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Finnish People And Lifestyle

Updated on July 9, 2012

Facts About Finnish People And Lifestyle

Some Interesting Facts About Finnish People And Lifestyle

After reading this article you will know a lot more about Finish people and lifestyle. The region that we know as Finland today became inhabited after the Ice Age. From the 13th Century to the 1800s, most of the area belonged to the Kingdom of Sweden. It was then given to the Russian Empire and was known as the Grand Duchy of Finland.

Finland declared its independence in 1917. Some months later, a civil war broke out between the White Guards and the Red Guards. This conflict saw the Whites coming out victorious. After the dust had settled, the economy grew relatively quickly thanks to agriculture. Finland enjoyed friendly relations with western countries like the United Kingdom and Sweden. However, prior to World War II, its relations with the Soviet Union remained tense.

Diary of a British Expatriate in Finland

FINNISH People and World War II
FINNISH People and World War II

FINNISH People and World War II

Finland vs Soviet Union

During World War II, Finland fought against the Soviet Union on two occasions. Although Finland had to cede over Karelia to the Soviet Union, it retained its independent democracy. Finland has adhered to a capitalist economy since it declared independence. During the 1970s, its GDP per capita climbed to the world's highest level where it has stayed to this day.

With regards to area, Finland is the 7th biggest country in the world. Sixty-five percent of its 5 million people live in cities. Since 1995, Finland has been a member of the European Union. While two official languages are spoken, Swedish and Finnish, English is also widely spoken and easily understood.

Diary of a British Expatriate in Finland

Finnish People
Finnish People

Finnish People

The way of life in Finland is relaxed and easy going

The Finnish People

According to common beliefs and surveys, Finns are among the most polite, friendly and helpful people in Europe, although they are a little bit more introverted. Finns are very active people, both in production and consumption of everything that their country has to offer. People are known to be eager readers, a fact that probably explains the fact that they have many libraries, well stocked with foreign and local books and journals.

Finns are usually sparing with words, and don't value small talk much; therefore, verbal promises are usually taken very seriously, and you should not be joking when telling a Finn something important.

The Finnish society is highly interconnected, although the face to face meetings are not totally necessary; Culture in Finland is much influenced by the huge technological development which allows people to communicate with phones, computers, retaining great interpersonal relationships, regardless of the nature of the interactions and demeanor. According to surveys, Finland has the highest per capita use of new technologies and internet in Europe and the World.

One of the phenomena that make Finland and its culture stand out is the equality of the two sexes; women have been much involved in politics and public life.

There are still many differences between the various regions in Finland, as well as in their accent and vocabulary. Finns consist of many different minorities, such as the Sami, Romani, Jews, Tatar who are fully recognized by the state and maintain their own cultural characteristics, enhancing the cultural scene of the country.

The pragmatic character and the various natural conditions in Finland show a rather innovative spirit and a surprising progressiveness of the modern individual, who wishes to use everything provided by nature and human intervention to ameliorate his everyday life and create the conditions of an easy and well structured life.

Finnish people strive to be reliable, honest and dependable. Anyone with these characteristics will be held in high regard. They also believe firmly that each person is entitled to their own space and privacy. This can often appear unfriendly when first communicating with a Finn. However, once the ice is broken, they are open, friendly and warm.

The way of life in Finland is relaxed and easy going. Finns are straight forward people - they will say what they mean. Unlike many western cultures, Finns do not experience any form of awkwardness if there is a silence during conversation. A Finn will not talk while someone else is speaking. He or she will only respond after the other person has had their say.

7 Days in Finland

Facts about Finish Customs

Typical Customs of Finnish People

If you are going out to a restaurant with a group of Finns, it is customary that each person pays their own way. Tips are usually only given to a doorman or a bar attendant. However, in the case of exceptional service, the restaurant server might be tipped. Smoking in public areas is prohibited.

When you are invited to a home in Finland, you will be expected to give a small gift to the hosts. If you are taking flowers, be sure that they are an even number, i. E. 6, 8, 10 and so on. Do not give yellow or white flowers because they are used for funerals, and do not give a pot plant. If a Finn gives you a gift, you should open it immediately. If you don't, this will be considered as rude.

As soon as the invitation is extended, ask the hostess if you can bring a dish. Dining etiquette at a Finnish home should be strictly adhered to. Make sure you do not arrive late. Finns are extremely punctual in social and business situations. Before you enter the house, remove your shoes. These can be replaced with indoor slippers.

