Revealed: 23 surprising things Finns do differently

Embark on a journey into the captivating world of Finnish culture, where the extraordinary intertwines with the ordinary, and the peculiar becomes the norm.

In this exploration of the 23 weird things Finnish people do, prepare to be both amused and intrigued as we delve into the idiosyncrasies that make Finland a land of delightful surprises and unique customs. Get ready to uncover the fascinating quirks that shape the Finnish way of life.

Relish Forest Food

Finnish gastronomic culture intertwines with a deep reverence for the forest. When the time comes for blueberries or succulent mushrooms to grace the market stalls, Finnish hearts and taste buds collectively rejoice. The occasion reverberates through newspapers, television broadcasts, and lively conversations, as the nation unites in celebration of nature's bounty, transforming mere ingredients into moments of culinary exaltation.

Split bills

The Finnish art of bill-splitting transcends mere financial logistics, symbolising a profound commitment to fairness and egalitarianism. From lavish meals to modest gatherings, the practice of meticulous bill division ensures that each participant bears their rightful share, down to the minutest details, fostering a sense of harmony and justice within social circles.

Celebrate name days

Finnish calendars brim with an extra layer of celebration, as each day is marked not only by dates but also by the names associated with that day. Name days bestow a unique sense of recognition and honour, prompting warm wishes, heartfelt gestures, and sometimes even thoughtful gifts from friends and family, commemorating the intertwined tapestry of names and personal identities.

Nap babies outdoors

In Finland, babies bravely nap outdoors in their strollers, even in the chilly winter. Wrapped snugly in cozy layers, they peacefully drift off to sleep, finding comfort and rejuvenation in the crisp air. This special bond with nature shows Finns's deep appreciation for their beautiful surroundings.

Passionately recycle

Finnish folks take the environment seriously. These recycling superheroes sometimes even leave little notes to remind their neighbours about the do's and don'ts of recycling. In short, they're on a mission make the planet more liveable, one can at a time. So, if you mess up, watch out for a gentle nudge back on the right road

Avoid small talk

Finns, masters of the art of silence, skillfully sidestep the perils of small talk. With a poker face that could rival a glacier, they navigate conversations with precision, veering away from banalities and diving deep into meaningful topics. Finns cherish the tranquility of silence. Small talk? Not their style.

Drink tons of milk

In Finland, adults simply can't get enough of milk! They don't believe it's just for kids. Even at buffets, you'll spot shiny milk dispensers standing proudly next to delicious dishes. It's a symbol of their everlasting love for this creamy elixir. Taking a sip brings back memories and fills them with warmth and nourishment.

Make mökki moments

One intriguing Finnish quirk is their love for the summer cottage, or "mökki." Finns have a deep appreciation for nature and spending time in rustic retreats surrounded by forests and lakes. These cottages serve as sanctuaries for relaxation, where they can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether it's fishing, swimming, or simply enjoying the tranquility of the countryside, the mökki culture is a cherished part of Finnish life.

Sizzle in sauna

Finnish saunas are like magical realms of freedom! In the cozy heat, people let go of their inhibitions and enjoy the liberating experience of being naked together. Gender separation ensures comfort, making it a peaceful and rejuvenating space. It's a cherished tradition where everyone finds solace and relaxation, leaving behind the worries of the world.

Finish work early

Finnish offices adhere to a unique rhythm, gracefully winding down operations as the clock strikes 4 pm, embracing a cultural commitment to work-life balance and granting ample time for personal pursuits and relaxation.

Love silence

Finns truly appreciate the beauty of silence. They have a special knack for finding solace in those quiet moments, relishing the unspoken connections that exist between individuals. Unlike cultures that drown in endless small talk, Finns choose to embrace the power of silence. It's a gift they treasure, allowing them to reflect, connect, and understand each other on a deeper level. Silence is a language all its own, and its tranquility speaks volumes.

Leave notes

Finnish folks have a unique way of communicating. Instead of confronting each other directly, they prefer the mysterious charm of written notes. These messages, sprinkled with hints of passive-aggression, can spark intricate dances of unspoken grievances and long-lasting conflicts. Yet, they manage to maintain a polite facade of civility. It's like a secret language that keeps the peace while keeping the drama simmering beneath the surface.

Inhale while speaking

Finns have this intriguing technique of taking a subtle breath before they talk, which adds a mysterious touch to their conversations. With every word they utter, filled with that breathy essence, they effortlessly captivate listeners. It's like they've got a secret power that draws you in and leaves you hanging on every breath-laden word.

Weigh own groceries

Finnish supermarkets have an interesting twist for shoppers: you're in charge of weighing your own produce! Yep, it's your responsibility to grab those fruits and veggies, weigh them, and slap on the barcode stickers. It's a hands-on experience that makes you feel independent and engaged in the shopping journey, from picking the best produce to the satisfying task of weighing and labelling.

