My homie and the creator of the best book in the world – Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien was a huge fan of Finland (he obvs has good taste). His elvish language was influenced by Finnish and he was inspired by Finland’s national epic, Kalevala, when constructing Middle Earth. You’re welcome, world.

 

Happy birthday Finland, you crazy little country. You rock.

  • Phaytea’s Pulse

    Oh wow…I pretty much just found new and fun things about Finland..the pictures are lovely

  • Sabra Wineteer

    Happy Centennial Celebration! I remember a photographer telling me about how he loved the Finnish language and his wife told him that the place where the streetcars are stored at night translates into “the house where the streetcars sleep,” or something like that.

  • What a beautiful country! And awesome (and funny) reasons to love a country! You Finnish, are really blessed! Gorgeous post Katja!

  • Mikayla Johnson

    Beautiful photos. And great facts!