1. Finns are shy
Finns can be very shy creatures; they usually avoid eye contact in public, for example, on the bus or in the elevator. They hardly ever approach strangers as they don’t wish to disturb them. They enjoy their space.
Despite that, if you approach a Finn for information he or she will be friendly and ready to help. It’s almost as if they are just waiting for you to take the first step. They will usually limit their reply to answering your question and nothing more – again they don’t wish to disturb you, as you might be in a hur-ry – but they would love to continue the conversation if you would only make the next move. Behind that “personal-space-field” is someone really curious to know more about you and your country. So give them a chance.
2. The awkward silence
This is a Finnish invention: silence. Not only do Finns respect silence in pub-lic, but they also enjoy embracing it in their private life. For them, moments of silence are natural and nothing to feel awkward about. For foreigners this can be strange at first, but most people get used to it.
3. The sauna culture
At home: Sauna is a big part of Finnish life. The entire family goes to sauna together. Virtually every building in Finland contains a sauna, so you can most likely make a reservation to the sauna in your apartment building by contac-ting the housing association. The most popular days for sauna time are Friday and Saturday.
Public sauna: When going to a public sauna don´t be surprised when Finns go naked, it is part of the culture. Finns see nudity as something natural and nothing to be ashamed of. Nevertheless, when friends have a sauna evening, women and men usually go separately, women first.
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