How do Finns spend summer? Going abroad or enjoying their own summer?

Summer here is almost over: many people aren’t on holidays anymore, students started studying and moms with their babies (like in my case) can visit free family clubs again. That’s why I thought I can already publish my note how Finns spend their summer.

👨‍💻 In summer every Finn has a right to have one full summer month of vacation (of course, it will depend on whether they started working at this place this year or not, and teachers have more days off for obvious reasons), then there is one more week in winter. However, everything happens in different ways, these weeks can be used at different dates but you have to negotiate with your employer. Moreover, some can work for a few years but they still have only 4 weeks, and other cases can take place, too, but it’s already a different subject to discuss.

🚣‍♂️ As for Summer holidays many Finns can spend them with pleasure in their homeland, traveling to forest cabins at a lake, hiking in Lapland, or kayaking, and gardening or simply traveling by car inside their own country. Of course, the local beach is also popular.

☀️ Finns, like many others, like to travel to warm seas in southern countries, where it’s nice this time of the year, for example, to Spain 🇪🇸, Greece 🇬🇷, Turkey 🇹🇷(see ⏩ #fintravelsouthjutu in my Instagram main Blog )

🇪🇪 Estonian and 🇷🇺 Russian cities are also a Finnish tourist destination. For example, our Finnish friends enjoy Tartu in Estonia and Saint Petersburg in Russia.

🚢 Cruises (Tallinn, Stockholm, Maarianhamina/ Mariehamn (Åland islands) are popular, too, especially since there are often nice offers. Btw, right now there’s 50% discount on all cruises of Viking Line when purchased before August 31.

🛋 Of course, some people can stay at home and spend their holidays something like I wrote in the post «how do Finns unwind?»

⛱ You might have heard a common opinion about Finns planning their vacation in advance and enjoying package tours. I think I agree but I would still add my comments: 1) to my mind, Germans still fit this description better (IMHO); 2) I have many friends in Russia who also like to plan in advance and go to a travel agency.

✈️In general, it seems to me that in Russia we tend to spend our holidays sort of similar.

I wrote according to what I noticed about my Finnish friends, my husband’s friends and his relatives. Add what you noticed about Finns this way.

❓And how did you spend your summer and how do you usually spend your summer vacation / holidays?


What helped me adapt in Finland?

I might surprise that you will not see in this post what I enjoy in Finland the most. In fact, I could answer this question only two years later. But why? It doesn’t have to do with wonderful Finland. It’s just I’m the kind of person who doesn’t fall in love with the things from the first sight. Even if it’s a tour I might not enjoy it in the beginning. My emotional stages are different:

1. Disappointment and homesickness. My parents can remember me crying in one country, scolded other country and in the third country I didn’t want to leave my hotel. I wouldn’t like you to know the names of the countries so you wouldn’t be shocked.

2. Adaptation and a habit.

3. The stage when I can say I enjoy here.

In general, I don’t understand when people can have this kind of euphoria after moving somewhere. You come and get into the local reality right away. Well, maybe 4-5* all inclusive hotels might make you love the place right away. Otherwise I’m not sure how it’s possible. Well, before moving people might create a certain ideal picture of a place, I think but it’s imho.

My first affection for Finland, or what helped me adapt.

🌸 The love, understanding, kindness and helpfulness of my beloved husband, his family, his friends and my new friends. Actually it was Finns who knew how hard it might be after moving to a new place.

🌸 Finns have a wonderful feature “don’t disturb”. Really, I can say I got relaxed here just because nobody was torturing me with any extra questions. They kept asking me something else that surprised me but I will write about that later.

A bit more detailed about this feature I wrote here ⏩ #bignonojutu (on Instagram)

🌸 I didn’t have any certain expectations nor stereotypes before moving. My travel-experience also helped me in a way that I knew every coin can have two sides.

What about the things I enjoy now and which things were hard to get used to? I remember one my Finnish friend saying: “Is there anything people might not like in Finland?” — Finns are patriots, that’s true in most cases. But that’s all in my next post.

❓Do you have some kind of stages when traveling or moving? Do you have a place which made you fall in love with it from the first sight?

Beer floating; why crayfish, and are there beer snacks?

🚣‍♀️ Yes, today Finns get a boat, lots of beer and enjoy floating down the river, so it’s Beer Floating literally. Last time we talked about beer as a Finn’s favorite alcoholic drink.

🥜 What about the snacks?

The official line includes salted cookies and sausages. However, somehow I haven’t noticed anything on their tables apart from foaming mugs or glasses. They can eat pizza, kebab, anything else from grilli or something different but any food or snacks come before or after a bar.

🍔 Every now and again you can see some quarrels or even a fight in “snägärin jono»- queuing for food/snacks from grilli after a bar.

🦐 Crayfish from Louisiana? Well, first of all Finns have their own crayfishing that started on 21 July. They cook it with salt and fresh dill- of course, dill, what else? Fresh dill is popular in the Finnish Gastronomy. Sometimes they can add sugar to the boiling water. They freeze crayfish for winter. However, there are also nice packages of frozen crayfish from Louisiana where it’s considered to be nice.

🍤 Crayfish is not to be considered as Beer snack somehow whereas in Russia it’s often served to your glass of beer.

🍻 What about you? Have you participated in Beer Floating? Would you like to? Do you like beer? Do you eat crayfish? And how do you spell it in your country: crayfish or crawfish? 😂

How do Finns unwind???

