フィンランドについて About Finland






Finland collage


About Finland

Since our shop and blog are focusing on Finland, I thought it might be a good idea to briefly introduce my home country to you all.Finland became independent in 1917, so it won’t be much longer until we can celebrate Finland turning 100 years. Politically and economically today’s Finland is very international. We are a part of European Union, and our currency is Euro. We have our own language, Finnish, but we also have a small Swedish speaking minority and an indigenous Sami population in Lapland. Our population is currently about 5.4 million, and our capital is Helsinki. The greater Helsinki area has about one million residents, which is about the same as in Hiroshima.

If you visit Finland you will be surprised of how much space there is around you. Basically all you can see is trees and forests everywhere. Forests cover almost 70% of the geographical area. There are no mountains though (except a few in the north). Finland is often called “the Land of a Thousand Lakes”, which is very true as there are at least 188 000 lakes in the country.

The summertime in Finland is characterized by the midnight sun. We celebrate ‘the white nights’ during Midsummer festival, when all Finnish people retreat to their summer cottages. The traditional Midsummer thing to do is to set a big bonfire that is meant to drive the evil spirits away. In the northernmost part of Finland the sun does not set at all for weeks.

People also ask me if the weather in Finland is cold, and yes, it does get cold sometimes. In my hometown Oulu it can easily get to -30 degrees in winter. During the coldest winter days we can even spot aurora (northern lights) from our own front yard. For many foreigners these kind of extreme temperatures can be quite frightening, but for me – I just totally love the cold Finnish winters. I find it nothing better than a spending some time outdoors feeling the crisp winter air, and then coming back home to enjoy sauna and good food with either a beer or a cup of hot chocolate. By the way, can imagine that in a country with a population of 5 million, there are over two million saunas? This means that in almost half of the Finnish homes (including some of the smallest apartments), have their very own sauna. How special is that!

Sources: Tatun ja Patun Suomi (Havukainen, AIno & Toivonen, Sami), Wikipedia.