Five Things You Should Know About Finland

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This Sunday will officially be my second month living here in Finland. It’s so crazy how time flies! Though the days are getting shorter and colder, I am looking forward to my first Finnish winter. I have learned so much already about Finnish culture, so I thought it would be fun to share that culture with you. So, here are five things you should know about Finland 🙂

Evening Snack

In Finland, you have your normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But then you will have your evening snack before bed. This is usually bread, fruit, or yogurt. When I first told my host family that in America this is not a common practice, they thought it was crazy! They did not see how you could go to bed without eating first. The evening snack is a common cultural practice here in Finland and every family I have met so far does it (and thinks it’s weird that Americans don’t). I am all for this snack, because who doesn’t like eating bread and cheese at night 😉

They LOVE Finnish Brands

In Finland you won’t really see many chain coffee shops, but more locally owned ones. While you will see McDonald’s, Burger King, etc they are not as popular. Finns love to support local businesses and Finnish brands. Marimekko and Iittala are two examples of Finnish brands that are very popular in Finland.

Recycling

Finnish take recycling seriously! There are places everywhere for you to recycle that is even separated by the material. They even have an organic waste container. There is even a garbage truck that comes to homes to pick up their organic waste!

Saunas

Saunas are very popular. It is common for families or even apartment complexes to have a sauna. Coming from America, these saunas are not what I am used to. It is common practice to go to the sauna naked, usually with friends or your whole family. All saunas are ones you can throw water on the rocks also (which is really fun if you have never done it). A local told me that in Finland they believe that it is good to go to a sauna and get really hot and then go jump in the lake, even when it’s winter! I think I may have to take her word for it.

Moomins

I don’t think I could do a post about Finland and not mention Moomins! Tove Jansson started writing books and comic strips about Moomins in 1945 and they have been a hit ever since. Today you can find in probably almost every Finnish home something with Moomins on it, whether it be bedding or even dishes.

Have you ever experienced a culture that is different from your own? What was your favorite thing that was different?

XX Chynna

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