Did you know Finns have a word meaning “get drunk wearing underwear at home” — “Kalsarikännit”? Well, we know a word is present or absent in a language for a reason. However, in this case it doesn’t mean they do really spend their free time like that. In fact, their free time activities are as diverse as possible. Let’s see if it’s possible to sum up how Finns unwind. The hashtags are taken from my Instagram profile

◦ Finns appreciate relaxing alone far away from people (in a cabin in a deep forest, kayaking, fishing, boating, hiking in Lapland- by the way, do you know what the famous wooden cup for- the one people often buy just as a souvenir?),

◦ Karaoke 🎤 — oh, yes, silent Finns who can’t relax in a crowd of people really enjoy singing karaoke in front of no matter how many people, find out how it’s possible here ⏩ #karaokejutu

◦ Beer 🍻 Beer parties and activities🍺 Every now and again you can see beer festival tents in a city and long queues. Yes, Finns like beer as much as Germans do. Moreover, sometimes it seems Finns have more beer events and even a pub tram! If you are coming already soon- 28.07.2018 you might see lots of boats in a river- Finns go down the river drinking beer, talking and even singing or listening to the songs. Yes, it’s called BEER FLOATING that takes place every year (the date varies, it’s usually either at the end of July or in early August) 👍 I can’t predict whether you will enjoy it but it’s fun to see it at least.

And right now there is one more beer festival going on in Helsinki so hurry up 😂

◦ Sauna — of course! The ideal combination is sauna with bathing in a lake no matter in summer or winter ❄️ 😂. By the way, you can find one YouTube video of one our friend who swims in almost frozen lake, it’s called “Meanwhile in Finland”.

Sauna is not just a stereotype in Finland- it is really present in a every house or a block of flats, office, dormitory, even in a truck and Ferris wheel. ⏩ #saunajutu

However, the list is not full without many other free time activities starting from really different festivals up to just drinking beer and watching football at home. Of course, there are discos and bars, too.

Finns also enjoy:

⁃ Any sport — remember “Swim, run, cycle”? ⏩ #sportjutu well, but just jogging and cycling activities take place, too.

⁃ Gardening ⏩ #gardenjutu

⁃ Quiet games like board games and badminton (my video-highlights “FinFamily” in my profile)

⁃ Gambling for some people ⏩ #gamblingjutu

⁃ Cruises 🚢 and traveling in general ⏩ #fintraveljutu

⁃ Dancing 💃 For example, my mother-in-law dances amazingly wonderful.

⁃ “Grilli” ⏩ #fingrillijutu

⁃ Hanging around with friends. In fact, I enjoy this feature myself: you can just text your friend here and hang around together. It’s especially nice when you have little kids (I guess, moms will understand what I mean). And yes, Finns are very friendly, open and sociable (with friends). Believe me, I’ve been in contact with them for more than three years, they are really like that.

Uuhh, I hope I managed to highlight the main points at least. Feel free to share your comments and share how people unwind in your country, what they do in their free time, what you enjoy doing.

The Zoo of XIX Century

The Zoo Korkeasaari of the XIX century in Helsinki. It literally means “tall island” which is true: it’s on an island with a nice view. 🏝

🦁 Spacious cells,

🐯 the whole families of animals,

🌳Marvelous walking paths,

🌊 the sea around the island,

🏡 cozy authentic Finnish cafe,

🐧The peacocks begging for your food at your table,

🌅 romantic views of the city centre,

⛺️ Wilderness huts, where you can keep yourself warm in winter, hide from the rain or fry sausages in summer,

🤢 no smell at all

😻- this is a city zoo, where you come by boat- it takes about 20 minutes from the Market Square of Helsinki (the centre).

😱Someone might not get satisfied with the zoo, but there are always the ones who enjoy and the ones who don’t: it depends on what one expects, probably.

🐻 If you like to spend quiet and pleasant time, then this place will please both adults and children. However, our daughter was very upset that we did not allow her to play with the brown bear 😂, but, perhaps, this was the only desire that didn’t get satisfied 👍

I would like to add one more thing about the Zoo. No matter how impressive other zoos are, this one has become the only one to me where it’s enjoyable to have lunch and have a nice view, walk along the seaside.

❓ Zoos are different: some can amaze you with their wonderful park, others have lots animal species, and some of them have exotic design. Which zoo do you like, which one do you remember as the most amazing? What animals do you like there?

Finnish Gastronomy: Blueberry Pie

We can debate for quite a while, whether this pie is Finnish or not just like whether a rhubarb pie or a carrot cake is British or not.

Those pies are cooked in other countries, too, but I guess, the pies are baked and

eaten the most in these very countries.

Indeed Finns bake and eat lots of blueberry pies since there are a lot of blueberries in the forests. My favorite one is the one my husband bakes ❤️. Share your recipe of your favorite pie 🥧.

Dough: 200 g of margarine

300 ml of sugar

2 eggs 🥚

600 ml of wheat flour

2 t.sp.of baking powder

Filling: 200-300 ml of berries

200 ml of kermaviili

50 ml of sugar

1 t.sp.of vanilla sugar

1 egg 🥚

Put the dough into the baking dish and pour the filling, bake at 175 for one hour.

*Kermaviili is usually replaced by lowfat sour cream (10%), if you don’t have it in your country.

About Finns and Buckets

Have you ever come across a woman carrying a bucket? It means a bad sign in Russia whereas in Finland it means just a free bucket.

So, Finns and buckets.

Well, I’m not going to talk about using them for picking mushrooms and berries, using them as a flower pot and so on. I was surprised by something completely different. There are quite a lot of different campaigns and offers in Finland: get up early in the morning and get a free bucket or buy this stuff and get a free bucket. Would you get up early to stand in the line to have a free bucket?

I will tell you one thing which might make you do that: sometimes there is a free bucket full of household goods: shampoo, washing powder, deodorant and so on.

Next time you see a woman carrying a bucket you know: either she is going to the forest or coming back from such sort of campaign 😂.