I come from the country of the midnight sun. I come from the country of thousands of crystal blue lakes, of untouched forests, abundance of wild berries and mushrooms, of reindeer and bears. I come from the country of clean air and where the lights dance in the sky.
It’s the nation that loves tango, coffee, ice-hockey, rye bread, woollen hand-knitted socks, heavy metal music and salted licorice, and who have no hang-ups about nudity.
I come from a country that speaks a weird and difficult language, who hate small-talk, who need abundance of personal space, who are at ease with silence, who drink buttermilk with their meals and use two single doonas in their double beds.
It’s a country that has small handheld showers in their toilets for intimate wash, who put their babies outside to sleep in minus 10 degrees, who use a wooden knife for buttering and who have floor heating in their homes.
They eat pea soup and pancakes on Thursdays, they have a strict no shoes rule indoors, they have dish-drying cupboards above their kitchen sinks and create competitions like wife-carrying and boot throwing. They celebrate NameDays and fish through a small hole in the ice.
I come from a country that is known for its amusing traditions, like National Sleepy Head Days, National Days of Failure and where a sauna is heated up at the end of formal business meetings for employees to unwind.
It’s the nation who has given the world Air Guitar, Nokia, Angry Birds, sauna, Sibelius, Nordic Walking, Marimekko, Moomins and many famous Rally and Formula One drivers.
I come from the country of Kantele, Kalevala, Santa Claus, SISU, of world-famous education, and the happiest people on earth. It’s a country that has people who are punctual, honest, introverted, direct and has the youngest female politicians.
A country that celebrates Christmas by having a sauna and visiting cemeteries and eating swede casseroles (the vegetable type, not our neighbours!), who enjoys ice-swimming, snowmobiles, husky rides and reindeer races on frozen lakes.
Finland is the most wonderful, amazing, beautiful, bizarre and quirky country in the world and I come from there!
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