14 Peculiarities of life in Finland that amaze the rest of the world
When we think of Finland we imagine the northern lights, mountains of white fluffy snow, and locals who seem to have no fear of cold. Some stereotypes turn out to be quite true, because the Finns have their own special mentality and way of life, which differs significantly from ours.
Pensioners playing slot machines
In many Finnish supermarkets and gas stations installed slot machines, near which you can often see a crowd of pensioners. Yes, the elderly here love to gamble, so all the remaining change after shopping, they usually spend in the machines. The return rate is about 95%, respectively, it is not so difficult to win.
Modern road signs
In Finland, there are special reindeer farms, where these animals are bred. There you can ride on the sled, feed and stroke the animals, as well as try cooked venison. And although the owners carefully monitor their cattle, it is not uncommon for a reindeer to get loose and walk onto the roadway by accident. To avoid accidents on the highway, reindeer antlers are coated with special reflective paint to reduce the number of traffic accidents in Lapland.
It is not customary to leave tips in Finland. The fact is that the service charge is most often already included in the final amount on the receipt. However, if you really liked the place and you’d still like to thank the waiter, you can leave some cash.
Saunas in high-rise buildings
The Finns adore saunas so much that they build them even in high-rise buildings. On the 1st floor there is usually a special separate room for the sauna. To take a steam bath, it is worth putting your details on a list that is posted at the front door in advance. The “home” sauna is usually crowded, so it is advantageous to have a good relationship with your neighbors to cooperate. In the morning and afternoon, when the sauna is mostly empty, you can find sleeping cats that come into the room to get warm.
Thank You Button
Most Finns are very polite and have great respect for the work of another person. That’s why buses have a special thank-you button for the driver. You can press it when you get off the public transport.
“How are you?” – is not just a formality.
Whereas for us, the question “How are you?” – is more of a form of politeness, for Finns the phrase indicates a genuine interest in their lives. Asking “How are you?” you are likely to hear a detailed account of all the latest news and happenings in a person’s life. Also, Finns love to joke and tell funny stories while keeping a nonchalant face. Know that making jokes about someone is the Finnish way of saying, “I like you.”
Residents know who lives where
In each entryway on the 1st floor there is a special plaque with the names of the residents. The distribution goes by floors and apartment numbers. This is done for the convenience of the neighbors themselves (to know where to find a particular person in case of need), as well as for guests, who can look at the list and know which floor they need to go up to.
Heated parking spaces
There are parking spaces next to high-rise buildings – 1st floor garages that are rented out to residents and regular outdoor parking. The outdoor parking is equipped with a special heater, which can be activated with a button. This is very convenient in the cold season, as drivers do not have to spend half the morning to remove snow and ice from the car windows.
Minimum meals on the holiday table
No, Finns do not save and do not spare food for guests. It is just not customary to “lay the field” with 10 kinds of potatoes and fried meat for the holidays or get-togethers. A standard set includes a hot dish, a salad, and maybe a dessert. Here they appreciate the company and the time spent having a fascinating conversation. It is also not customary to serve someone at the table. It is believed that adults can put their own food on the plate.
Shared basement for junk.
If we have a custom to store unnecessary things on the balcony or in the closet, the Finns have a special place for this in the basement of the house. Here each apartment is equipped with a cell where you can store things. It is locked with a lock, the key to which only the owner has.
Everyone returns bottles
It is not customary to throw away plastic, iron and glass bottles. They are usually collected and then turned in. In most supermarkets there are special machines for accepting bottles. You can get about 20 cents per piece.
Salary affects the fine
In case you exceeded the speed limit on the road, the amount of your penalty will depend on your salary: the higher your income, the higher the penalty. Once, a top manager of a prestigious Finnish company paid the biggest fine in the history – € 116 thousand. The man drove his car at a speed of 75 km / h on the stretch of road with a limit of 50 km / h.
Salary for a baby
When a child is born, Finnish mothers are not only given a baby box, but also receive a special allowance for the baby. Such a salary of about €100 is paid monthly until the child reaches the age of 17. Most parents, however, prefer not to spend this money, and save to give a substantial amount later to their son or daughter.
The skiing season
In Finland, the skiing season can last more than 6 months – from late October to May. On the darkest days of winter, the ski slopes are lit up, and in spring, the sun shines until late at night. So if you like skiing or snowboarding, feel free to go to Lapland, where there are hundreds of kilometers of ski slopes. For example, the Jullas piste has a length of 330 km – more than any other such place in Europe.