FINLAND 1 - 0 - 0 🇫🇮
A QUICK COMPILATION OF ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW - AND WISH YOU NEVER DID.
1. You may call us Finland and Finns, but we call ourselves Suomi and suomalaiset.
2. Altho if you don´t mind, we would rather you did not call us anything ever. Actually if we could both pretend each other doesn´t even exist, that would be just great!
3. Yes we are a notoriously shy and reserved nation with a gigantic inferiority complex - especially when compared to our neighbor Sweden.
4. Who incidentally we loooooove beating in hockey.
5. Saimaannorppa aka Saimaa ringed seal can only be found in Finland and is highly endangered.
According to a count done in 2015, there are only about 320 individuals left, and therefore quite understandably whenever one is found dead in a fisherman´s net or by the hands of a poacher etc., it causes headlines and outrages.
6. 70% of Finland is made up of forests - that´s roughly the size of the entire area of the United Kingdom.
7. Finland was awarded the Summer Olympics for 1940, but then things got all sorts of fucked up thanks to Adolf & co., so those plans were scrapped even tho we had a brand-spanking new Olympic stadium and everything! Dammit!
Oh well, we were compensated in 1952 when we finally got the honor of hosting our only (so far) Olympic games.
8. Those 1952 Olympics were the first time Coca Cola was introduced to Finns.
9. No, we do not have polar bears.
10. We also don´t have KFC, Wendy´s or Dunkin´ Donuts.
11. Yes I am very upset about all those things mentioned above but especially about KFC.
12. Finland was the first country in Europe which gave women the right to vote (1906).
13. The Finnish language does not separate words such as “she” or “he”. We just use a gender-neutral “hän”, which means “that person”.
14. The national bird of Finland is the whooper swan.
15. Helsinki has the world´s most Northern metro system.
16. Savonlinna hosts their annual Opera Festival in a Medieval castle.
17. We are vindictive and petty as HELL. Just ask Silvio Berlusconi.
18. A Finnish person will drink approximately 129 litres of milk a year.
19. Some years ago, the word for mother (”äiti”) was voted the most beautiful word in the Finnish language.
20. Moomins are, as some of you MAY REMEMBER FROM A SPECIFIC DEBACLE FROM EARLIER THIS YEAR, from Finland and were created by OUR Miss Tove Jansson.
21. Unlike many other countries which after gaining independence tore down all statues and other remnants of their history under foreign rule, in Finland we chose to keep ours up as reminders of our past.
For example, on our main square aka the Senate Square you will find Czar Alexander II standing proudly.
22. And speaking of statues, one of the landmarks of Helsinki is Havis Amanda.
It depicts a mermaid who decides to leave the sea and walk on… well, not water.
Each year on April 30th, she is “crowned” with a cap, to represent all those who have graduated from secondary school and earned their caps.
23. As of 2010, internet access has been a legal right in Finland.
24. Do you have one of those cupboard things over your kitchen sink, the kind where you place your dishes to dry?
That was invented by a Finnish woman called Maiju Gebhard in 1945.
25. The longest word in the Finnish language is “epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydelläänsäkäänköhän”, which loosely translates to “not even by her lack of organization, do you suppose”.
26. Angry Birds are from here.
27. Finland is also the birth place of the most successful ski jump champions of all time, Matti Nykänen.
28. After his sports career came to an end, Matti has been a permanent fixture in the tabloids with his… issues… involving alcohol abuse, domestic abuse (he even served time in prison for attempting to kill one of his many ex-wives) and an assortment of careers including stripping and now singing.
He is also responsible for one of our most beloved and useful quotes of all time: back in the 80s when he was still jumping from towers and competing in Canada, he got into some “situations” and was sent back home as punishment. When he arrived at the airport, a journo asked him “Matti, did you drink alcohol?”, to which Matti replied “Maybe I did drink, maybe I didn´t drink”.
All bases covered then!
The man is a fucking genius.
