I never think about Finland, and I have even been there once. Little internal news about Finland ever hits the U.S. media. The only time Finland gets any press is during the Winter Olympics when they win a few medals in oddball sports like Biathalon and speed skating. I think the common impression of Finland in the United States is of a small (population) country with lots of snow and reindeer. From a U.S. Government standpoint, Finland was mildly interesting as a bulwark against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but even that fame is now over. I don’t mean to be crass or arrogant, but you asked.
Steve27691, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 44, City : Houston, State : TX, Country : United States, Occupation : Corporate Cubicle Kind of Guy, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, #32866
My images of Finland: Very cold land close to the North pole; extraordinarily long days in summer and similarly long nights in winter; the former could confuse the brain’s timing mechanism, and the latter, depressing; relatively high suicide rate (one wonders if this is true). Finns are close to nature (‘if you can’t beat it, join it’), and enjoy skating, hiking, skiing and ice-fishing; many fjords; sailing is a popular pastime in summer; soccer (football) is probably a popular sport, especially among women; has produced legendary long distance runners (research topic: what’s common to Finland, Ethiopia, Kenya and New Zealand?) and ice skaters; the summer Olympics have been held in Helsinki some decades ago. One of the smaller countries of Europe, population around 15 (?) million; high standard of living; per capita GDP close to that of the United States; high tax rates, but also many government services, especially in health care and family support. Everyone knows English; awash in cell phones, thanks to Nokia; well-developed fishing industry, possibly also wood, furniture, pulp and paper; starkly modern furniture and area rugs come to mind. High percentage of blond(e)s (would Finns stop and stare unabashedly at my straight, black-and-silver hair and brown skin?); love of saunas (hot rocks, steam and leafy birch twigs may play a part) and natural treatments (herbs, mudpacks). Closest to Russia, many tours of Russia start in Finland; possibly share a love of colorless liquor with the Russians; but young people would rather be in Greece and Italy in summer (especially on the beaches of Mykonos) than in Russia. Casual, informal lifestyle; taciturn, not given to passionate expression (not a fully deserved reputation?); highly homogeneous society; hardly any segregation by socioeconomic class (are the two related?); large percentage of Lutherans, but smaller than in Norway, and not many have emmigrated to Minnesota or Wisconsin. Many of these images may be incorrect (but you asked for them), and you are welcome to correct them. By the way, I did not look up any reference book or internet source. Finally, two important questions for you: 1. Has any American fast-food restaurant with a Scottish name arrived in Helsinki yet? 2. What kind of food do you eat when you want to be adventurous? Note: the two questions are unrelated.
Thomas, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation: Straight, Race : Indian (of India), Religion : Agnostic/Atheist, City : Arlington, State : TX, Country : United States, Occupation : Operations Research, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class
In reply to:
What images do people of various backgrounds have of Finland? What do they know about my country?
Leila K., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation: Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Lutheran, Age : 18, City : Rauma, State : n/, Country : Finland, Occupation : student, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class