I believe that there is a reason for WHY THINGS HAPPEN?
It was January, -30 degrees Celsius outside and the plane was going to land at Helsinki airport, Finland, the land of the thousand lakes. I don’t think I really knew more about it. The airplane landed. It was 7pm and the sky was as dark as it could be. There was no other color than black and snow white everywhere. Dark and very cold, OMG!
I moved here without any friends or any social contacts. It was not vacation, it was real life thing. I didn’t plan at first to stay in Finland, I just planned to experience Finland but then…
The first thing that impressed me about this place was safety. It took me time to feel safe. The other big thing I love Finland for it’s honesty. If you drop a glove on the street you will find it the next day exactly in the same spot. Lost my phone with all the bank cards and driving licence twice and first time police called me to inform that someone handed over my phone at police station and recently, it was train station worker who,somehow, found my details from my driving licence and contacted me that she has my phone and bank cards safe with her. I can collect whenever I could.
I had heard Finnish people described as shy and quiet and I think that’s easily the first impression, because they tend to open up slowly. To me Finns are down to earth and they don’t get particularly frantic about anything and like to live their own private lives. Finns, if they have nothing important to say, they stay quiet. I find that to be a good quality. They might lack the understanding of small-talk and the use of sugar coated words. It’s about the people. It takes time, but when you actually know them you really know them. This is something that I really like about Finland, If you don’t like it you just say you don’t like it, and if they like it they will say they like it. People don’t make such a fuss about many things. I personally like it when people do not ask about money, religion, looks, big house or small house, if there is no need to ask, THERE IS ACTUALLY NO NEED TO ASK!
I like the culture that people can have their one metre distance when they are waiting for the bus. I like the kulta kahvi advertisement which says that a cup of coffee in hand help us Finns to get our personal space.I also like when Finnish people ask for permission even for a small hug. This reminds me of Boss undercover Canada TV show. At the end when boss reveals his identity and give reward to workers for their good work, they are like , loud yes yes, jumping, crying with happiness, hugging , are you kidding me, are you serious?. They are not shy to show their emotions. Then I saw Finnish boss undercover show and at the end of it , boss tells very briefly about the great work and the reward to the worker and the employee tried to convey his gratitude by saying – Kiitos paljon! Kiitos!
I like the nature and appreciate the silence here and the country because of the quality of life it provides. Finns like to talk about weather and there are supposedly four seasons here too but it always comes as a surprise when days get shorter and the fall comes. Winter is always too long and summer is never sunny enough. If there is a Finnish small talk issue, it’s most certainly about the weather. Rain is pain for Finns but I personally love rain. It cleans everything and it makes beautiful music when it falls. I like snow fall too but from inside looking outside. First time I saw northern lights I was walking back from shopping. They were quite slow and dim. Funny but I thought I had seen ghosts in the sky.
Another thing which I like about Finns is KEEPING TIME. It feels now that even late by one minute is a reason to apologies. But thankfully I have learnt to be before time. I also like how they recycle things and save the nature. You drink clean water, eat healthy food and inhale fresh air.
We are different people, come from different backgrounds and have different expectations. To me it feels that my original plan to experiment Finland is now long forgotten. I do not know what future holds for me but right now it seems that FINLAND IS MY HOME!