Finland is one of the most beautiful Nordic countries that you should visit at least once in your life. While this country is known for its beautiful nature, excellent social security system, socially awkward people and rich history, there are many other things you probably did not know about Finland and its citizens.
Here is a list of 8 interesting facts about Finnish culture that are little or not known.
8 Interesting facts about Finnish culture
- 1. Finland is the happiest country in the world
- 2. Finland has numerous bizarre competitions
- 3. Expectant mothers receive a baby box from Finnish state
- 4. Finns are the world’s biggest coffee consumers
- 5. There are more than 2 million saunas in the country
- 6. Finland is home to a large number of heavy metal bands
- 7. There are 7 UNESCO world heritage sites in Finland
- 8. Finns live by the unique concept of “Sisu”
1. Finland is the happiest country in the world
The first thing that might surprise you about Finland is that it is the happiest country in the world. According to a UN-sponsored report called World Happiness Report, the country has been officially named the world’s happiest place for the fourth time in a row. The survey asked people from 149 countries to rate their happiness.
But here the question arises: what makes Finns so happy?
Probably Finland’s first place is due to the combination of numerous factors. First of all, Finns are surrounded by beautiful, clean nature. Therefore, they tend to spend a lot of time outdoors to enjoy the beauty of nature. Second, they have access to one of the best social security systems in the world, high-quality education and free healthcare. Finally, most Finns focus on eating healthy food and in general, living their lives to the fullest and having fun. Fortunately, if they don’t feel like going out, they can still have fun thanks to the huge variety of gambling sites like those listed here.
2. Finland has plenty of bizarre competitions
Interestingly, numerous bizarre and crazy competitions are organised throughout the country. For example, one of the most famous competitions in Finland is the Wife Carrying World Championship. In short, it is a competition in which men have to carry their female teammate (this person does not necessarily have to be their wife). The contestant who can carry his teammate through the obstacle course first wins the race. And what is the prize? As many litres of beer as the winner’s teammate weighs in kilos!
Another interesting Finnish event is the Air Guitar World Championships, which takes place annually in the northern city of Oulu. During this competition, contestants from all over the world get on a stage and compete in air guitar playing. This event has become hugely popular over the years, so some countries even have to organise pre-qualifiers.
3. Expectant mothers receive a baby box from Finnish state
As mentioned above, Finland has an excellent social security system that promotes the well-being of Finnish citizens. As part of this, the Finnish state gives every expectant mother a special gift: a maternity package or so-called baby box.
The box can be considered a starter kit as it contains necessities ranging from baby products to indoor and outdoor clothing to help mothers care for their newborn babies. Moreover, the baby box itself also acts as a cradle.
The tradition of giving baby boxes is more than 80 years old in Finland. Not surprisingly, Finland is among the top countries with the lowest infant mortality rate in the world.
4. Finns are the world’s biggest coffee consumers
When it comes to drinking coffee, Finns are taking things to a whole new level. In fact, they drink more coffee per capita than any other country in the world. According to statistics from the International Coffee Organisation, a person in Finland consumes an average of 12 kg of coffee per year.
This means that people in the country typically drink around 5-8 cups of coffee a day. However, Finns prefer lighter roasted coffee than other countries.
If you wonder why they consume so many cups of coffee a day, the main reason is that coffee plays an important role in Finnish culture.
Finns drink all the time coffee: when meeting a friend, to warm up on a cold day, or even when they go to the sauna. Coffee also helps them stay awake on dark days in winter.
5. There are more than 3 million saunas in the country
Without a doubt, one of the most distinct facts about Finnish culture is that there are more than 3 million saunas in the country. Especially considering that Finland’s population is only about 5.5 million!
For Finns, the sauna is very important. It is a perfect place to cleanse both their body and mind, relax and enjoy the present moment, as well as meet new people and socialise. Moreover, research shows that going to the sauna regularly (optimally several times a week) has a lot of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart attack and dementia. Thus, Finns very often go to the sauna in their homes, at the gym or at work. If you visit Finland, you may find saunas in rather unexpected places, including student rooms, boats or diplomatic buildings.
In December 2020, the Finnish sauna tradition was even added to the UNESCO-list of cultural heritage.
6. Finland is home to a large number of heavy metal bands
You’ve probably already heard that Finns like to listen to heavy metal. However, chances are you didn’t know that Finland has the highest ratio of heavy metal bands to 100,000 inhabitants in the whole world. To be precise, there are about 42 bands per 100,000 inhabitants in the country.
The best-known heavy metal music groups from Finland are Lordi, Apocalyptica, Nightwish and Finntroll. Moreover, Finns even have a heavy metal band for children. The members of Hevisaurus are known for performing in special dinosaur costumes.
7. There are 7 UNESCO world heritage sites in Finland
Tourists can find a total of 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Finland, including six cultural and one natural. If you want to explore these wonderful places, a full list of the sites can be found here:
8. Finns live by the unique concept of “Sisu”
“Sisu” is a unique concept that goes back hundreds of years in Finland and until now, Finns follow it in their daily lives. Although the word itself has no direct translation, it means something like perseverance, strength or determination. When Finns face difficulties, they don’t give up. They keep pushing themselves until they complete the task. As they say: whatever has to be done – no matter the cost – will be done. And when Finns make a decision, they stick to it until the end.
This extraordinary attitude helps Finns stay brave and succeed even in situations where success is highly unlikely.
This was the list of little-to-no facts about Finnish culture. Hopefully you found them interesting and they helped you learn more about this beautiful and magical Scandinavian country and its unique culture.
Source: Helsinki Times