P4 Presenting Finnish society-project Autumn 2013


Presenting Finnish society

English Course 4 November 2013

 This project was carried out in Kiiminki Senior High School in November 2013. The objective was to present my students as social commentators. The students were given a host of topics concerning Finnish society to work on and they were to turn in their effort in electronic form.

 The students were told their joint effort would be exhibited at school as well as published online. This piece of information apparently upped the ante as for the quality of the students’ work as I evidenced  – project deadline approaching – lively traffic on my project page. The students were obviously checking out each other’s work to be on par with their peers.

 In class the students were divided into small groups and each student was to evaluate three or four presentations. The objective with this was to make the student aware of their own role as the most important critic of their work – relying on the teacher providing assessment till the cows come home known to be a fiction – as well as familiarising the student with the criteria used in assessing compositions.

The project was a resounding success as the students clearly wanted to put their best foot forward knowing their effort would be made public. The English you find below is unedited yet showcases our students as keen social observers.

Enjoy The Voice of Young Finland!

Kiiminki November 2013

Markku Perala

Teacher of English

You can also find Presenting Finnish society here as a PDF.

58 thoughts on “P4 Presenting Finnish society-project Autumn 2013

  1. Finland – a welfare state?

    The welfare state is the state in which the State has been given a central role in people’s living standards and income assurance. In Finland, health facilities are largely the responsibility of municipalities. The welfare state to justice, and that all should be as equal role to train and deal with life. Part of the well-being of generating voluntary individuals, businesses, charitable organizations. Modern welfare states include the Nordic countries, such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland which is known as Nordic model. There are many types of welfare state such as Central European model, where the main responsibility lies with the family and The Anglo-Saxon model where the main responsibility lies with the individual.

    Welfare state model in Finland, is a Nordic. Its virtues include the fact that all citizens are covered by the scope of the welfare state benefits. This model ensures that the wealth gap is smaller than the other models. It may also be that crime is reduced, since the low-income earners do not have to resort to crime in order to cope with everyday chores.

    Cons are that the welfare state model of the maintenance is expensive. In addition, the role of government is too dominant, and leads to dependence on the public. Finnish state unemployment benefits encourage people to lazing and that is why there are a lot of social bums.

    I think Finland is a welfare state that keeps its citizens care. It maintains all citizens benefit. In Finland the rich pay the poor expenditure. The government could allocate money to the students instead of bums. Here, immigrants receive money instead of students and it is a great injustice. Finnish support for the current regime has fallen among young people. It seems that Finland is partly dismantled the welfare state

    Krister Korkala (296)

  2. Finland – a welfare state?

    A welfare state means that the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. The welfare state provides its citizens certain rights and services. For example pre-school and primary school are free of charge. Secondary vocational education and upper secondary education are strongly supported by the society, as well as university and polytechnic education. Students pay only a fraction of the studies. In the days of Pension Finnish citizen get the care and a wide range of services.

    ”The welfare state” is a very thought-provoking word. The Nordic welfare state tries to take responsibility for citizens in all circumstances. The system is designed to provide basic services for its citizens, i.e. health care, social services and education. This is realized in Finland, right?

    Maybe we youngsters feel so good about ourselves, but what about those who really need care, such as the elderly. Case in point small village where I live; all the social- and health services have been taken away from us since the communes have been combined into ‘’one huge Oulu’’. For example we don’t have own ambulance, health-, bank-, and social services anymore. Some people here, especially elderly, think that it was raw deal.

    I think that the perfect welfare state doesn’t exist. Maybe it would be impossible because somewhere there is always bit of crime, poverty, unemployment, etc.

    To cut a long story short I believe that Finland can still call itself the welfare station, even there are things to make better. After all my opinion is that there is a good and safe to live in Finland.

