How are the Finns. Finns are warm, open and sincere, even if they might tell you the exact opposite.
If you’ve ever met a Finn, chances are they’ve talked about the reserved nature of their compatriots. Fear not, we are not taciturn brutes. Finns are talkative and hospitable, but the myth of the reclusive Finn is still very much alive in Finland. And Finns, with their self-mockery, will be the first to welcome foreigners.
An example of a Finnish joke: “An introverted Finn looks at his shoes when he talks to you; an extroverted Finn looks at your shoes”.
They also tend to say little and avoid “unnecessary” small talk and are better at listening than talking. They don’t get nervous if the conversation is interrupted; silence is considered a part of communication. Finns rarely start a conversation with strangers and are curiously quiet on the subway, bus or tram. In elevators, they suffer from the same stupid embarrassment as everyone else in the world.
Personal distance in Finland. Finns naturally keep their distance from other people, especially when it comes to people they don’t know personally. From a Finnish perspective, one would say it makes them feel like they are polite and don’t want to disturb the other person.
In a bus, for example, Finns only sit next to another person when all possible window seats are occupied and you have to use the aisle seats.
But once you have a good relationship with Finns, they will be your best friends.