It's one of the largest and most remote countries in Europe, yet only 5 million people live there. And in this small population, it seems that nearly everyone has a mobile phone. FINLAND - It's a country of extremes, with little daylight in the winter, yet bright midnight sun during summer. Unemployment rate: 8.9% According to Transparency International, Finland has the lowest level of corruption in all the countries studied in the survey. Inflation rate : 0.7%
Capital – Helsinki
Blue represents Finland‘s 60,000 lakes. White stands for the snow which covers the ground for 5–7 months each year. Snow Lakes
They would be happy if visitors knew something about the achievements of well-known Finns in sports and culture.
This is rooted in the country's history - particularly its honourable wartime achievements and significant sporting merits
Finns love reading things written about them abroad and visitors should not feel uncomfortable to answer, repeatedly.
Finns ready to criticize, don’t wish to hear it from foriegners
Religions – Evangelical Lutheran 89%, Orthodox Russian 1% , None 9%, Others1%. People in general are fairly secular in their views. The Church and its ministers are held in high esteem, and personal religious views are respected.
Having once got to know a stranger moderately well, Finns are quite willing to discuss any topic, Shared hobbies, culture and arts are natural topics for conversation, Sports is a particularly feasible topic because in recent years Finns have enjoyed success in sports other than the traditional long-distance running and winter sports.
Mobile phones have no doubt changed visitors' perceptions of Finland. Whereas a few decades ago a visitor might report back home on an uncommunicative, reserved and introvert Arctic tribe, the more common view today is that of a hyper-communicative people.
A Finn's mother tongue is either Finnish, Swedish or Saami (some 8,000 native speakers).
Finns take care of their language competence by
studying a wide range of foreign languages.
German is no longer widely taught but many Finns in their 50s or older learned it as their first foreign language at school. French, Spanish and Russian have grown in popularity both in schools and among adult learners.
When introducing themselves, Finns will say their forename followed by their surname.
Women who use both their maiden name and their husband's surname will state them in that order.
Although Finns are conscious and proud of any official titles they may have, they rarely mention these when introducing themselves. In contrast, they do expect to be addressed by their title in professional and official contexts: Doctor Ricky Garg, AIIMS etc. Foreigners, however, are not expected to follow this practice and can use Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Sir or Madam.
Its better to hear one's name spoken, Finns will not be offended if they are not addressed by name.
There are no special rituals related to exchanging business cards in Finland. For a visitor, receiving a business card provides a convenient opportunity to ask how a name is pronounced or what a cryptic title might mean.
Using first names requires a closer relationship. It is relatively easy to get onto first-name terms with a Finn, especially if it is evident that the parties will continue to meet regularly for business or pleasure.
When greeting, the parties shake hands and make eye contact. A deep bow denotes special respect - in normal circumstances, a nod of the head is enough.
A Finnish handshake is brief and firm, involves no supporting gestures such as touching the shoulder or upper arm.
When greeting a married couple, the wife is greeted first.
Children are greeted by shaking hands too.
Embracing people when greeting them is rare in Finland.
A man greeting someone in the street should raise his hat; in the cold of winter, a touch of the hand to the brim of the hat is enough.
One in four Finns owns a summer cabin, and for many, it is regarded as a second home. Sociologists like to explain that the summer dwelling is a tie that Finns maintain to their rural past; and it is true that many Finns transform into surprisingly competent fishermen, gardeners, farmers, carpenters or foresters when they withdraw to their summer homes.
A guest is not expected to take part in this role-play, at least not actively. On the other hand, he is expected to submit without complaint to the sometimes primitive conditions at the summer residence, since not all of them have electricity, running water, a flushing toilet or other urban amenities
An experienced guest understands that under these conditions the hosts, particularly the hostess, have to go to a lot of trouble to give the guest an enjoyable stay. Help with routine chores is greatly appreciated
A visitor hesitant about having a sauna should remember that if it has been heated specially for him or her, it is a matter of pride for the hosts
In Finland, both men and women bathe in the sauna, but never together except within the family.
The feeling of being slapped on the skin with a bundle of soft birch leaves in the heat of the steam room can be a pleasant therapeutic experience.
The sauna is no place for anyone in a hurry. After sauna, it is customary to continue with conversation, drinks and a light meal. A guest's comments on the sauna experience will be listened to with interest, After all, this is a subject that Finns never get tired talking about.