    Aleksi Ruonakangas (280)

  3. Religion in Finland

    Finns feel that religion is a personal thing, and it is not usual to talk with others about one’s religion. I think that Finns feel negatively view of religion to impose their like mission work on the streets or from door to door. In Finland there is already a couple of hundred years at the Christianity movements, which have been Finns think, that people can be divided into believers and others.

    Major world religions are Christianity, Islam and Jewishness. People who believe in Christianity are around the world about the 2 200 million. The Christianity doctrine of the church is in principle the interpretation of the Bible. Christianity religion is divided into different church community, which have their own way of interpreting the Bible and Christianity doctrine.

    Christianity different church commune are Catholic church, Orthodox church and Protestants. The Lutheran church is one of the Protestant community and Lutheran church has five revival. Revivals are Pietism, Evangelical, Praying, People’s Bible Society and Lestadianism.

    In Finland religion is rarely seen in everyday life or in public life. But Lestadians religion is seen their everyday life. For example they meet once a year in summer society. And the girls do not wear make-up and dye their hair because they think that they are created by God and beautiful just as it. And usually in Lestadians family they have many children and they all are God’s gifts.

    The Christianity church building is primarily a communion of exhibition holy place. The altar is in the center of the church, ”table of the Lord”.

    The church is an important part of Christianity rituals. Most of the rituals perfomed in the church. Baptism is the ritual of the Christianity in which human will become a member of the church.

    Religion in Finland says a lot about Finnish culture.

    Salla Rautio (301)


    Most of Finnish people don´t have courage enough to show their feelings and religion to the others, especially religion, I think. In the old times religion used to play a bigger part in people´s lives than nowadays. It was more common to say grace before every meal, for instance.
    The role of the church in Finnish society in everyday life has become smaller and smaller. In these days it´s not a routine to go to the church on Sunday morning or take a part in other religious happenings and hobbies such like singing in a choir. But generally church has still an integral part in people´s lives. Things like baptism, confirmation classes, wedding and funeral belong to many Finn´s life. And these happenings are arranged usually in the church.
    There are a few religious minorities in Finland whose beliefs reflect in the way they lead their lives. For example Muslims have some little differences in their way to live comparing to Christianity, the major religion in Finland. Among other things Muslims must pray five times on a certain moment of a day. Of course there are also other religious minorities in Finland, Jewishness for instance. But Muslims are the biggest group.
    People have also found different ways to fulfil their spiritual needs. For example praying (usually in home, because for some reason people don´t want to do it publicly) and keeping a cross necklace in one´s neck are these kind of ways.
    In my opinion people (especially Finns) should be more open-minded and show their religion and beliefs to other people. Why to live your life without showing your opinions and what do you really think about world? Don´t ruin your life. It´s very difficult to live normally if you have to pretend to be something or someone you´re not. But I got to say that this is luckily more older people´s problem than youngster´s nowadays.

    Eeli Tervo (319)

  5. Finland – a welfare state?

    The word a welfare state is broad concept and it includes many things. Finnish will be held welfare state, where democracy is and where aims to ensure the people the minimum livelihood. Two of the most important basic pillars of the welfare states is effective taxation and democracy.

    In my opinion, the Finnish can be considered welfare State, but improvement is. Finnish has become famous our good the school system. Finnish schools get free food and teaching. Many people asking: how it is possible? The answer to that is that the pupil’s parents pay food and learning the taxes. I think it is a good thing in Finland. Anyway, I think that the Finnish tax money is used pretty well. But the Finnish State does not have enough money for everything from what should be. The money would be needed for the more elderly care, sport places and much more.

    Good thing in Finland is also a health care. The hospital visit in Finland is really cheap, It Is almost like a free. Sick care so it is really cheap and easy and good. Finland has the world’s best health care, just prior to the system because of. In some countries, not even get a hospital with no money.

    In Finland, all things do not have well. Worldwide the problem is also in Finland, namely men’s and women’s equality should seek to improve. Women are not valued as much as the men in Finland and this is the same problem in other countries. Problem with the aim to improve and to make the whole world of equality.