29. There are absolutely ZERO public payphones anywhere in Finland.
30. For a very short period of time back in, Finland had a female president AND a female Prime Minister.
Sadly that arrangement came to an abrupt end when the Prime Minister was forced to resign over a scandal involving some sort of Iraq documents which I´m still, a decade later, completely baffled by.
31. As those who come on this blog surely know by now, Yours Truly is a passionate berry picker - and being a berry nut in Finland is easy indeed since a) we have one of the cleanest natures in the world and b) all living things you find in nature, you can keep - within reason, of course.
Usually a good principle is to keep about 100 meters distance from the nearest house. Other than that, you´re good to go!
32. People in in Northern Finland aka Lapland area have a very specific unit of measurement called the “poronkusema” which could be loosely translated to “Reindeer´s piss”. Roughly it means the distance a reindeer can walk before needing to urinate. It´s quite a long distance…
33. Our current President Sauli Niinistö is a survivor of the tragic tsunami which took place in South-East Asia on Dec 26, 2004. Over 200 000 people (including almost 200 Finnish tourists) died in one of the worst natural disasters of our time - Mr. Niinistö and his sons saved their own lives by climbing up a telephone pole and staying there for several hours.
34. In Finland October 13th is National Failure Day which aims to encourage people to share their failures and learn from them rather than hide their heads in shame and pretend all is well.
35. The REAL Santa Claus lives up in Rovaniemi and you can visit his village all year long.
36. Sheldon gave us a good laugh and an ego boost.
37. We like eating Rudolf with lingonberries and mash.
38. On some years we get A LOT of snow, but on others we get practically none. Back in 1997, in Lapland the snow reached up to 190 cm.
Incidentally I am 155 cm.
39. In the Finnish language there is an alphabet called Å which isn´t actually a part of a single Finnish word in the entire Finnish language - it is simply a remnant from our many centuries spent under Swedish rule.
40. Unesco has reported that Finland´s tap water is the cleanest in the world.
41. A handy Finnish saying: “Early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese”.
42. For some God forsaken reason, Finland and Estonia have the same national anthem.
43. Sadly accurate these days.
44. Sadly accurate these days.
45. Rosina Heikel (1842 - 1929) was Finland´s and in fact the Nordic countries 1st female doctor.
46. When something is a failure/a dud, the common term in the English language is “a lemon”. Over here, it´s “susi”. Susi also means wolf.
47. And susi should not be confused with sisu!
48. In Lapland you can spend your vacation in an igloo.
49. Fines for speeding are determined by the offender´s income. Basically if you earn more, you have to pay more. The highest fines have been over 100 000 €. Stay poor, kids!
50. Pamela Anderson´s grandparents were from Finland.
51. Yes we like getting our drinks on, and most of us go abroad to Tallinn to get our drinks on for a lot less €s.
52. In Lapland, the Sun never rises from November to January.
53. In reverse, the Sun never sets from June to July. We call it “The Nightless night”.
54. Finland has exactly 1 Eurovision victory under its belt.
55. In 2018 Saara Aalto will be repping us.
Please vote for us. Please?
56. Nokia became famous for their mobile phones, but originally they manufactured rubber boots.
57. We don´t dub movies or TV shows.
58. We do however sometimes give them ridiculous and extremely SPOILER ALERT-y names. For example, “The Shawshank Redemption” was translated to “Rita Hayworth - Key to escape”.
I mean… C´MOOOOON!
59. Sometimes that´s all you can do.
60. Simo Häyhä aka “White Death” was one of the deadliest snipers of all time. During a 3 month stretch of the Winter War, he shot roughly 200 Russian soldiers before getting shot in the face himself. He survived and lived to be 96.
61. We don´t use the 1 and 2 cent coins. You CAN try paying with them as they of course are legal currency, but there are no guarantees you´ll get very far.
62. Feb 14th may be a day for lovers for the rest of the world, but we know it as “Friend´s Day”.
63. Tipping is not (thankfully) a part of the Finnish culture.
64. The guy longing for Sven in Titanic (the coat dude) was portrayed as a Swede, but was actually a Finn called Jari Kinnunen.
