In my opinion, 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, in consumption of everything that their country has to offer. All the Finns I met so far, during my exchange stay, are very sportive and outgoing. People are keenly readers, a fact that probably explains the fact that they have many libraries, well stocked with foreign and local books and newspapers. I went quite often to the huge library in the city center and 8 out of 10 times, it was overcrowded there. Finns are usually sparing with words and do not value small talk that much; therefore, verbal promises are usually taken very seriously.
I think Finns believe firmly that each person is entitled to their own space and privacy. This can often appear unfriendly during the first communication with a Finn. However, once the ice is broken, they are open-minded, friendly and warm.
Two weeks ago, I tried to book a cottage for the Christmas time in Lapland. I found a private offer on the internet with a good price. The problem was, the entire website was in finnish and I was not able to understand anything. Therefore, I asked a finnish student at the library at Lemminkäisenkatu campus and asked him if he can translate it for me. He was very kind, translated the entire website for me, and said that he has a better option for a cottage in Lapland and asked for my email address. Few days later, I got an email of a cottage owner from Enontekiö. He wrote me, that a friend of his son told him, that I am looking for a cottage over Christmas time and he sent me a good offer. That was very nice and I did not expect this!Text & picture: Christian Masberger