5 Ways to Nurture Your Inner Finn

I’m a little obsessed with Finland right now (see previous post). I do some research from time to time on the country and find its bits and pieces fascinating. As I move through the content, I have collected some information about Finland that I’m embracing.

1. Kahvia, Kiitos (Coffee, please)

According to Worldmapper.org, the average American drink about 3 cups of coffee a day or 4.1kg a year. Really?! That’s it? I can slam that before I even get to work. Then there are the coffees I drink while reviewing my paperwork, investigating incidents, interviewing candidates and on and on.  At the beginning of the year, I was feeling a little bad about that one. Is it too much? Should I rein it in as a New Year’s Resolution?  At the rate I’ve been  going, am I nearing the point that I will never sleep again? But I love it. Everything about it. It’s soothing. I don’t stress quite as much when I catch the first whiff of a hot cup. Then I discovered it’s not just me! So exciting.

I found a paper, “Coffee as a Finnish Institution,” by Taija Ojaniemi, that outlines the Finnish history and customs around coffee. Turns out Finns drink 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day or a total of 12.1 kg per year. I feel normal. A few things worthing noting:

  • Finns enjoy the light roast coffee whereas American like the medium
  • Finland is the only country in the world that requires coffee break at work
  • Pastries are a feature of the coffee drinking culture but the practice has declined since the 70s

I’m totally adopting the final two bullet points.

2. Listen to New Music

Apparently Finland is known for its metal/hard rock music (ever heard of HIM?) It’s just a bit too hard for me. I tried. I really did. I’m guessing I just haven’t found THE song. It’s out there, maybe I’ll meet it someday.

I found Death Hawks. Sounds like a hard, vintage jam band. I really like the one posted below. I terrible at describing music because I rely so heavily on the feeling it invokes. I know that this pretty much rocks. I intend to give them another go.

French Films is definitely more my speed. It’s a little indie, little rock. little upbeat. Definitely a mood enhancer.

3. Take A Stroll in the Forest

The forest is essentially the spirit of the Finnish. 65% of the country of Finland’s total land area is covered in forest (check this article out). As much as I’d like to tell myself this is a pretty obvious way to calm one’s soul, I don’t do it nearly enough. Getting out in and connecting with nature is calming and rejuvenating at the same time. Some argue that connecting with nature is part of what makes us human. Check out your local parks. Find the nearest state park. Take some time to relax and enjoy life. You don’t have to wait until the perfect time. It’s right now.

4. Make Something

Arts and crafts play a large role in Finnish culture. Learning textiles is part of a Finnish education e.g. sewing, crochet, and knitting, in addition to being handed down through families.  Knitting is my art of choice. There is satisfaction in simply creating which is magnified when I see my loved one wearing and staying warm because of something I’ve made for them. Additionally, knitting, along with many other creative activities increase one’s sense of mental and physical well-being. Here is a really interesting article about Urban Knitting (yarn bombing) to take your knitting a step further.

If homemade is not for you, remember that Finland is a world leader in design. The Finnish Society of Crafts and Design was founded in 1875 which has since evolved to become the University of Art and Design Helsinki. This university was designated as one of the best universities for design in the world in 2007 by Business Week.  While right now it may not be possible right now to visit (at least for me), poke around the Design District Helsinki. Established in 2005, the Design District is 25 blocks of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants and more. Find some inspiration at Finnish Design.com and Finnish Design Shop.

 5. Be Yourself

I really love to see the street style articles. I love to see how real people live and dress and their commentary and why they do what they do. The outfits are so amazing. I realize as I’m looking through the comments that the confidence and security with who one is really inspires me to be true to who I am, even beyond my clothes,  and not to worry about what anyone else thinks.  I don’t believe this to be a purely Finnish trait, but it’s a nice reminder.

For more ideas on ways to nurture your inner Finn, check out this post.

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5 thoughts on “5 Ways to Nurture Your Inner Finn

  1. That’s neat that you’re a little obsessed with Finland :) I’m Finnish-American, and I feel like most people are completely unaware of Finland. I’ve never been there, but all of my grandparents emigrated to the US and my parents were both bilingual and very immersed in Finnish culture.
    What I find interesting is that my grandparents came here for a better life, and now Finland is always in the news for the quality of it’s education, etc.
    I do make pulla sometimes- it’s similar to challah bread, and I love to take sauna. Everyone in this country pronounces sauna wrong, which I find annoying. If it’s the one word that everyone knows, they should know how to pronounce it!
    And I love coffee, although I don’t drink it all day long :)

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    1. That’s so cool! I love learning about new cultures. They are so amazing to me. The world is such a big, amazing place! I never even thought about the pronunciation of sauna but I imagined it would be pronounced with spanish vowels-that’s what I’m familiar with :)! I’m glad you brought that up! I found this page to help me muddle through some of the vocab related to saunas (and guide me how to correctly say Sauna). http://www.pbs.org/pov/steamoflife/glossary.php
      I haven’t experimented with any Finnish recipes, but I’ve scoped them out online. I may have to tweak some of the more delicious looking ones (I’m grain and dairy free) so I’m nervous I may ruin it :)

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