Countries of the World
Finnish life


FACTS (and other stuff) ABOUT FINLAND
My favorite places in Finland!



Yyteri, Pori



Yyteri is a beach in Pori that is a city in the Southeast Finland. The sand is so soft! I love the sea and the waves (it's a windy place!). The beach is 6 km long. The place is full of sporting opportunities (golf, horse riding, surfing...), nature trails and bird-watching towers.


Kuopio




Kuopio is a city in the middle part of Finland. My dad is from there and that's why I've visited a few times that place. It's not a very big place but it has character! The people are friendly and they speak in a funny accent or dialect if you will :D The beach called "Vänäri" is a nice place there. Once I was walking near that tower (in the pic) and I found a clover that had five leaves! It was amazing. I also bought the best sunglasses I've ever had from a store that was in Kuopio.


Hanko



Hanko is the most southern part of Finland. The sea is a big part of the city. Once again, it's not a very big place but it's idyllic and beautiful. I would love to own a beach house in Hanko. There is a popular Finnish song that goes "Hankoon, Helsinkiä pakoon soudan Hankoon. Lippu mastoon!" and it translates to "To Hanko, I'm rowing away from Helsinki to Hanko. Flag to the mast!". I like it because for once, it's not phrasing our capital, Helsinki. Helsinki is ok, but I hate it how Finland puts all of its resources to one city. There are a lot of nice places all around Finland and they are worth visiting, too! :(



Finnish cities and geography
There aren't any BIG cities in Finland. The biggest one is our capital, Helsinki and there lives about 600 000 people. Another cities or more like towns are called Turku, Tampere, Oulu, Espoo and Kuopio. My personal favorite is Turku.


It's really flat in the west side of Finland. That place is called "Pohjanmaa". Pohjanmaa is full of fields!!



There are hills in the northern part of Finland. I'd like to say that they are mountains, but they're not high enough to be called mountains. The nature is incredible in the north. I have never visited Lappi (=northern Finland) but when it's in bloom, it looks like this:



This is the highest place in Finland, Halti



There are also a lot of lakes mostly in the MIDDLE part of Finland. I mean... A LOT. Finland is also known as "the land of thousands of lakes" (=tuhansien järvien maa).
Useful Finnish phrases


What you want to say
What us Finns say
How it translates
"Hey! Excuse me... You're on my way! Could you move, please?"
"NO PERKELE OOT TIELLÄ"
"GODDAMN YOU'RE BLOCKING MY WAY!"
"Good evening. I'd like two tickets to the Twilight movie that's playing tonight at 20:15, please. Is it possible to have a front-row tickets anymore or are they all gone?"
"Kaks eturivin lippuu kello kaheksan Twilightii"
"Two front-row tickets to the 8 o'clock Twilight."
"Hey, can you tell me the way to the Linnanmäki amusement park? I think I'm a bit lost..."
"Mis lintsi o?"
"Where's Lintsi (=Linnanmäki)?"
"Good day. I was just wondering how much this T-Shirt costs.. I didn't see a price tag anywhere..."
"Paljo?"
"(How) much?"
*To a store clerk* "Good day! Can I have a plastic bag to my groceries? Thank you, dear. 44,53€? Hmm let me get my wallet... I'm sure I have a bonus card here somewhere. Oh here it is! Thank you and have a nice day!"
*doesn't greet the cashier* *tries to take a plastic bag without the store clerk noticing* *doesn't look the cashier to eyes*
-


Finnish people

Finnish people are known to be pretty shy and introverted. We don't do small talk very much! I know that it's a stereotype but I think it's pretty accurate. For example i'd rather take stairs than take an elevator where is someone else. It's also pretty usual that we don't say the "polite" words such as "please" or "thank you". We don't say "sorry" if we bump into someone. It's probably going to be something like "OHO!" (which translates to "whoops") etc. Finnish people are also known to be heavy coffee drinkers and that has something to do with the dark weather we have here about 9 months in a year. Suicide rates are also pretty high here :( And alcohol consuming. Those are some sad things. BUT there's really not much poverty or famine here! We are relatively rich country with free healthcare and education. Anyway, these things I said here vary a lot and everything depends on the person. For example I hate coffee :D

