One could say I’m slightly obsessed about Finland, but here are some good reasons: (some you will recognise from previous posts)
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- Finland continues to be the happiest country in the UN’s 2020 World Happiness Report.
- Nature is everywhere around you
- We love winter
- Finnish society is straightforward, logic and honest
- Little or no crime
- Space (remoteness does wonders for you as a human being)
- Healthy lifestyle is the standard
And so many more. Obviously a lot of these “pros” come with some “cons”:
- Remoteness makes forgetting buying milk a time-consuming error (you’ll do it only once…)
- Nature and climate can be harsh
- Finnish society and culture is unique
- Simpler lifestyle takes some adaptation
- Language barrier is steep.
In order to help with these challenges, I often search and discover new resources to learn, improve, understand.
Finnish language is notoriously difficult to learn. It has no reference points to other languages, apart from some faint ancient roots together with Hungarian and Estonian.
I started with in-class courses in Belgium, the CLT in Leuven. After 3 semesters sadly I had to stop due to work and travel. I managed A1 level and had started with A2.
Often listening to radio, reading online news and following some groups/accounts that post in Finnish helps a lot, but I needed more to maintain/improve.
I discovered Varpu from Her Finland. She established through social media a large audience and we’re all vigorously following her online endeavours. She covers a lot of “Finnishnes”:
- Free “Spark you Finnish” course
- “How to connect with Finns“, also free
- If you’re interested in baking, this should be your thing: “Finnish Baking Magic“. The korvapuusti are famous and to die for…
And there’s more! Finnish culture might be a bit tricky to navigate in the beginning. You can learn how by using her “Culture Compass“. It will help you definitely!
All over her courses, she uses a clear and easy to follow methodology and you will find yourself wanting more in no time! So head over to “Her Finland” and give her courses a try.
Discovering Finnish culture, from day-2-day life to pointers about setting up your own business, I often turn to the Youtube channel of Aleksi. Interviews, live streams from the streets of Helsinki and fun videos to better understand Finland. Love the dynamic style!
Our love for Lapland is no secret, and I often connect to “All About Lapland“. Alex and his wife Julia are very enthousiast about Lapland, and are involved in a multitude of activities:
- Aurora Live streams on Facebook
- Aurorashop, where you can buy sustainable products from Finland and Scandinavia
- professional video and photo production
- Podcasts covering a wide range of Lapland
Especially the aurora live streams are a treat! Alex will travel tirelessly to the edges of Lapland and stand hours in the cold to bring you superb views of the northern lights spectacle!
A more recent find: Dave and Cat Cad. Dave is a Brit, Cat his Finnish spouse. Both give an honest and reality check-style look on life in Finland, from dating to child-raising, over language and other day-2-day life issues. Interesting for me to find out how thy manage a 3-language household.
When it comes to being out in nature and hiking, I often go to the Finnish National Park website: https://www.luontoon.fi/ to check out places to go. I also found this: Ali Leiniö’s Youtube. Video of hiking, camping, outdoor life. Also discusses hiker’s etiquette at the Finnish cabins or huts in the parks.
And then a list of links:
- Newspapers: https://www.lapinkansa.fi/ , https://www.iltalehti.fi/ , https://www.hs.fi/
- News : https://yle.fi/ and TV: https://areena.yle.fi/tv
- English language news about Finland: https://finlandtoday.fi/
- Matti’s adventures: https://www.facebook.com/finnishnightmares
- Humorous view on daily life in Finland: https://www.facebook.com/veryFinnishproblems
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finland for facts and figures
- My fav radio station: http://nettiradio.fi/suomipop
- Nina’s favorite radio: https://radioplay.fi/radio-nova/player/
- To end of this very important link: https://www.sauna.fi/
This post will grow with some more information, feel free to check in regularly.