Local traditions and culture in Finland

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    Sauna

    by magor65 Written Dec 21, 2004

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    Everybody knows what sauna is and most of us have probably had the chance to be in one.
    But going to a real Finnish sauna was a true adventure. We had been told by our friends that if we wanted to do it "Finnish style" we must jump into a lake after staying in sauna for a few moments, and we should repeat the whole procedure several times. On that day in Tampere the temperature was about 12 degress C with the icy wind blowing so no wonder we put on thick pullovers and jackets. The sight of the lake made us feel even colder. After changing into our swimming costumes we entered the sauna. About ten people - men, women and children were sitting in the room full of steam on wooden benches. I took the seat on the lowest level since the temperature here was a few degrees lower than above, but it was still almost 100 degrees C. Luckily we had been warned to take off all metal things. After about 10 minutes, encouraged by friends, we decided to go out and get into the cold lake. The experience wasn't as painful as I had expected. After the first touch the water diddn't seem icy any longer. And yes, we did repeat the whole thing several times. And I felt great after it!

    after sweating in sauna
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    Coffee with cheese

    by magor65 Written Nov 11, 2004

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    Before our trip to Finland I read somewhere that traditional Finnish coffee is served with cheese. The combination then seemed rather indigestible to me. While in Rovaniemi I asked our charming landlady if they drink coffee this way. She only smiled and on the next day she prepared some traditional Finnish dishes. We had reindeer meat ( very tasty), rieska (barley bread), kariala pirakka (special buns with rice) and some kind of cheese (rennet?) served with cloudberries for the dessert. It was the first time I had eaten cloudberries - their taste, a bit bitter, came as a surprise, so I didn't take much notice of the cheese. But then Aino-Leena said: 'now put the cheese into your coffee (of course without cloudberries) and you'll have it in the traditional Finnish style'. So we did it and it wasn't bad at all!

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    How to find interesting sights and spots

    by sinoda Written Jun 14, 2004

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    When hiking, riding or driving in the countryside one may occasionally encounter a sign by the street called hannunvaakuna.

    This is an indicator that in the given direction there is a significantly interesting nature spot or culturally important location, building etc.

    The accompanying text is not always very clear, so you just have to go and see for yourself whether it is worth being "inspected" or not.

    The hannunvaakuna is an old fenno-ugric sign of protection.

    Finnish Kalevala koru (jewelry) has the hannunvaakuna in their assortment.

    Hannunvaakuna; Finland

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    The sauna.

    by cachaseiro Updated Jan 6, 2013

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    Nothing is more finnish than the sauna.
    You have public saunas all over Finland and you should never have a problem locating one.

    Be aware that finns have no problem being naked with complete strangers, so when you suddenly find naked people running around all over the place then this is totally natural to the people here and not sexual in any way.

    The sauna is really the heart of finnish culture and a very common place to socialise and have a few drinks.

    In the sauna.
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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    ice swimming.

    by cachaseiro Updated Mar 19, 2007

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    the finns have a tradition of swimming in icy lakes.
    this sounds totally insane to an outsider but if you steam your body in a sauna for 15 minutes before going in the water then it's doable for most people.

    i have tried it myself and must say that it was a very unusual and special experience.
    i kinda felt fine untill i got out of the cold water.
    that was when i started to feel very very cold.
    before that it was rather pleasant.

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    The Finnish coffe break

    by sinoda Written Jul 8, 2003

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    Kahvia ja pullaa...

    Coffee and pastery. Finns would have invented coffee if no one else would have. Finns drink their coffee mostly black.

    As a companion goes the pulla, a very finnish pastery made of wheat flour, milk and butter, Hmm very tasty, you should try to have some freshly home made ones... Watch out you don't swallow your tongue right along.

    Finns will have their coffe in the morning for breakfast, at 9 o'clock for coffe break, after lunch and in hte afternoon once again.... 8 )

    kahvi ja pulla, Finlnd
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  • linda1501's Profile Photo

    The Sauna

    by linda1501 Updated Jun 16, 2004

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    Finland is the land of the sauna and the Finns are a nation of sauna-enthusiasts.

    The sauna has a long history and close relatives in other cultures: the Russian banya, the Native American sweat lodge or inipi, the Turkish hamam, even the Japanese onsen. In Finland it has at least a thousand years of history.

