With two whole months where the sun never rises above the horizon and temperatures that can fall 20 degrees below zero, Finland is the happiest country in the world for the fifth year in a row. What is the secret behind Finland’s success? Let’s dive a little into their culture!
No small talk
Finns aren’t big on small talk, and quiet moments in conversations aren’t considered awkward. Silence merely means the person doesn’t have something essential to say, as Finns feel there’s no reason to fill gaps in conversation with idle chatter.
On the other hand, Finns mean what they say. They are very direct and straightforward. “Let’s have a beer sometime,” actually means the speaker will be contacting the other person for a drink, and they will be expecting the latter to accept.
In Finland, we have a concept called ‘Everyman’s rights’ (jokamiehen oikeudet, in Finnish). This rule allows everyone to roam freely in nature, eat and pick berries and mushrooms anywhere in forests. Also, you can camp out overnight in a tent, vehicle, or boat, as long as this causes no damage or disturbance to the landowner.
There are 41 nature reserves, all of them are free to enter and open year-round with marked trails. These national parks are the best place to relax your senses and enjoy the beautiful and pristine Finnish nature.
Finns naturally keep their distance to other people, especially when it comes to people they don’t personally know. For example, when on a bus or train, Finns only sit next to another person on the aisle seats, or even choose to stand, when all possible window seats are taken.
Despite a fairly inhospitable climate and long periods of little sunlight, Finnish people are content with their lives. After experiencing life in Finland for a short 4 months, one takeaway I would like to share is that we should learn to count our blessings and appreciate what we have.
Credits: Finnish Nightmares are from http://finnishnightmares.blogspot.com/