FINLAND

FINLANDFinns place great value on equal rights, so their language uses gender-neutral words. It is also said that they are modest and discreet, that they care about their social status and they also expect the others to respect these values, not to be noisy or attract attention. In Finland, interrupting someone while speaking means you’re being impolite.

Finns are very passionate about saunas and because of that you meet them everywhere. Families and friends get together frequently in the sauna. Even business meetings are sometimes organized in a sauna, in order for the business partners to relax and have the opportunity of getting to know each other better. Many summer homes or cottages have their own sauna.

When they meet new people, the Finns shake hands firmly, they smile and look them in the eye. When meeting with a couple, the first one to be saluted is the wife. If you’re invited to a Finnish home, do not forget to bring flowers, FINLANDchocolates or a bottle of wine. The flowers are offered only in even number and are never gifted in a patchwork. It is customary for gifts to be opened when received. In Finland they put the accent on punctuality, so be sure you arrive on time. Take off your shoes outside the entrance. Call before you go and ask if you could bring something to eat and offer to help prepare ingredients and food preparation. Do not discuss business at home. During the meal, keep your hands and wrists to the table. Use your cutlery while eating, except for the bread and shrimp, which are eaten with your hands. Try to eat everything that is offered.

If you’re thinking of visiting Finland, you should first consider on seeing its capital, Helsinki, which is the biggest town in this country. This city manages to create a sense of space, although compared to other European capitals it is considerably small. You won’t regret it if you choose to visit it!