And there's something I got to say: FINNISH PEOPLE ARE UGLY AS HELL!! If you're looking for that "blonde-beautiful-goodlooking-scandinavian" stereotype, I suggest you visit our neighbor Sweden or Denmark. I don't know what went wrong but WE DO NOT LOOK GOOD!!!!!!!!!! (of course there are some exceptions such as Kiira Korpi)


Finnish things

Santa Claus
Angry Birds
Lordi
Nokia
Darude - Sandstorm
Sauna
Kimi Räikkönen
Moomins
Smoukahontas (the language girl on youtube... Fun fact: I once fought her online and she blocked me on her social medias only because I didn't like her lol)


Random Stuff



Some Finnish people hate Sweden (they're mostly like 12-20 yo boys) because Swedish is our second language and we have to study that in school. And Sweden is so much better than Finland and people get jealous and that's why they hate that country.


Estonia is really close to Helsinki. It takes only about 2,5h to get there with a boat. And it's also pretty cheap. Estonian liquor is so much cheaper than Finnish that many Finns take a lot of bags and travel to Tallinn just to buy booze. And then they are completely wasted on that boat and they carry booze home as much as they can carry. Estonian store clerks aren't usually very pleased to see Finnish customers but I don't blame them :D



Many people who live in Helsinki (or Espoo or Vantaa, the 2 cities nearby) think they're the shit and people who live in other parts of Finland are hillbillies (that's not true!!!!!!).



Sometimes we eat reindeer and that tastes good!! Mut most of the time finnish food is SHIT. I personally love Mexican food! (and italian food and sushi) So if you're looking for amazing taste experiences, DO NOT COME HERE! I REPEAT, DO NOT COME HERE!



Finland is an expensive country. Not as expensive as Denmark tho but really expensive.



Human rights are great and the status of women is great (finnish feminists (those who complain about how things are in finland) are pain in the ass, sorry not sorry.) Everybody has a freedom of speech and you can choose your own religion etc.



If there's something I hate about Finland, it's the sentences that criminals get. For example if you murder and rape someone, you can get away in like 1000€ penalty and 2 months in prison. (ok that's not exactly true but you get the point) and if you illegally download music or do a "small crime" you may get like 10000000 years in prison or whatever. Anyway I think this is some bullshit.





Finnish music

Finland is probably partly known for its heavy music. I am no expert with this subject but people usually seem to know Nightwish and Sunrise Avenue and Lordi. Heavy/Rock music isn't the only genre we have here. Robin (Packalen) is a popular Finnish popsinger. He's especially popular among pre-teen girls. (help XDD I was about to search a pic of Robin from google and google suggested "Robin ilman paitaa" which translates to "Robin without a shirt" and i laughed out loud. C'mon girls he's a KID :DD (born in August 1998))

This is Robin. I think he's alright! You can listen to him for example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJcoRUqODJA


Finnish rap is also a growing genre. A few popular artists are Cheek, Mikael Gabriel, JVG and Elastinen.
Here's a link to one finnish rap song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qawQp_AqLF0


Here's Altis. He's one of the few Finnish artists that I like. I also like Anssi Kela and PMMP (sometimes). Yeah....... that's about it!
Finnish school!




Finnish kids are usually in kindergarten or in "perhepäivähoito" which roughly translates to "family day care". It means that a bunch of kids go to a private person and she's with them when the parents are at work or so. Kindergarten is a public place hosted by the state. At the age of 6 they go to pre-school (not me though because I skipped it). In pre-school we learn to count to 10 and to write alphabets and use scissors and other useful life skills.

