Curiosities of Finnish people & culture

When I decided to spent my year abroad in Finland, everybody started warning me of the cold weather and asked me if I really want to do this. Off course I want. I mean, how bad could it become? Retrospectively this was a bit naive. Needless to say, the weather and especially the winter is not comparable with the climate at my hometown. However with the right clothes and shoes it is possible to survive even the hardest winter in Finland. 😉

In my first week here in Turku I attended the orientation days of my university and often heard the hearsay that Finnish people are pretty shy. Maybe I haven´t met the shy ones up to now, but for me the people here are all pretty friendly and ready to help. For example as I arrived at the airport in Turku I had to handle two big suitcases all the way to the student village. In the bus not only my tutor but also a Finnish passenger asked me if I need some help and stored my luggage away. Even when you get lost in the city, the people are always polite and try to help you.

The view from sitting inside the sauna in Ruissalo :)

The view from sitting inside the sauna in Ruissalo 🙂

But what do almost all Finns love? Going to sauna! As I also went there quite often in Germany, I absolutely wanted to try the Finnish way to go. That´s why I participated in an ESN Event where we drove to Ruissalo to go to sauna and had a barbeque afterwards. I was quite amazed because the Finnish way to go to sauna is pretty different from the German way. For example the Germans are not allowed to sit on the wooden bench without a towel and they take a rest after each sauna round. Public saunas in Germany are also visited without clothes and not with swimwear. But what I liked best at going to sauna in Ruissalo was the beautiful scenery and the jump in the sea after the sauna. That was really amazing and is definitely better than the German style to go to sauna. 🙂

Text & picture: Lena Schlachtmeier

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