Avoid debt

Finnish folks take their money matters seriously. They've got this unwavering sense of fiscal responsibility, where even the tiniest bit of debt weighs on their conscience. They're honour-bound to repay any borrowed sum, no matter how small, promptly. It's a cultural commitment that keeps their finances in balance and helps them steer clear of the discomfort of lingering debts. They've truly mastered the art of financial harmony.

Enjoy long summer holidays

In Finland, summer is the ultimate time for relaxation and rejuvenation. From May to September, everyone takes a deep breath and enjoys the enchanting beauty of long sunny days and warm nights. Daily routines slow down, and July becomes the peak of vacation season. Leisure becomes the top priority, and Finns embrace the joy of simply taking it easy.

Play unusual sports

Finland's sports scene is anything but ordinary! They've got competitions that'll make you say, "What on earth?!" Wellie throwing, wife carrying, and even knitting wool sock competitions are just a taste of their delightful eccentricity. Finns love embracing the unconventional, injecting a vibrant energy into their culture. It's all about celebrating participation, joy, and the bond of shared peculiar passions.

Name babies later

Finnish parents have a unique approach to naming their babies—it's a delightful adventure! Rather than choosing a name in advance, they prefer to meet their little ones first. This whimsical journey allows the baby's appearance and essence to inspire the perfect name. It's a joyful celebration when the name is finally revealed, embracing the magical touch of destiny.

Adore "No niin"

Ah, the Finnish marvel, "No niin"! This all-powerful word is a linguistic chameleon, effortlessly transforming to express a wide range of emotions, intentions, and situational cues. It's like a secret weapon in the Finnish lexicon, perfectly adapting to every context. From surprise to agreement, hesitation to excitement, "No niin" does it all. It's a linguistic masterpiece, making communication uniquely Finnish.

Marvel at the Midnight Sun

The midnight sun enchants both locals and visitors alike. In the summer months, the sun gracefully dips below the horizon, drenching the sky in hues of golden twilight. But here's the magic: it quickly rises again, casting a surreal glow that blankets the land in ethereal beauty. Time feels suspended, inviting deep introspection and a sense of awe. It's an experience you won't forget.

Revere personal space

Finns have a real reverence for personal space! They truly value solitude as a precious gem. In crowded places, their instinctual need for retreat kicks in, as they strive to maintain their own little bubble of personal space. It's an unwritten code that guarantees privacy and tranquility in public settings. The Finns can enjoy uninterrupted moments of contemplation and reflection, undisturbed by the bustling world around them.

Immerse themselves in nature

Finland's breathtaking landscapes are a soothing balm for the weary soul. The pristine forests, serene lakes, and rugged wilderness offer a haven of solace and rejuvenation. They beckon individuals to embark on nature-immersion adventures, where the gentle whispers of the wind, the tranquil melodies of bird songs, and the rhythmic dance of natural rhythms work their magic.

From the depths of sauna nudity to the art of silence, Finnish culture shines with its eccentricities and unwavering individuality. As we conclude this fascinating exploration of the 23 weird things Finnish people do, we hope you've gained a deeper appreciation for the rich tapestry of customs and traditions that define Finland. Embrace the quirks, celebrate the uniqueness, and continue to unravel the enigma that is Finnish culture.


  • I like the way you see Finland and it’s people with their many, weird habits.

    Asta Tiilinen-Azougaghe
  • As a fin, I agree to most.. except sauna: you might or might not have separated times for women and men. The closer you are wit other participants, the younger you are. And the fewer of participants and the longer the sauna time will be, the more common it will be to have a gender neutral sauna.
    And in sauna, you are supposed to be naked, no towel in sauna is not good for you = you fry ;) One is not supposed to oogle at other peoles privates etc.

  • Mygrandaughterlivesinfinlandwher partnershemetonlineyearsagoitsoundswonderfulandperfectshe sayssheslearning to speak Finnish and an”orderherownfoodnow”shehikesinthesnowandlikestoknowshesmakinglittlespacesforsmallforestanimalsimsoproudofhergofinland

    Carolyn kennedy
  • I am Finnish, tho a couple of generations back. My great-grandparents came to the USA in 1901, from Kustavi. They settled in North Florida, where they could find work in the Limestone quarries.
    They were very proud people, as were their son (my grandfather) and his son, my father. I have been to Finland for Cross Country Ski competitions. I read a lot about the culture of Finns. My Dad and grandparents were very proud and successful in the USA but quiet folks (as are many Finns). I know where my love of Nature and exhuberance of foraging for wild edibles comes from! I was born in 1951 and raised in Florida, USA, but have lived in Maine, USA since 2003.
    There seem to be very similar cultural and physical aspects to Finland, here in Maine. I am proud of my Finnish heritage!

    MaryLou Saarinen Lowrie
  • Having lived on the west coast of Finland for 13 years I recognise every one of these. Have even taken some back to the UK with me when I repatriated. Absolutely loved my time in Finland.

    Maggie Goodwin

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