Thursday, 3 April 2014

Tervetuloa - Welcome to Finland

We are really getting geared up for the Easter sale next Wednesday and making lots of handicrafts such as woven goods, rugs, cards etc.  The atmosphere in the handicraft room is very calm and quiet, much quieter than I am used to.  In the middle of all this Easter preparation I am thinking about the stereotypes of the silent Finn and the reality of those long silences.  In a brochure called Welcome to Finland that is produced for immigrants, there is a section entitled, "What are Finnish people like?"
and it states,
"Many Finnish people are calm and quiet.  Finnish people think it is polite to leave people alone.  This may make Finnish people seem unfriendly.  Rules are important for the Finns.  Most people will not even walk across the street is the light is red.  Finnish people wait for the traffic lights to turn green."
Would we ever generalize about Scottish people like this? 
What implications does this desire for quiet have on the service users?       
 I have noticed how loud I am when I am in the supermarket with my kids or walking down the street and I have started talking in whispers and telling my children to quieten down so it would seem I am turning more and more Finnish every day...
ANyway a lot to think about after my second week on placement.  I am away on the night train to the capital of Lapland, Rovaniemi so plenty of time to ponder on this!


  1. I'd be interested to know how true you think this description holds as your time in Finland goes on Emma. It seems like the kind of thing people might attempt back here in Scotland, but that any description wouldn't hold true for 90% of the population.


    hey whaledog
    i am interested in how this impacts on people who maybe can't or don't want to join in this behaviour of "omissa oloissan" (when people are undisturbed in their thoughts and actions) and those who can't join in the quietude (hiljaisus) this essay I have put the link to....needs more social psychology reseacrh in this field...the area they talk about Hame, the "most Finnish" part is where I am living....sorry about my erratic posts ...I have two small children so not much time and sometimes I only have time to post photos and no commentary!