In Finland we start school at the age of 7. I was born in January so it was possible for me to start it a year earlier (I had to go to tests where they tested if I was mature enough). The first 6 years, so from the age of 6 or 7 to the age of 12 or 13 we go to elementary school. So we're either 1st graders or 6th graders and everything between it. In some small schools they teach two classes at once, for example 1st and 2nd graders are in the same lesson. And in bigger schools they make smaller groups by dividing the classes to for example 1a 1b and 1c. We study subjects like math, religion, PE, Finnish and handicrafts throughout our elementary school. In 3rd grade (at the age of 9-10) we start to study English. In 5th grade we start to study physics and chemistry (they're a combined subject in elementary school) and history.

Our middle school (or junior high school if you will) lasts 3 years (grades 7.-9.). In 7th grade there are some new subjects such as Swedish, health studies, home economics and student counseling. We also have to choose whether we want to study technical handicraft (welding, circuits, sawing, wood, metals, soldering etc) or textile handicraft (making clothes, knitting, sewing etc). In 8th grade it gets interesting because we have finally the choice to choose from many alternatives. We have to choose 3 long subjects (they last 2 school years, 8th grade and 9th grade) and 1 short subject (it only lasts half a year, the spring semester of 8th grade). I chose German, home economics and arts as the long subjects and home economics baking course as the short subject. I could have chosen for example PE, French, music or I.T. as the long subject or for example Japanese or photography/videomaking course for the short one. Now, 5 years later I'm pleased with my choices. At least with the German =D In 9th grade history changes to social studies!

After 9th grade people are theoretically free to do whatever the fuck they want (some of them go to a 10th grade to fix their school skills, some try to get a job right away (good luck with that lol)). Most of us have to choose: either vocational school (where the studying is practical) or upper secondary school. I chose upper secondary school because I had no idea what occupation I would have chosen to study if I picked vocational school. My friend on the other hand chose vocational school and now by the time I've finished upper secondary school, she's ready for the work life. For example hair dressers, auto mechanics, chefs and people who work with audiovisual communication go to vocational school. Upper secondary school lasted 3 years but one can choose to do it in 3,5 years or even 4 years. We have new subjects: psychology and philosophy. An upper secondary school student chooses either long or short math (long is a lot harder and it lasts about 15 courses meanwhile the short maybe 8). Our finals are called "matriculation examination". Finnish is a mandatory subject to do. On top of that we have to choose either the long math or Swedish (I chose both of them) and two other subjects.

After upper secondary school people either go to college or to university. They aren't much different but it's practically impossible to get to university if you went to vocational school instead of upper secondary school. My entrance exams to university are in a month uh oh ://




Other fun facts:

We don't have school uniforms or dressing codes. At least in my school nobody cares if you go to school in your pajamas. If it's hot, people wear shorts and tops/t-shirts. If it's cold people wear jumpers and hoodies, simple as that.

Our school lunch is free. It's healthy but not very tasty. Anyways, free food so it's edible.

Kids who have trouble learning can have special assistance. They can attend to "tukiopetus" (something like support teaching, which means that the teachers will teach only them before or after school) or they'll go to a completely special class (smaller class size and the curriculum is changed).

Our school is free. Well not free free because it's paid with tax money but no tuitions etc! The school books are not free after 9th grade, though.

Special days

Runeberg's day, 5th February
Johan Ludvig Runeberg was a Finnish poet, teacher, editor, professor and a BAD ASS. He's the national poet of Finland. Runeberg's day isn't a big deal in Finland but we do celebrate it by eating these bad boys:



They're called Runeberg's tarts. My history teacher told us two possible stories about how these tarts became popular. #1 Once upon a time Runeberg wanted something sweet to eat and he was like "Yo wife! Could you bake me something?". And Runeberg's wife thought to herself "Oh shieeet! My man wants something sweet but we don't have any ingredients... All we have is this gingerbread and some jam etc!". Then his wife smashed some gingerbread and mixed some random stuff and made these tarts that turn out to be delicious. #2 Runeberg lived next to a bakery and every week he went there and ordered this tart. When Runeberg got famous the baker was like "Let's name this tart after him!"... I still don't know 'till this day, which one is true :/


