Customs and traditions
Finland is one of Europe's most unified
countries in terms of population and culture. Despite
strong influences from, among others, Sweden, Germany
and Russia, Finland has managed to retain its language
and many of the Finnish traditions. However, there is a
certain difference between the coastal areas which are
traditionally more influenced by Scandinavian and German
culture and the inner parts where Finnish traditions are
This chapter mainly deals with Finnish customs and
customs. The cultures of minority people are not
addressed. However, it can be noted that the largest
minority, the Finnish Swedes, feel connected with
Finland while having strong cultural ties to Sweden (for
example, in Åland, midsummer is celebrated in the same
way as in Sweden). The word Finnish means all the
residents of Finland, while Finns are the residents
who have Finnish as their mother tongue.
Overview of the capital city of Finland, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Humiliation is a cherished attitude among Finns.
Highlighting oneself is often perceived as negative.
However, the image of the withdrawn Finn has changed as
the younger generation takes in and adapts to the
traditions of other countries.
Nature and sauna
Many Finnish customs and traditions are closely
associated with nature. Especially appreciated are the
many lakes and forests. It is common for Finns to rent
or have their own cabin that they stay in on weekends
and holidays to enjoy the tranquility and nature.
The sauna has a special position in Finnish culture
and is associated with a number of positive values
such as hospitality, cleanliness, relaxation and
health. Traditionally, the sauna was a sacred place
where you gave birth to children, treated the sick and
cared for the one to be buried. The sauna could also be
used as a laundry and where food was prepared that would
dry, ferment or smoke. In the early 2000s, there were
about two million sauna facilities in the country. It is
not uncommon for a business dinner to end with a
communal sauna for more informal and relaxed
Being polite and following the label is important.
Every day, Finns dress relatively freely, but at
invitations and business meetings stricter rules apply
than in Sweden. Men are often recommended to wear dark
suits and women's costume or dress.
In Finland, you greet each other in much the same way
as in Sweden with a proper handshake, by looking the
other in the eyes and saying their name. In formal
contexts, it may be appropriate to also use their last
name, title and nine others. In private contacts it is
sufficient to say the first name. It is also possible to
just say hello (hei or terve) and nod.
It is good practice to first visit the wife of a married
couple. Hugs and cheek kisses occur sparingly and
usually between people who know each other. Silences in
conversation are not perceived as embarrassing but as
Table condition and eating habits
Smoking is not permitted in public buildings and
restaurants. Never light a cigarette in someone's home
without asking for permission. Drinking is not a must,
but it is appreciated. Ten percent is an appropriate
The rules regarding table condition are about the
same as in Sweden. You should preferably eat all the
food on the plate, use the knife and fork for the most
part and not have the elbows on the table. The guest of
honor at a dinner should give a thank you speech
(preferably a card). The guest of honor is always to the
right of the host. If you are invited home to someone,
it is appreciated if you bring a gift, such as flowers
Finnish food culture has traces of both Swedish and
Russian influence. The tables serve everything from
meatballs and sandwich tables to brisket
(Russian beetroot soup) and blinis (Russian
body cakes without filling). In the domestic kitchen,
fish is common. Kalakukko consists of fish with
dough around and mixed with pork and then baked. The
stew forshmak is made on salty herring and meat
from sheep or lamb. Meat of various kinds as well as
mushrooms are common ingredients. Also typical are
crispbread and sour rye bread as well as dairy products
of all kinds.
Punctuality is assumed and appreciated. Meetings
start and end in time. If you are delayed, even if it is
only a few minutes, call and report the delay. Meetings
are arranged well in advance and you rarely engage in
cold talk, it is better to go straight to the point. Do
not interrupt the speaker. Stand by your word. Oral
agreements are taken as seriously as written.
Holidays and Holidays
Finland has pretty much the same holidays as Sweden.
Red days are New Year's Day, Thirteen Day, Good Friday,
Easter Day, and Easter Sunday, May 1st, Christ's
Ascension Day, Pentecost, Midsummer Eve, All Saints'
Day, Independence Day (December 6), and Christmas
Holidays (December 24-26). Independence is solemnly
celebrated with, among other things, military parade,
worship and ball at the president's palace.
Other important festivities are Mother's Day, which
is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, and the
Valborg Fair (Vappu). For Palm Sunday, which
falls on the Sunday before Easter, the children dress up
for Easter treats and walk around to the neighbors who
wish good health in the coming year. In exchange, the
children receive sweets. During Easter, in addition to
Easter eggs stuffed with sweets, eggs, lamb and a
special dessert, mamma (mummy), are
made on, among other things, rye flour, rye malt and
Midsummer is called Juhannus and is
celebrated in most places with a fire, but in Åland you
dance around the midsummer bar as in Sweden. Juhannus is
also the day of the Finnish flag and then it is also
flagged during the night. The rules on general flagging
and the use of the Finnish flag are very strict.
Christmas (joulu) starts on December 24 and
extends through December 26. Christmas Eve happens on
the 24th. Then the Santa (joulu-pukki)
comes with Christmas presents. Also in Finland,
special Christmas food is eaten such as rice porridge,
ham, herring salad and various root canvases. A
Christmas sauna often belongs.
New debate on the Swedish language
The position of the Swedish language is again questioned. The debate arises
after Prime Minister Kiviniemi supported a proposal from municipalities in
Eastern Finland that school students should be able to choose Russian instead of
compulsory school sweetheart.
Two new nuclear power plants will be built
The Riksdag decides that two new nuclear power plants will be built and that
nuclear fuel will be disposed of at Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. The
construction is expected to take seven years. A broad political majority votes
for the proposal, but the issue divides both government and opposition and leads
to protests outside the Parliament House. One of the government parties, the
Green League, votes against the proposal and thus goes against the government's
Kiviniemi becomes new prime minister
Minister of Local Government and Administration Mari Kiviniemi is elected at
the Center Congress as new party leader and she also succeeds Vanhanen as prime
minister. The Social Democrats reject an invitation from Kiviniemi for
deliberations on the country's poor economic development.