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Anna Walker
5 April 00:09.
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What are the best things about being Finnish?
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"Where are you from?" is one of the most common questions I get asked almost every day when living in London. I like to answer by saying "guess?", as I already know the person asking will never say the correct country. The most popular countries people like to think I'm from are Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany. No, Finland is not on the list despite all the other Nordic countries. That is because people usually forget about Finland. Or in many cases they don't even know where Finland is... (I mean, come on?)

I have lived abroad for nearly three years, as I wanted to get away from the safe and sound environment I grew up in. I needed an adventure; learning about new culture, trying different foods, speaking a new language and meeting new people. All that I've so far experienced. But living away from home home for so long, in my new home, I have started to miss it. I am proud to say that I'm Finnish as I love the country I was born in. I am going to tell you why.

1. NATURE

Ah, how I miss the fresh air in Finland. The forests, lakes and mountains in the north. And also the sea and archipelago in Helsinki, which is unbeatable especially in the summer. I also miss the four seasons. You can definitely tell when the season changes from spring to summer, from summer to autumn, from autumn to winter and from winter to spring.

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2. SAUNA

Believe me or not when I tell you that there is sauna in every household in Finland. In the UK you have to go to a luxury spa to enjoy some steam...Definitely one of the best things about being Finnish! Especially when you can 'swim' in the snow afterwards. And also, did you know that us Finns go to sauna naked?

photo from here

3. FOOD

Nordic food is my number one favourite. Whenever people ask me what my favourite cuisine is, I usually say East Asian, like sushi, but actually it is Nordic. Finnish culture especially is influenced by both Sweden and Russia (as we were under the rule of these countries hundred+ years ago), and I think that is what makes it so unique. In Finland you can enjoy Swedish meatballs and Karelian hot pot, but there are also dishes like sautéed reindeer and Janssons Frestelse (Janssoninkiusaus, made of anchovies). Also, I always miss foods like Karelian pie, rye bread, cheese and a fermented milk product piimä. Not to mention the sweets, pastries and especially Fazer chocolate. The list is endless! Yum-my.

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4. LANGUAGE

Basically, one of the great things about being Finnish is that you speak language that is not related to any language in the world. It's like a secret language, which is perfect when you travel and no one will understand you. Also, we have to study Swedish in school, which means that we can understand  Swedish, Danish and Norwegian people as well. Moi moi.

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5. NORTH

The northern lights, mountains, Santa, reindeers, huskies, peace, quietness, views. What other reasons there is to visit Northern Finland?! 

photo from here

6. PEOPLE

We are very open minded, ambitious and cheerful. We don't deal with bullshit and drama, and we are pretty chilled most of the time. Despite the suicide rate in the world is highest in Finland, due to the six month period when the sun doesn't rise in the Northern Finland, we are some of the happiest people in the world.

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7. SOCIAL SYSTEM

Free education, childcare and health care. Number one in the world! Finns, let's not take this for granted, even though taxes are high...heh.

photo from here

So, in conclusion, being Finnish is pretty darn awesome! And I would suggest for you all to go there!

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