is a country in the North of Europe, in the east it borders with Russia, in the north – with Norway, and in the northwest – with Sweden. The southern and western part of the state is washed by the Baltic Sea. The population of the country is about 5.5 million people, the capital is the city of Helsinki, home to 580 thousand.
Finland, although it is Russia’s northern neighbor, has been poorly studied by our citizens. Usually, the information that has settled in the minds is actually very distorted, or has nothing to do with the truth at all.
Paradox – on an airplane from Moscow to Helsinki to fly only an hour, and from Peter by car – five hours, and the country remains a white spot. So let’s find out more about it, incidentally debunking the most popular myths about it.
Finns speak slowly and little.
Many people think that Finns, like many north-western peoples, speak with stretching words. But it’s worth trying to learn Finnish and get rid of this prejudice. Anecdotes on this topic are utterly untrue, especially since different people have different accents, different language skills. The Finns themselves do not consider their speech sluggish. But there’s really nothing to talk about in this country, silence is not perceived as inability to communicate, but is part of social interaction.
Finns are characterized by gloominess and unfriendliness.
It will be naive to expect that when you meet or meet, the Finn will rush to his neck or be completely open, sparkle with jokes, with pleasure supporting the conversation. However, do not be afraid that after a possibly cool acquaintance, the Finn will forget you. And if there is a rapprochement, it means that you will stay in memory for a long time – a resident of this northern country very much value acquaintances, well remembering names. These people are also very patient. It is possible to distort words in conversation with them, choosing cases with difficulty, but they will always listen attentively and will be ready to understand and help. Of course, in order to provide closer contact, at least try to learn the Finnish language in order to communicate with the inhabitants in their native language.
Finns do not have a sense of hospitality, like the rest of Europeans.
Do not expect that at the party the table will break with food, but this is largely due to the fact that the Finnish cuisine is simple and even ascetic. Most of the food is potatoes, deer meat, Karelian pies. Or alternatives involving the above. Naturally, such a set after the Russian hospitality is perceived, almost as an insult. Despite all the differences in the mentality with the Russians, Finns are happy to party, for this, beer is served with chips and a local snack – sliced carrots. There are also invited parties, where the number of dishes is certainly wider, but not much. So the locals do not shy away from public events, and the scarcity of their diet is caused by traditional reasons. So do not be afraid to acquire Finnish friends, you will soon be able to spend time together.
In Helsinki, like in many other cities in Finland, tourists have nothing to do.
This opinion is often met in our tourists, returning their Helsinki by train. However, what was included in the tourist program? Usually tourists are taken from the bus to Aleksaninaukukio near the church of Tuomiorkirko, there is a climb up the stairs, from where it will be possible to take a couple of pictures, then another 2-3 places will be shown at a frenzied pace, and in the evening they will be fed with deer meat and Karelian pies. Perhaps the program will add more and shopping. In that case, you really can not see much. The fact is that Finland and Helsinki in particular have their own unique color, which is difficult to grasp for a quick template tour.If you want to understand this country, it is better to visit the country on your own and do not go to the beaten places – sit in Kaivopuisto, feed the seagulls in the port, stroll along the Katayanokka, pay attention to the Jugend style of local buildings, take a tram ride or visit the interesting city of Tampere. Believe me, you will see the country with different eyes!
Finland is much colder than Moscow, in winter it almost always freezes below 20 degrees, and there is almost no summer.
If many in the West believe that polar bears are walking around Moscow, some of our compatriots think that polar bears are walking just in Helsinki. When going to visit the capital of Finland, even in summer people for some reason take a down jacket with them, then surprising their friends with a beautiful tan. Of course, if we consider Lapland, then there is really cold in summer, and in some places the snow lies until June, but there are enough sweaters, although it is better to use a warm blanket at nights. By the way, in this area in the middle of June the sun does not set at all, shining both day and night. But looking at the south of Finland (including Helsinki), you can find that the climate there is quite similar to St. Petersburg, and sometimes even warmer. Winter in the capital, though cold, is quite similar to the Moscow temperatures. The only difference is the damp wind that blows from the bay, which again reminds St. Petersburg. So our man will not find any unique climatic differences.
Under the rule of Russia, Finland was heavily oppressed.
This myth is born of those who see in all the manifestations of the imperial passed to Russia. However, not everything was so bad for Finland. It was annexed to the Russian Empire in 1808-1809 as an autonomous Grand Duchy. The locals were rather loyal to the tsarist authorities, for which they were rewarded. In Helsinki, a university, the autonomy had its own monetary unit, its post office. In the XIX century, the Finnish industry and economy was growing rapidly, the national culture was flourishing. The country begins to interest Europe not only with the forest, but also with metallurgy. But in 1899 Nicholas II put an end to the autonomy of the country, proceeding to its Russification. All this met with indignation of the indigenous population, which led to the separation of Finland from Russia in 1917.