    However, I am able to say that Finnish is good for the country and a good welfare State.

    Lauri Jussila

  6. Finnish minorities

    In Finland we have severals different minorities. When these Finnish minorities shares in different parts, like in groups therefore we have example religion minorities, like Jews, Orthodoxes, Muslims and Neo-pagans. Then there are language minorities, where belongs Samises, Swedish-Finns, Romanians and immigrants. Especially, immigrants spring to my mind.

    Immigrants have came in Finland in many different countries, like from Chile, Vietnam, Somalia, Thailand and especially from several European countries.
    Immigrants have came in Finland either to studying, working or coming just for marrying someone Finnish person. Then there are refugees, which`s are coming here, in Finland to find safe place. In minorities immigrants came first to my mind, because they are really different from another`s minorities, cause they are foreigners and come from so different place than Finland. There are over 160 000 immigrants living in Finland.

    I believe that immigrants have some same values like we do, example family, work and freedom,and I think also religion, healthy, protecting own family and being accepted to this country.
    Immigrants lifestyle is a little bit different than Finns, and I believe so because they come from other countries, so they have another culture than we do have. Some of the immigrants can go to school in Finland, or working here, and some of them have to live by Finland`s money or food supports. Often immigrants, like refugees spent most of their time with others of their owns, with them who came from same country as them.

    I think that minorities, like these immigrants are very important to Finland. Thats why, because they help us to nationalize this country, and they give us some different perspectives all over to world. Theirs culture can come to Finnish people too, what helps to Finland`s diversity. If there would not be any immigrants in Finland, I believe that Finland wouldn’t know least that much about the outside of Finland than nowadays.

    Sofia Pesola

  7. Finland – a welfare state

    What kind of welfare state is Finland? People can have various opinions of that matter. I think that in Finland we have our things well even though some aspects should be improved.

    Here in Finland tax is collected according to income, which ensures that we do not have awfully big differences in wealth. The downside in big taxes is the so called ‘’brain drain’’, which means that many of the highly educated move to countries where the tax rate isn’t so steep. There they get better value for their professional skills.

    As we know, Finnish school system is internationally known to be top notch. We have free education and it ensures that everyone gets to school, regardless of wealth. We also have free lunch in school, which is great.

    When you have finished your studies and if you haven’t found a job or you have just become unemployed, you don’t have to worry about not having enough money for a decent life. Our social security guarantees that you get unemployment assistance. The government also supports you in your studies and gives you housing benefits. We also get support in so many other things. That being said we have a very good social security that doesn’t exist in that many countries.

    We also have very good healthcare and everyone has access to treatment. It is also pretty cheap and for example dental care is free of charge for all under 18 and every year school children visit a dentist and a nurse for an annual health check.

    The equality between men and women is fairly good in Finland compared to other countries. But it’s not quite perfect because according to research in some occupations a man earns slightly more than a woman and this should be corrected.

    All in all things in Finland are very well even though we still have to improve as a welfare state. No country is perfect but I’m happy to be living here in Finland.

    Iida Huttu

  8. Politics in Finland

    The system of government in Finland is democracy. It means that our politicians try to act for the citizens. The politicians form parties. Our laws are made by parliament which consists of parties. The president deal with politics of the foreign countries and the prime minister works in European politics. In the municipal level we have local councils that decides of its matters, but which is obligated to use common laws.

    In my opinion, the role of young people in Finland´s politics is not so significant. Some of the politicians are pushing youth issues, but the young people themselves aren’t often involved in politics. Youth don’t vote, because there are not so much politicians who are interested in their matters. Most of the politicians are older and they run of their own ages issues.

    There is one party that I value more than others and it is the Centre Party. This idea may come from my parents but I agree that the ideology of the Centre Party is still major. They are interested in peace, cooperation and equality.