While the hostess is preparing the meal, or clearing up after eating, you should offer to help. Never discuss business at a social occasion in a Finnish home. When you are ready to leave, thank the hosts first before you say goodbye to any other guests.

Table manners are also very important. Do not sit until the host has indicated your seat. While eating, hold the fork in your left hand and the knife in your right. Your hands should be visible when you eat. Rest your wrists on the edge of the table. Only start eating when the host gives the go-ahead.

The only foods that can be eaten by hand are shrimp and bread. Fruit is to be eaten with utensils. It is polite to accept the offer of a second helping. Finns do not like waste so make sure you eat everything on your plate. If you are a man, keep your jacket on during the meal, unless the host takes his off.

Business etiquette in Finland is formal. There is hardly any small talk because Finns like to get straight to the point. While conducting business deals, Finns are quite happy to communicate by email or phone. Face-to-face meetings are not a priority.

Many Finns take their annual holiday between June and August, so do not set up a meeting during these months. You should arrive for your meeting earlier than scheduled. If you are going to be delayed by more than 5 minutes, call immediately. Tardiness is considered to be inefficient in Finland.

The business dress code is smart, stylish and conservative. Men wear dark suits, while women wear conservative dresses or trouser suits. The primary religion is Christianity. Prior to this, the main religion was Finnish paganism.

The sauna is an integral part of lifestyle, evident by the 1.7 million saunas in the country. In 1937, the Finnish Sauna Society was formed to continue the rich heritage of the sauna bath. With a membership of almost 4000, the primary function is to preserve the culture and highlight the health benefits of sauna bathing.

Education follows the egalitarian Nordic method. This means that all people are equal and have the same civil, social, economic and political rights. Tuition is free for children who attend school on a full-time basis. When a child reaches the age of 7, he or she is required by law to attend school for a minimum of 9 years. At primary and secondary schools, children are given free meals.

Whilst private schooling is available, the government frowns upon it. Legislation makes this form of education somewhat difficult. When attempting to establish a new private school, the proposal will have to be scrutinized by the Council of State before permission is granted. However, if permission is received, the private school will be eligible for the same grants as government schools. All schools are required to approach education in accordance with the traditions and culture of Finish people and life style.

Finland Culture And Influences

Getting To Know Finland Culture And Influences

Finland is a truly surprising land.

Guests who come from abroad for the first time will have the chance to meet verdant forest landscapes, numerous blue lakes sparkling under the sky, and white mantles of snow falling like a white blanket over everything beneath it. The enormous variations in the length of day and night, combined with the distinctive differences between the seasons make Finland different from anything you have might seen so far. When you visit Finland culture and education are among the most important issues; you might be surprised by the cultural differences and tradition issues in Finland, but you will definitely love them, because in this country everything defines and influences culture.

Besides the huge contrasts in nature, visitors will also be surprised by the amazing technological development and innovations in the country. The level of automation is high and the social structure functions are top level, allowing the residents to complete complicated transactions with institutions and organizations fast and easily. Finnish culture is defined by all these innovations, which enhance the quality of everyday life. People in the country make great use of high technology, applying its practices to every side of their everyday life and work.

Finland Geography and cultural influences and its people

Finland is a peaceful and very well organized country in the Nordic complex of countries in Scandinavia. It is one of the most competitive economies in the world, with great respect to democracy and human rights. Finns are pretty straightforward and well nurtured people, who create and cultivate a way of life that combines the richly diverse natural ambience with the dynamic urban culture.

Being situated between the West and East, bordering Russia, Estonia and Norway, Finland has managed to blend these different cultural influences in a very harmonious way, adopting various habits and customs originating from the neighboring countries. The unique location of the country, which lies above the Arctic Circle, is naturally reflected in the culture and traditions, the character of its residents and their way of life.

Helsinki and Culture

The Finnish capital is Helsinki, a small but very intriguing and beautiful metropolis, situated at a scenic location stretching at the shores of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki stands out due to its amazing architecture, the gorgeous natural surrounding and the lively cultural scene, which is very inviting whether you are foreigner or Finn.

There are numerous restaurants and bars, clubs and nightclubs where Finns enjoy their traditional music, as well as European and American trends. Basically you can find anything you might think of in Finland, simply because people are open minded and eager to learn new things and meet new cultures. It's also one of the countries where foreign films are not dubbed neither in cinemas nor TV, and are shown with subtitles.

