In many countries, Valentine’s day is a day of love, romance and secret admirers. But in Finland, ystävänpäivä is a celebration of an equally enriching type of love; friendship. To celebrate ystävänpäivä, we at Ink Tank Media have put together a list of the things we love about our dear old friend, Finland.
1. The way löyly makes you feel
Finns have been enjoying their sauna sessions for thousands of years. Today, Finland is home to over 3 million steamy relaxation hubs, which are visited at least once a week by over 90% of the population. Why? There’s no better feeling than the warm embrace of a sizzling löyly cloud after a long day. Just one splash of water on hot sauna rocks will melt away your worries and make you feel at one with the world.
2. The silence that fills your head when you go Ice swimming
How do Finns cool down after a scorching sauna session? By jumping in an icy lake, of course. Plunging into a pool of wintery water may seem crazy, but it’s excellent for your health and wellbeing. Cold water gives you a shock that makes you feel alive and clears your mind of stress by releasing a flood of feel-good endorphins. The chilly feeling soon disappears, but the feel-good hormones keep you smiling all day long. No wonder Finland is the happiest nation on earth.
3. White nights in the middle of summer
Finland gets pretty dark in winter, but nature makes up for dreary December days by giving long, light June nights. In midsummer, the entire country enjoys daylight all night long, while northern areas don’t see darkness for the whole of June and July. So, if you want to go running at 2 am without the police taking an interest in your activities, Finland is the place for you.
4. Plenty of space to be alone
Finland is home to just 5.3 million people but has a larger landmass than the UK, which is home to 60 million people. Because of this, Finland is a rare country where you can walk, explore and even drive for miles without having to force small talk with members of the public. So, if you’re a hardcore introvert, come to Finland, go for a long woodland ramble and be alone with your thoughts.
5. No class system
What did Finland do with the money Nokia brought in in the 1990s? It didn’t develop a class system, that’s for sure. The Finnish government pumped revenue into schools, transport and other services to give equal opportunities to all. Finns aren’t divided into old-fashioned classes, and don’t put too much thought into social status. Even the president of Finland is a pretty down to earth guy. Famous for his cute dog and a no-BS attitude, Sauli Niinistö often stops to chat with citizens on the street and loves nothing more than a smooth cup of coffee in Market Square, Helsinki.
These are just some of the reasons we at Ink Tank value our friendship with the small nordic nation. Finland may be 102 years old, but she’s the coolest, liveliest friend we know.