    The traditional sauna is a wooden building where the bathers sit on benches splashing water on the hot stones of the stove and gently beating themselves with leafy birch whisks.
    It is used for bathing as well as for mental and physical relaxation.

    Many Finns cannot manage without a sauna...
    "There they sat, side by side, amidst the steam and enjoyed the pleasure of the flesh. Antti was musing: "D'you think there might be a sauna in heaven? "Couse there must be," said Jussi."

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  • sinoda's Profile Photo

    No dubbing in the cinemas

    by sinoda Written Jul 7, 2003

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    If you choose to go and watch a movie in a cinema in Finland you can be sure it is not going to be dubbed.

    Only exceptions are children movies, which normally are shown in both the original and a finnish version.

    some finnish theatre chains:

    KamrasFilmGroup
    sea.fi
    finnkino.fi
    sandrewmetronome.fi

    in the foyer of Kino Engel, Helsinki
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  • Stellla's Profile Photo

    Poopoo bins

    by Stellla Written Jun 3, 2003

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    I know for most people it sounds not special..but for a french it is revolution. Really great idea to remind dogs' masters that not everyone like to walk in their dogs excrements! I can't blame my home country which invented the car dogs' poo.Like a street hoover but for..you know. Anyway it is better to educate the master...

    Bin for ...
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  • A midsummer tradition

    by sabsi Written Jul 18, 2004

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    Legend says that if a girl puts seven different flowers under her pillow in midsummer night she will dream of her future husband. Of course we had to try this and here you can see Bea counting the flowers she had picked. I am not going to tell you who I dreamt of that night tho ;)

    Picking 7 flowers

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    Sauna

    by Stellla Written Jun 1, 2003

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    Finns are the biggest users of sauna, normal sauna is originally from their country. Something important is that a lot of flats and houses have their own saunas, or there is normally a sauna in the building. It is usual to have "sauna party". Everybody is meeting to someone's place drinking and having sauna before going out. The "shocking" point for me and many foreigners at the start, is that everybody is naked. Usually saunas are not mixed, but you can find yourself, like at the swimming pool, with 10 people around you naked that you do not know. But it is a must to experience there;and it very appreciable in winter.

    sauna
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  • SanguiniA's Profile Photo

    Alcohol ....

    by SanguiniA Written Apr 4, 2006

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    Well, being a Nordic country Finland has its share of people who just love alcohol (or the idea of being drunk) ... who doesn't know about the Finlandia vodka for example?? Well, a nice standard beer here is Karhu (meaning bear). In winter, with all the snow you get natural refridgeration for a beer picnic too ... cool ;-)

    Karhu Beer
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  • sinoda's Profile Photo

    Carrying young n light women...

    by sinoda Written Jul 11, 2003

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    Another insanity - (check out my Sport's tips--Finnish WorldCC)

    - eukonkanto (carrying women) or as it is called in Helsinki preliminaries gimmojenkanto (gal's carrying).

    The finals are every summer - in Sonkajärvi, Savo.

    You just got to witness that once...

    The pic is a pic of a newspaper article.

    carrying ladies; Finland
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  • tales's Profile Photo

    THE HOUSES

    by tales Updated Mar 25, 2003

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    In Rovaniemi city the houses are built of cement, but near the forests there are beautiful log-houses. Wood protects from cold. You can see big trunks of different colours....very characteristics !!!
    I can tell you that in each house there is a sauna so when it's winter the peolple rewarm theirselves.
    You can apply a lot of spice sales the bain.
    It's a local custom and it's important for health!!

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    WONDERFUL MONSTERS

    by tales Written Mar 27, 2003

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    THERE IS IN FINLAND BEAUTIFUL TRADITION, TO BELIEVE AND TO LOVE THE TROLLS!!!
    THESE ARE CREATURES NOT SO BEAUTIFUL, THEY HAVE A BIG NOSE, FEW HAIRS AND A WRINKLED SKIN.
    THE LEGEND TELLS THAT THEY LIVE IN THE FORESTS.THEY HIDE INTRO THE TREES. THEY ARE SPITEFUL BUT ALSO LUCKY CHARM .... IF THEY WANT!
    I BOUGHT ONE LITTLE TROLL TO SOUVENIR BUT IN THE STORES YOU CAN FIND ALSO BIG TROLL .... LOOK THE PICTURE

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