There was no civil war in Finland.
Immediately after independence, a civil war broke out in the country, the people divided into “reds” and “whites.” But in the spring of 1918, White, under the leadership of General Mannerheim, was victorious, thereby choosing the democratic path of development of the country, with developed parliamentarism.
In the summer of 1941 it was the USSR that attacked Finland.
Recently there are more and more works of domestic and Western historians who claim that Finland entered the Great Patriotic War forcedly, only in response to the Soviet bombing of June 25, 1941. After the end of the winter war against the USSR in 1939, Finland quickly found an ally in Germany, by the summer of 1941 fascist troops were deployed on the territory of Suomi, on June 21-22, Finns began to mine the Baltic Gulf and seize demilitarized zones, which was a direct violation of the peaceful treaty with the USSR. It was planned that active operations would begin two weeks after the Germans attacked. On June 22, 1941, Ambassador Schulenburg of Germany announced in an interview with Molotov that Finland would join the war together with Germany. The ambassador of that country himself, the next day, refused to explain the positions of his state without declaring neutrality, as it was done immediately after the start of the Second World War. It was in such conditions that the Soviet aviation of Finland began bombing on June 25. Only now, there were no significant military targets, and in the eyes of the world community of the USSR, he himself became an aggressor. Therefore, Britain declared war on Finland only in December 1941, and the US did not do this at all, maintaining diplomatic relations for another 3 years.It remains only to mention the words of the Finnish president Kekkonen, voiced back in the 70s: “Even the absolute fool can no longer deny that a small Finnish leadership team has entered into a secret agreement with Nazi Germany on Finland’s participation in the aggressive war of Hitler in the summer of 1941.”
The defeat in World War II fell heavily on Finland.
Finland started fighting in November 1939, when it opposed the USSR. By the way, this defeat turned for the country with large territorial and material losses. But already in June 1941 the Finns supported the fascists, stepping on their side, but in 1944 Finland officially withdrew from the Second World War, expelling German troops along the way. So the military losses were not so significant as those of other allies of Germany. Yes, Finland agreed to pay huge repatriations to the USSR, but this led to the formation of new industries, its growth in general. After payments of repatriations the cooperation of our countries on a commercial basis has continued. It is important, however, that Finland has maintained its social and political system, remaining a democratic state. So we can state that the country was not exhausted by the war, courageously overstepped through adversity and hard-won its right to prosperity.
There is a language problem in Finland.
The fact that the territory of Finland for a long time passed from Sweden to Russia and back, could not but be reflected. Since 1922 in Finland there are 2 state languages - Swedish and Finnish, although in the period 1809-1917 and Russian was the state language. Today about 6% of the population speak Swedish, and in Russian – less than 1%. There are schools for Swedish-speaking people in the country, the press is being published, state broadcasting is being conducted. Mixed marriages are very common. In Finland, there is even an area where the local Swedish population does not understand Finnish at all. It is interesting that in order to ensure the rights of the Sami people in 1992, a law was enacted, which obliges to translate into Sami language those documents that directly address the issues of these groups. So the country is quite tolerant to the issues of the language of national minorities.
There is still a “dry” law in Finland.
The behavior of Finns in the Russian territories contributes to the popularization of this myth. Foreigners drink a lot, zatarivayutsya cheap alcohol. In fact, the “dry” law in Finland for 70 years as canceled, and this behavior is caused by a significant difference in the price of alcohol in Finland and Russia. The reason for the abolition was the flowering of alcohol smuggling and brewing.
In Finland, very strong support for young families.
The country is struck by the number of mothers with strollers, they are literally everywhere. But it is caused not by the considerable help of the state, the subsidy for the child is only 100 euros, but the difference in mentality. In addition, mothers with wheelchairs have the opportunity to ride a tram for free, that’s bringing with them quite adult children.
In Finland, a high unemployment benefit, you can even travel freely.
The amount of such a benefit is 500-700 euros, especially not run up, although by Russian standards it is certainly a lot. Unemployed, however, the state constantly offers jobs, but for visitors initially vacancies for loaders and cleaners have been opened.
In Finland, quality free medicine.
Many consider this country the embodiment of socialism, nodding at free medicine. However, no one will be in a hurry to help the patient free of charge, yes, they can write to an appointment with a free doctor … in two or three weeks. And the queue for a free dentist lasts for half a year. At the same time, no one guarantees the quality of such services.
Finland is a country of equal opportunities.
Actually get a decent job, even with knowledge of the language and diplomas is quite difficult.Finnish society is permeated with xenophobia and racism, although the open is not mentioned. You simply will not be recruited without explanation. So be ready to work at the lowest levels, if you are not lucky enough to get a job in a large international company or Nokia.