This is Finland

Maiden of Finland
Based on the country’s shape on the map.
Finland is fifth-largest country in Western Europe with it’s area of 338 440 km². Greatest length from south to north is 1 157 km, and greatest width from east to west 542 km. Finland is called the land of lakes because there are 187 888 lakes in Finland.
The currency
Money talks.
The currency unit of Finland is Euro (€). Euro replaced Finnish markka (mk) in January 2002. Before that Finnish markka had been the currency of Finland since 1860. Markka was divided into 100 pennies (p), and at the point of conversion to Euros, the rate was fixed at € 1 = 5,94573 mk.
GDP per capita is 40 612 euros (2017).

The flag
Blue Cross Flag or ‘Siniristilippu’.
Independence was declared on December 6, 1917. Previously a grand duchy in the Russian empire for 108 years, and a part of Sweden for 600 years before that. Finland has been a member of United Nations since 1955 and European Union since 1995.
Nordic family
Friendly rivalry of neighbors.
Finland shares a long history with the rest of the Nordic/Scandinavian countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. And as in any family, they maintain friendly competition, and this ensures that they all stay at the top of any international ranking. Well, Nordic cooperation might also have something to do with it.

Something you should know about Finns

Those crazy Finns
The feeling of togetherness.
Finland has a population of 5,5 million inhabitants, so only 18,1 inhabitants per km². At the metropolitan area around capital Helsinki lives 1,4 million inhabitants. Finnish is spoken by 87,9% inhabitants, and Swedish by 5,2%. Sámi is the mother tongue of about 1 900 people.
Sisu
The feeling of perseverance.
In Finland, as the saying goes, we ‘go through even a grey rock.’ Arctic nature has given us guts – or ‘sisu’ as we call it. It’s about not giving in – even when it might be wiser to do so…
The handshake
The feeling of trust.
Finns can be almost ridiculously law-abiding and trust others to do the right thing. We say what we do and do what we say. We shake hands on it. It’s a deal! We also greet and congratulate people with a handshake. The handshake should be tight and firm, but not hard and squeezing.
Perkele
The feeling of PRKL.
The mother of all Finnish swearwords. Literally means the devil but at the same time it means so much more. You can make the curse more effective by rolling the ‘r’. Say it like you mean it!

Sauna – what is that all about?

Sauna
The ‘sauna’ feeling.
Sauna is a holy place for Finns. This is a country with 3,2 million saunas and 5,4 million people. Finns go to the sauna naked – and often together with family. Every Finn has her/his own way of going to the sauna but one’s mind and body will always be cleaned. It’s a sauna state of mind.

Sauna whisk
A bloody good feeling
Nothing beats the feeling of sauna mixed with a bit of whisking with birch sticks. It really gets your circulation going! The benefits of spanking yourself as well as the knowledge on how to tie the whisk, or ‘vasta’ or ‘vihta’ in Finnish, are moved as a folk memory from generations to generations.

What to eat in Finland?

Cup of coffee
The feeling of dying for a cup of coffee.
This you probably would not have assumed, but Finland is the #1 coffee consuming nation in the whole wide world. Finns drink an average of 2,6 cups of coffee per day. Coffee is consumed all day, every day, and coffee breaks are highly required by most unions.
Superfood
The feeling of tasting good, yet healthy food.
In Finland you can find superfood right on your doorstep. At autumn it is time to fill your freezer with bilberries, the Nordic blueberries, to make sure you survive the long and everlasting kaamos time. Bilberries are true health bombs, containing more antioxidants, vitamin C, resveratrol, vitamin E and ellagic acid than any other berry.

Karjalanpiirakka
The crave of something delicious.
Karjalanpiirakka’ is a traditional pasty or pie originally from the region of Karelia. It is a rye crust usually filled with rice porridge. The original topping is egg butter. Karjalanpiirakka is eaten all over Finland at all times and occasions from breakfast to weddings.
Salmiakki – black gold
The ultimate craving for salty.
Finnish sweet ‘salmiakki’ is liquorice spiced up with Ammonium chloride. It is something Finns can’t live without! It is sold also in pharmacies as the original use of salmiakki was to cure diseases. There’s even booze flavoured with this salty liquorice. But be aware! Overconsumption might lead to high blood pressure.

