Welcome to Finland, the country of melancholia, Northern lights, Koskenkorva vodka and reindeer. Before travelling, you should know a few facts, just in case.
1. You may have heard that Finns run around naked throwing sticks to polar bears at winter. Unfortunately we don’t. We don’t even have polar bears, nor do we wonder around naked outside when it gets -30 degrees outside.
2. Finns do not speak to strangers before having a bottle of vodka.
3. If you decide to use public transport, make sure you don’t accidentally push anyone. It is unforgivable and you can swear that one will curse the day you were born.
4. Finland is quite a primitive country. At the moment the law concerning the same sex marriage is dealt with in the parliament. Some politicians are wondering what should be done to the locker rooms in the leisure centres if the law was to be approved. As we all know, Finland is the only Nordic country which does not allow same sex marriages.
5. Do not smile if you are alone in public, people will think you’re weird.
6. Reilu meininki perkele is a typical Finnish sentence and the only one you need to know in Finnish. It cannot really be translated but you don’t even need to know its meaning, it is not the main point. All there is to know is that hell of a lot respect will be given to one after saying it out loud.
7. If you go to the sauna wearing a swimsuit, people will think you’re a pussy.
8. Most of the Finns do not know polite or mannerly behaviour, so you don’t really have to either. When asking for something, the word please would most definitely be too much.
9. When you step into a Finnish pub, ask for shots of Salmari and Fisu and afterwards try winter swimming. Thereupon you will be able to understand the typical Finnish character.
10. One of the things you actually do not have to worry about is the Helsinki tube map.