Nature and Culture

The unspoilt and virgin natural surrounding is close to the hearts of Finns; this can be seen in many different aspects. The people are environmentally friendly, and support eco efficiency; it comes as no surprise that Finland is the country with the least pollution, and one of the most competitive countries in the world. The good development of the country and its willingness to invest to culture come from the good levels of the education system and the efficient and innovative environment.

Finland Culture and Festivals

Finnish People are very Festive!

There are numerous festivals taking place in Finland all year long; Mid summer is known as the period of summer solstice; the emphasis is given to the celebrations of June 24th when the Finns celebrate sunlight, building large bonfires by the lakes, letting the thing burn down.

Mayday is also a great day in Finland; it is the festival of spring and drinking, which takes a big part in the Finnish culture. Starting on April 30th, there are numerous festivals and celebrations in every city and town of the country. People go around with white hats and buy sugary buns, sweets and wines with lemon and raisins. There is always music, singing and dancing, as people celebrate the rights of the workers and the coming of springtime. In the biggest cities you can find concerts and large open markets

Explore Finland
Explore Finland

Facts about Finland

Useful information about the country of Finland


Population: 5.6 million, 15.7 inhabitants per km2 (40.2 per square mile)

Life expectancy: Men 76 years, women 83 years

Languages: Official languages are Finnish (spoken by 91%) and Swedish (5.4%). Sámi is the mother tongue of about 1,700 people, members of the indigenous Sámi people of northern Lapland

Religion: 80.7% Lutheran and about 1.1% Orthodox. In practice society is fairly secularized

State & Government

Independence: 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

Form of government:: Parliamentary democracy

Parliament: 200 members in one chamber, elected every 4 years in a direct vote

Cabinet: Multiparty coalition cabinet. The current Cabinet is run by Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen

Head of State: President of the Republic, elected every 6 years, two-term maximum. Currently Ms Tarja Halonen, first elected in 2000

International cooperation: Member of United Nations since 1955 and European Union since 1995

Society & Economy

Key features: High standard of education, social security and healthcare, all financed by the state

GDP per capita: 34,769 euros

Main exports: Electrotechnical goods, metal products, machinery, transport equipment, wood and paper products, chemicals

Main imports: Raw materials, investment goods, energy, consumer goods (for example cars and textiles)

Currency unit: Euro

Geography & Climate

Area: 338,424 km² (131,985 square miles), the fifth-largest country in Western Europe

Greatest length from north to south: 1,160 km (720 miles)

Greatest width from east to west:: 540 km (335 mi)


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      With regards to area, Finland is the 7th biggest country in the world.

      Not true, not true at all

    • profile image

      suomi girl 2 

      5 years ago

      My paternal grandparents came from Finland,also. My grandfather was from Merikarvia and my grandmother was from Lehtimaki. Ihave been told that I look very Finnish! Iam very proud of my Finnish heritage.

    • griffin63 lm profile imageAUTHOR

      griffin63 lm 

      6 years ago

      @grannysage: I am pleased to hear this and may be some of your traite are descended from your ancestors.

    • griffin63 lm profile imageAUTHOR

      griffin63 lm 

      6 years ago

      @anonymous: Ah well pointed out

      Your observation is correct and the choice of topic was chosen when this Squidoo was designed

      I did not notice then but you are correct in your thinking-The lifestyle and the diet with plenty of exercise options may well have a positive effect on Finnish peoples health

    • griffin63 lm profile imageAUTHOR

      griffin63 lm 

      6 years ago

      @anonymous: I am glad you like the content

      May be you will get the chance to visit Finland one long bright summer

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a lovely lens to visit. I am Finnish, so this really hit home for me, even though I have never been to Finland (would love to). Blessed by Squid Angel Tipi! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This lens is under the topic of healthcare reform but you don't really say much about the health system of the Finnish people. Is it because you believe that if most people reformed their lifestyle to a manner like the Finns that might alleviate a lot of health issues? It's a thought!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It is very nice to know that my introverted nature comes from my Finnish side. My paternal grandparents came from Finland. This is a very informative and attractive lens. I like the inserted boxes for extra info.

    • DonD LM profile image

      DonD LM 

      8 years ago

      Your lense is worth reading indeed.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting lens. Great read! Always fun to learn about other cultures. Good job.


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