Into the wild

From white nights
And we are alive!
Imagine walking home from a bar at 4 am and it’s as sunny as when you woke up 20 hours before. Who would want to (or need to) sleep when the days are endless and the light is white?
Forest
The longing for fresh air – and silence.
Around 72 % of Finland’s total land area is covered in forests, which are full of mushrooms and berries. The best thing is that everyone is allowed to pick them and set up a camp almost anywhere. It’s called ‘everyman’s right’. So get your tent and head out!

…to polar nights
The feeling of sunless days.
On the other hand, Finnish winters are long and dark. In Lapland, the sun doesn’t rise at all between December and January. In Finnish, this sunless period is called ‘kaamos’.
Aurora Borealis
Magic in the sky.
Finland is the place to experience the spectacular dance of the Northern Lights. This colourful natural phenomenon is visible across the country, but you usually get the best views in Lapland, in northern Finland.

Flora and fauna

Polar Bear
…that never existed.
Shocking news! Despite stubborn belief, polar bears do not walk and roam on the streets of Helsinki, nor any other city of Finland. Actually, they don’t live anywhere on Finnish soil, not even close to. But a large number of other arctic animal species like bear, wolf, lynx, wolverine and arctic fox do live here, and with some luck, can be seen in the wild.
Swan
The return of light.
The majority of swans are migratory, and when Finland’s national bird reappears in Finnish latitudes, it coincides with the return of spring. Maybe that’s why the swan is associated with light, grace and new beginnings, as well as endurance and eternal love, since they mate for life.
Saimaa ringed seal
How cute can one be?
Saimaa ringed seal, ‘saimaannorppa’, is among the most endangered seals in the world, with a total population of about 370 individuals. The only existing population is found in Lake Saimaa. Saimaannorppa needs snow and ice for the cubs, and during mild winters volunteers run to the rescue constructing what is needed for the seal to thrive.
Reindeer
Rudolf the red nosed reindeer.
Finns love reindeer – in all forms. Reindeer are useful animals in many ways. Did you know they even arrange reindeer races in Lapland? The race is all about the speed, so may the fastest reindeer win. Also reindeer stew is also delicious. You eat it with mashed potatoes and lingonberries.

Some known Finns

The original (!) Santa Claus
“Ho ho ho!” Santa is coming to town.
The real Santa comes from Finland. He has always lived in Korvatunturi, Lapland, not the North Pole! Here you can meet Santa all year round.
The Voice
The heavily classic voice of Finland.
Combine Finland’s two strengths: classical music and heavy metal, what do you get? The answer is Tarja Turunen, who took high notes onto Finnish heavy metal ever since the early days as a the lead vocalist and founding member of the band Nightwish. Now-a-days Tarja stands in the singular spotlight and performs as a solo artist.
The Peacemaker
Former President of Finland.
Martti Ahtisaari, the former President of Finland, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to resolve international conflicts on several continents and over more than three decades.

Iceman
”Leave me alone. I know what I’m doing.”
This typically Finnish attitude was made famous by the Iceman himself, Formula 1 driver Kimi Räikkönen. We feel he quite nicely sums it all up.
The Flying Finn
”Every chance is an opportunity.”
The world’s most successful ski jumper, Matti Nykänen, won 4 Olympic gold, 1 silver and 9 World Championship medals during his ski jumping career. He also introduced some famous catchphrases to the Finnish language. If you hear someone say “every chance is an opportunity” or that there’s a “50-60 chance,” they’re quoting Matti Nykänen.
Moominmamma
Unconditional love of Moomins.
Finnish kids have since 1950’s grown up under the loving care of Moominmamma as Tove Jansson’s Moomins are part of Finns’ life from very early on as books, comics, videos, toys, cutlery…


Finland is the first country in the world to publish its own set of country themed emojis. The Finland emoji collection contains 56 tongue-in-cheek emotions, which were created to explain some hard-to-describe Finnish emotions, Finnish words and customs.

You can use and share the unmodified images freely for non-commercial use.

Download all the emojis as image from www.finland.fi/emoji

Please visit www.finland.fi for some more exciting facts about Finland!


Source: This is Finland / finland.fi, Visit Finland / visitfinland.com

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