Except for the fact that the country holds the world record number of saunas per household (one on average per home, or one for every two citizens), what do you really know about Finland?
1. Finland’s outdoors possibilities are huge.
There are 187,888 lakes in the country — the most of any country in the world — and 179,888 Finnish islands to explore.
2. The Finns are coffee freaks.
Finns are the people with the highest consumption of coffee in the world, at 12 kilos per person per year. Across all age demographics, an impressive 14% of men and 6% of women reported consuming more than 10 cups of coffee per day. Some say that they could not drink more if they tried.
3.”Sauna” is the most used Finnish word outside of the mother country.
4. “Connecting people”, right?
Although Finland is famous for its contribution to the telecom industry with Nokia, you won’t find a single pay phone in the whole country.
5. The country holds some of the strangest events on the planet.
The Wife-Carrying World Championship, the Ant-Nest Sitting Competition, and The Swamp Soccer World Championship are just a few examples of how the Finns entertain themselves.
6. Finland is an innovation hub.
Finnish inventions are plenty and include: the rescue toboggan, the heart-rate monitor, salty liquorice (‘Salmiakki’), Linux OS, ice skates, Angry Birds, the Molotov cocktail, the SMS and, of course, the sauna.
7. Finland loves losers.
The Day of Failure, held on October 13th every year, is Finland’s way to “celebrate shortcomings and failures, share experiences and promote the understanding of failure as a learning experience”. There’s nothing wrong with being a loser once in a while in Finland.
8. Finland makes better pizzas than Italy.
Kotipizza’s award-winning pizza, “The Berlusconi”, is made with typical Finnish ingredients: rye and smoked reindeer. In 2008 it won the title “Best Pizza in the Word” against a competing pizza from Italy.
The former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi probably should have shut his mouth instead of complaining about the horrible Finnish cuisine when visiting Finland in 2005.
9. Speeding tickets are extreme.
In Finland, traffic violation fines are are based on the drivers’ incomes. In 2002, a Nokia executive was fined $103,000 for going 45 in a 30 zone. They know how to make people slow down over there.
10. Finland is the global leader in heavy metal bands
Remember Eurovision Song Contest winners Lordi? Yes, they’re scary, and yes, they’re Finnish.