In English

A note from the editor: Very Finnish Problems

Lapland is not just fell scenery, snow, downhill skiing, reindeer and northern lights. Even though those are one of the main attractions that draw us all here, a truly memorable and balanced holiday demands getting to know local people.

And I say ‘demands’ since I'm Finnish and getting to know us takes effort. Our introvertedness might look rude or confusing to those coming from more socially outgoing cultures, but for us it means giving space and being polite. There is no need to worry if you are waiting at the bus stop and one of us locals arrives and continues on for a few metres to wait outside the shelter since they see it as being taken, even with just one person waiting there.

The social media brand Very Finnish Problems uses these stereotypes to great effect. At least we Finns know just to laugh at it all and somehow we are also proud of our weird-seeming qualities.

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Often the only contact a visitor here makes with locals is meeting people working in the service industry, but this will not give out a real image of Finland or Finns, considering we have chosen those few extroverted people to work in these places that serve tourists. We have just enough of them for the ever expanding need of the industry, since the amount of tourists in Lapland and in Levi reaches new records all the time.

If you wish to get to know locals outside of the service industry, the only way to do it is to take the initiative and be persistent. To use myself as an example, I am more than ready to start chatting and carefully get to know people, but the basis for this is saying hi regularly for 2-4 years. If your holiday is shorter than that, it is better to take matters into your own hands to get a discussion started.

I can assure you however, that we like it when people are interested in us and we are happy to share snippets about ourselves and our environment, as long as the ice has been broken.

We just like to play it safe, and would not want to disturb your holiday by coming to chatter about useless trivia.

MAINOS - juttu jatkuu mainoksen jälkeen

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The population density of Finland is approximately 18 people per square kilometre. In Lapland it is 2 people, which is the same as the least densely populated country in the world, Mongolia. To create comparisons, in Germany for example there are 230 people per square kilometre.

We have space here and have gotten used to giving others plenty of it.

Ilmoita asiavirheestä