65. Karelian pies with egg butter are the best thing ever.
66. Märket island which is situated between Finland and Sweden had to have the border lines twisted a bit because the Finns who built that lighthouse, accidentally built it on the wrong side…
67. While often named as one of the 5 Scandinavian countries, Finland isn´t technically even a part of Scandinavia: we ARE however a part of the Nordic countries.
68. If you are invited to a Finnish sauna, you are expected to go nude.
69. Finnish armed forces are mandatory for men but voluntary for women.
70. Moomin mugs are peculiarly popular especially among Asian tourists. They can sometimes pay even thousands for rare ones.
71. We never had vikings, but there is one viking tale about a princess called Skjalv, daughter of the Finnish King Froste (those aren´t even Finnish names…), who was stolen as war loot to Sweden but ended up strangling her captor with a gold chain.
72. Our 4th president was Kyösti Kallio, who was forced to resign from office after the Winter War on December 19th 1940. On that same day he was about to step onto a train to take him back home for retirement, when during his final official ceremony at Helsinki Railway Station, in front of his soldiers and while the orchestra played, he suffered a fatal heart attack and died right there in front of everyone. Legend says he collapsed into the arms of our greatest war hero and later president himself, Marshall C.G.E. Mannerheim (seen in the white hat next to President Kallio).
73. Marshall Mannerheim is the only person in Finnish history who has been rewarded that particular military honor. In fact, he is and forever will remain the only person who has the title “Finland´s Marshall”, an honor bestowed upon him for his services to his home country during Finland´s tumultuous early years of independence.
A few years ago he was voted by the Finns themselves as the most important Finnish person of all time.
74. In June 1942, Adolf Hitler came to Finland to pay his respects to Marshall Mannerheim on his 75th birthday. As a little “souvenir” for future generations, the sneaky Finns recorded a snippet of his and Mannerheim´s private conversation.
It is the only known recording of Hitler speaking with a calm, normal voice, as he was very particular about only being filmed while screaming and ranting his ideologies.
75. Roughly 3 million tourists visit Finland each year and I think at least 2 500 000 of them are always going exactly where I´m going too.
76. We like to make things hard for foreigners.
77. We don´t have any mountains.
78. But we have lakes. We have a shit ton of lakes. 187 888 lakes to be precise.
80. All our days end with -tai (Monday = maanantai, Tuesday = tiistai etc.), except for Wednesday. Wednesday is called keskiviikko.
81. We have a lot of free time.
82. J. R. R. Tolkien used the Finnish national epoch the Kalevala as inspiration for the languages in the Lord of the Rings saga.
83. The St. Louis Arch was designed by a Finn called Eero Saarinen.
84. Every summer we arrange what is called Kaljakellunta aka “Beer float” which pretty much just consists of taking a floatie and a case of beer and… well, that´s about it.
85. If you want to enhance your sauna experience, you can use a birch whisk.
86. The bubble chair was designed by a Finnish man called Eero Aarnio.
87. Thursdays are the “official” pea soup and pancakes day all over Finland.
88. Finns love queuing.
89. Life expectancy for men is 78 years and for women 84 years.
90. In Tornio you can play golf in two countries:
91. Finns invented the so-called Molotov´s cocktail.
92. All people in Finland must pay a TV tax even if they do not they own a TV.
93. We celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December.
94. Finns love salmiakki aka salty licorice.
I don´t, btw.
95. Finland is one of the few countries in Europe which has not banned sex with animals - and some actually take advantage of that loophole…
96. Armi Kuusela won the 1st ever Miss Universe pageant in 1952.
97. In 2006, Conan O´Brian did a sketch about looking like our then-president Tarja Halonen and it ballooned into a huge movement.
99. On every Independence day, the current president hosts a party at his residence for about 2 000 dignitaries, celebs, politicians etc. We riff raffers sit at home in our sweatpants and watch it on TV with some nachos and snarky comments.
100. MONTY PYTHON KNOWS.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUOMI, AND THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING.
Despite you reeeeally getting on my nerves SO MUCH and SO OFTEN, I still love you. 💙 💙 💙