Monday, January 21, 2013

The European view on Finns

Something I totally forgot to mention about our time in Norway: the Norwegian view on Finns.

This became a huge topic of conversation, especially amongst our couchsurfing hosts. The reasons are obvious: why were a bunch of girls from all over the world (the States, Hong Kong, and Germany) living in Finland, of all places? Well, work. Yes, by why Finland?

You see, the world perception of the Finnish is rather...well, hilariously negative. I don't mean this in a mean way, I mean this in a spectacularly humorous way. They think the Finns are silent drunks who do nothing but sauna and drink. Generally speaking they're not wrong.

On this particular topic of conversation our last hosts, Silje and Inka, particularly Silje, brought up a cartoon that I'd been introduced to before. This is a fabulous representation of how the rest of the world feels about Finns...and other cultures. I feel it's fairly accurate. Not to mention extremely funny. Here are two that best describe how they think of Finns (click on the image to make it bigger):

You can tell the countries by the flags on their shirts and the iconic things they're holding (Germany holds a sausage, Norway holds a fish). But it's pretty hilarious. Of course Finland would be the silent one holding a bottle and a knife.

I also feel this one is fairly representative:

In case you are wondering, "vihta" refers to the bush that he is beating them with, which is a traditional bunch of twigs that they bring into the sauna. It's considered an honor and a friendly thing to be beaten by someone. Only friends beat other friends.

This and other hilarity can be found at:

Anyway, just thought I would share. :)

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