Photo: Aleksandra Suzi/Shutterstock

13 Signs You Were Born and Raised in Finland

by Veikka Lahtinen Aug 4, 2015

1. You love dark rye bread.

The Finnish ruisleipä might not be legendary in the eyes of foreigners; however, it’s a typical thing you’ll miss when living abroad (what’s with the white fluffy substance the rest of the world consume?). Those who weren’t introduced to it as a child will probably never learn to appreciate it much. You’re just a little bit offended when people don’t immediately see the greatness of this national treasure.

2. You’re so used to paying ridiculous amounts of money for alcohol it’s stopped bothering you.

Whenever you visit a liquor store in a foreign country you can’t believe your luck. Alcohol doesn’t make you happy, but looking at the price of booze abroad might, if only just for a little while. Even sophisticated Finns might catch themselves shouting, “Can you believe these prices?” in an Estonian supermarket.

3. You’re obsessed with what foreigners think about you and your country.

If you’re lucky enough to run into a foreigner on the streets of a Finnish city, you simply must know what they think about you. Should an American visit Finland, they’re guaranteed to be asked the question, “What do you think about us?” This is a sign of low national self-esteem. The Finns want approval and won’t brag about their achievements easily.

4. You live next to Russia, but you’ve never set foot there.

You’re happy to accept the existence of this giant beyond the eastern border but aren’t willing to do much more. You might not know much about the country and feel you should learn more, yet you end up spending your holidays elsewhere year after year. And their alphabet just puzzles you.

5. You think your English is subpar.

Most Finns will compare their English to other Finns’, not other Europeans’. This leads to absurd situations where you’ll, with your perfect English, apologize for your bad English to someone whose mother tongue IS NOT English.

6. You think Moomins are the best thing since Shakespeare.

They’re big, white, and philosophical in an everyday manner. You own a dozen expensive mugs with pictures of them. You can’t comprehend why everybody doesn’t simply love them. Most Finns have an answer ready to the question, “Which Moomin character do you most resemble?”

7. The ice-bucket challenge doesn’t impress you.

Cold water is no stranger to you as seawater temperatures rarely reach levels to brag about, and swimming naked is part of your daily routine. Seeing people pour ice-cold water on themselves makes you think, “Refreshing!” not, “Courageous!”

8. You’re only interested in sports when you realize your country might actually win something, so you’re only interested in hockey.

Let’s face it, a small country like ours can only really be good at a few sports. So why not pick one that’s seriously played in only four other countries? Gold medal here we come!

9. The cold and dark winter surprises you every year.

You moan about the winter until it’s over and then forget about it until next winter. Then you start moaning again. You sometimes plan to move somewhere where it’s warmer but quickly realize the only countries you’d deem acceptable to live in are Nordic, and that sure won’t solve your problem.

10. You think getting drunk with someone is the only true way of getting to know them.

You like talking to other Finns when you’re sober but secretly feel you’re only getting skin deep with them. You really want to reach a level of honesty that comes out after that seventh drink. After that, we’re really sharing some good stuff!

11. You feel that not having a summer house is a synonym for homelessness.

You’re surprised to hear that some countries consider summer houses a fancy of the elite. For you, it’s kind of like having a normal house, just a less modest one by the sea. You didn’t buy your summer house and don’t know what they cost. It just was there when you were born.

12. You make fun of the Swedes but secretly admire everything they do.

You mock the way they talk, the way they don’t say things straight, the way their meetings drag on. On the other hand, you like their fashion, their music, their politics, and everything about Stockholm.

13. You’re not surprised to run into top politicians on the street or in the bus.

Oh, there’s the president reading the paper. And there’s the prime minister on a bike. Now let’s get on with work.

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