Since I’ve been dating a Finnish guy pretty seriously for over three months now, I thought I would take a moment to educate you guys on some facts/statistics about the country of Finland. The reason why I’m posting this is because it didn’t occur to me just how LITTLE that I knew myself about the country,,,, or about that region of the world in general–that is, until I heard more about the country from Martti and he began quizzing me on my knowledge of Finland. The first time we had a blank map and Martti asked me which country was Finland, Sweden, and Norway, I got them all mixed up! A bit embarrassing . . .
The Finnish people are wonderful and the landscape is beautiful (but it gets really DAMN COLD in Winter!), and there are interesting things you might like to read about… so read on below! 🙂
Statistics and Info about Finland that you probably don’t know! :
– Finland is part of the Scandinavian countries which include Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland (part of Denmark) and of course, Finland. Finland is bordered by Sweden to the West, part of Norway to the North, and Russia to the East.
– Finland has only had its independence for about 90 years. Think about that compared to how long the United States has had its independence! Finland used to be part of Russia.
– Finland is scatted with over 200,000 lakes! It’s absolutely insane how many there are! Look at this map to the right to see how many . . . the country has really beautiful landscapes because of them!
– Nokia, one of the biggest cell phone companies, actually comes from Finland. Most people think it is a Japanese or Chinese name/company and the Finns are a little disappointed they never get the credit for starting and being home to one of the largest cellphone companies in the world . . .
– Finland is so high up on the globe that during summer for about 1-2 months (depending how North or South you are) the sun doesn’t set! And in Winter for 1-2 months the sun NEVER comes up! Yes, as you may be thinking, yes it IS depressing in Winter when the sun never comes up for such a long time and at the same time it is SUPER COLD . . . and the country has an extremely high suicide rate because of it.. and one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Yikes!
– The Artic Circle runs through the North of Finland . . . so part of the country is considered “The South Pole!” It is rumored that the story of Santa Claus comes from Finland.
– The Finnish are known to be big drinkers (much like the people’s reputation in Wisconsin!), but they prefer hard alcohol . . . the statistics show that each Finnish person drinks more than 11 liters of 100% alcohol per year! That’s almost one liter per person per month, wow!
– Since the Finnish language is ONLY used in Finland, Finns are taught English from early on and most have had about 10 years of English courses. However, in general the people are SO SHY to use the language and extremely intimidated to speak to a native-English-speaker.
– I’ve been told by many Finnish people I’ve met that they very much look up to Americans and the US and try to mimick the culture and ways of living. I’ve found that this seems to be somewhat true . . . because the stores, malls, restaurants, bars, etc, aren’t too much different than those in the US. Also, when I was in Finland and hanging out with a group of 20-somethings, they were asking me a TON of questions about America and what I thought of Finland and asking me everything and anything about my life… it was fun but I felt a little uncomfortable because it was like I was a celebrity to them or something!–ESPECIALLY because I’ve been living in LA for 6 years, which was insanely fascinating to them!
– Most Finnish homes and apartment buildings have a Sauna in them! YES–a personal sauna in a family house! Going to Sauna is a HUGE part of Finnish culture and most people spend about 10-30 minutes in the Sauna (completely naked) every day or a few times per week.
– Finland has a very beautiful landscape filled with forests, forests, forests! – and scattered with thousands of lakes and rivers. The people are very friendly and genuine . . . and the country, in general, from the weather and landscape to the people itself completely reminds me of Wisconsin —- home! 🙂
My consensus: I really like Finland! However… I really don’t think I’d like the winters there… hell, I haven’t liked the Wisconsin winters since moving to LA, and Finland is even colder and stays dark for a month out of the year! Oh well, there are many positives too 🙂