    What comes to the role of the media in politics so I think it is one of the most important way citizens can obtain information on policy. The media can pay attention where it want and respectively not to draw attention to one of not so interesting. It can also distort things and look at them from only one point of view. The social media, as facebook and blogs, is significant for politicians. They can tell their own opinions and debate with persons who support them.

    I think that normal people have good chances to participate in politics. One chance is a bill, but only when it gets enough supporters. The other chance is just before an election when the candidates tour the country and voters can talk to them. In municipal level you can join a local political party. A large part of citizens still don’t participate in politics. Politicians should do something to that or democracy will not be achieved. (340)

    Linda Poukkula

  9. Finland- a welfare state?

    People say that Finland is a welfare state. But is that true? Yes, it is. Now I tell some reasons why.
    We have very good school system here in Finland. I think it is the best in the world! It is free for everyone and we can eat lunch in school free. Both boys and girls can study here. The Finnish school system has gained international recognition. School is one reason why Finland is a welfare state.
    The second reason is the Finnish health care. We have many qualified doctors. Everyone who need help can get it easily. Everybody are equal:senior citizens, babies, teenagers…everyone.
    Finland is peaceful country. There are not a lot of violence. It is important to me and to all other Finns. Finns are happy with their life. It is one reason.
    There are a few problems in Finland. One of them is that some peoples are too fat. It is big problem. Finns use too much alcohol, too.
    Nature is Finland is beautiful and the air is clean. School system and health care is good.
    These things together are reason why I can say that Finland is a welfare state.

    Janne Kajava 2a

  10. Finland – a welfare state?

    Finnish citizens’ welfare is, compared internationally, very good. In the late 1980s, Finland had one of the world’s most advanced welfare systems. Finland guaranteed decent living conditions for all Finns. Finnish welfare state has created almost entirely during the first three decades after World War II. The history of Finland has been harder than the histories of the other Nordic countries, but this has not stopped developing in Finnish. On the contrary, I believe that adversities are only grown Finnish citizens’ guts, character and spirit. It is subsequently developed Finland.

    Finnish state social services system offers numerous wellness services. The state provides services for all age groups, such as education, health, substance abuse, unemployment, disability and pension services. Peace, equality, freedom of speech and democracy are usually related to the welfare state, which are the core values of Finland.

    On the other hand can we maintain that Finland is welfare state, because there are very much violent crime and suicide in Finland? These are not generally to the welfare state. In addition to the employment of disadvantaged such as, children, the elderly and people with disabilities status is deteriorating and the difference between the rich and the poor is growing.

    One big problem is also the exclusion of youth in Finland. I think one reason of exclusion is unemployment among young people, which care badly. Finland assist and give money to other euro area countries, but Finland’s own citizens are suffering. I think we could stop donations and reform schools, roads, bridges, etc., which are in bad condition. This would provide more jobs, which enables unemployment would fall and social exclusion with it.

    Depression is also a major problem, which is probably due to unemployment, but also to the darkness, in which we can not much influence.

    I think Finland is still a welfare state, even though many things are bad state. All in all, there is a good and safe to live in Finland. In addition, many things will be much, much better than elsewhere.

    Jarkko Niemelä (336 words)

  11. Religion in Finland

    Most people in Finland are part of Christian church but immigrants bring their own religion to Finnish lives. They have to adapt to Finnish culture and our majority religion for example our men and women are equal. But we have to pay attention to immigrants too. In schools and hospitals there has to be different choice with food. Some people can’t eat meat because his or her religion denies that.

    Sometimes we don’t even think about how much our religion is part of our lives. Maybe we don’t go to church every day or we don’t pray every night but it still plays a big role in our lives. For example feasts like Christmas and Easter are from Christian religion but we don’t always think that now we are celebrating Jesus’ birth or something like that.

    Recently the Christian church has had quite negative attention. It has been on news because of child abuse and protesting gay marriage. That’s maybe one reason why people left from church. I think the church should regenerate. For example in churches there is not even near the same feeling than in some American movies where they go to church on Sunday with whole family and they have fun. I don’t know many people in Finland who go to church by their own choice. Especially youth go there only if they have to, for example for confirmation school. These days in church we see mostly elderly people. If we could have the same feeling than churches in American we could have more people and youth there.