Pääsiäinen = Easter

Finnish kids celebrate Easter by decorating some branches with colorful stuff (such as colorful paper, colorful feathers, glitter.......) and walk around the neighborhood from door to door and wish them luck with a little song. Kids are often dressed as witches or bunnies. Here's a VERY OLD pic of me doing that when I was a kid (I don't know why I look so grumpy that was one of the best days of the year!):



After the song the neighbor gives candy to kids XD Chocolate eggs, candy bars, lollipops and sometimes... MONEY. While kids do this, adults usually eat this gross stuff. It's called Mämmi and it looks like actual shit (It tastes bad too. IT'S NOT MADE OF CHOCOLATE EVEN THOUGH IT KINDA LOOKS LIKE IT):




Vappu, 1st May

Vappu is a fun day especially for students. We drink sima and eat tippaleipä. Usually grown-ups (and students) wear their graduation hats and go to the park. It's kind of a carneval party for those who study and go to work :D Hard to explain. I'm graduating next year but Vappu is a nice party for me too because we kids get the day off (=no school). It's a horrible tragedy if the 1st of May happens to be in a weekend (no school in any case), because it could have been during the work week. It's kind of a waste of a free day :( Anyway, here's a pic of sima and tippaleipä:



Juhannus, the midsummer (about 24th June)

Juhannus is a big celebration in Finland, much bigger than any of those I've already explained. It's usual to go to a summer cottage or have a house party during Juhannus. People light huge bonfires all around Finland and they drink a lot of alcohol. Saunas and swimming and grilling are also a part of Juhannus. According to a old folk tale, you can see your future husband in your sleep in Juhannus night if you collect seven different flowers under your pillow. Juhannus bonfire and people celebrating Juhannus:




The Independence day (December 6th)
We celebrate out independence day by watching a war movie on tv ("The Unknown Soldier"). It's a classic. In the evening we watch this tv broadcast in which our president and his wife shake hand with thousands of guests. It's a formal party! The guests are usually Finnish celebrities, war veterans, politicians etc. Usually people just watch it in order to judge the dresses that people are wearing. It's actually pretty fun :D

(We don't celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving)
Joulu = Christmas
We celebrate Christmas in the Christmas eve. The gifts are opened in the 24th of July (evening). Christmas usually is celebrated among families. Families with kids watch tv (there's this show called "Joulupukin kuumalinja" which translates to "Santa's hot-line". It's basically a 4 hours long tv-show where kids around Finland call and are for instance like "Hey! My name is Emma and I'm 6 years old. Merry Christmas everybody. I'd like to say hi to my grandma. HI GRANDMA!! I'd also like to sing a song *sings a christmas song* Okay, by Santa!". Typical Finnish Christmas food is potato casserole, carrot casserole, ham and Rosolli. Rosolli is a nasty ass salad that contains everything!!! Potatoes, grapes, beets, apples etc etc. It's so gross but I eat it anyway because it makes the Christmas feel like Christmas :D

New Year's

New Year's eve is usually celebrated with friends (not with families!! Unless your friends are your family or vice versa). Booze, fireworks and chips are a part of New Year's eve. We also make New Year's resolutions and (usually kids) melt tin! Yeah that metal thing. People melt that stuff and let it solidify again. And then you can take a look at your masterpiece and make assumptions of how your next year is going to be like. For example you can melt a piece of tin and let it solidify and when you look at it again it might look like a book and you're like "OH I THINK THIS MEANS THAT I'M GOING TO GET SMART NEXT YEAR!". People don't usually take that stuff seriously, it's just a thing that they do for fun.










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