    Believing in God can bring safety to some people. They can trust that God keep them safe so they don’t have to worry about so much. To others it even doesn’t have to be God but some other bigger power which they can resort. Everybody will find their own way to fulfill their religion. Maybe it’s not the same way than others but there’s no right way to do that.

    Katariina Väisänen

  12. Religion in Finland
    In Finland, the majority of the people belong to the Evangelical Lutheral Church. Orthodox are an integral part of the religion, too. There are also many other minorities but they aren’t so significant due to the low members.
    Things, what part does religion play in people’s lives, are some kind of that some people go to church on Sundays, in bad times some people resort to God and pray, for example. In addition to the normal things that belong to the Christianity – majority of the Finnish go to confirmation classes, communion and baptism are two sacraments of Christianity that people will experience in their lives. Celebrations such as Christmas and Easter are one of that things. People may not think the church is more a part of everyday life than they think.
    Nowadays the role of the church in Finnish society doesn’t matter as much than before. The church doesn’t decide the state of affairs. There are many people who don’t even belong the church or they don’t care about the activities of the church. Religion is part of the everyone’s life, but it isn’t necessarily considered to be very important. Times have changed. These days people believe more in science and values are different. Of course there are also those who still believe and regular attedance at religious services and other such.
    In Finland there are religious minorities whose beliefs are reflected in the way they lead their lives. Some minorities have the rules which refuse TV watching, alcohol drinking and certain music. And some has the opinion that not to wear too revealing clothes.
    People can fulfil their spiritual needs, for instance, in that ways: listening sacred music, visiting the church services, reading the bible, meeting the same people and maybe, just talking about the issues. As well prayer is certainly one way.

    Jasmiina Ihalainen 305


    Religion is an integral part in people lives. Christianity is the biggest religion in Finland. There are two types of Christian people. Others believe more than others. Usually religion means to believe in God or other the supernatural thing. Religion can also mean holiness experiencing a universal phenomenon. Religion have changed a doctrines and occurs different communals ways of and worship expenditure.
    In Finland 76.4% on populations belong to Evangelican Lutheran church and 1.1% belong to the Orthodox church. In other religion belong 1.4% on populations. The rest 21% were not included to any religion.
    Church is an Christianity congregations formed confession or understanding of the doctrine of integrade whole.
    Church have a big role in every religions. In church you can worship, sermoning and give money on the collection plate. On church organizes often ceremonies and services. In Christianity young people go to the confirmation classes. In church all congregation sitting very quiet and listen to the minister and sing beautiful hymns. Sometimes church have a church choir what singin audibly.
    Religion appears people in everyday life this daily life of selections and makings. It can appears to clothes, eating habits, look or external activites. Religion also seems hard in culture. Different religions music differ each other, as also rules in what you can do and how you can to act in life. Usually states laws pased on the religion, also moral choice is based in the religious values.
    Many people have a different ways to fulfil their spiritual needs. Some people wants to worship and somebody wants to perform some pilgrimare, where they compensate every sins what they have. Somebody spiritual needs fulfil only just service.
    Finland has many different religions, but all of those are speciality.

    Katriina Lukkarila


    Like in the most countries in the world nowadays, Finland has also many different minorities, like Gypsies, immigrants, Samis, sexual minorities and disabled people for example. But when I think about this subject there is one minority what comes first into my mind. They are called Finnish Swedes.

    Finnish Swedes are the biggest minority in Finland. They are native finnish people who speak swedish as their mother tongue. That’s why Finnish Swedes is a linguistic minority. Even though they speak swedish, they don’t sound like swedish people, because they pronounce words in different way. Most of Finnish Swedes live in Ostrobothnia, Åland or in the metropolitan area of Helsinki, which consists cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, so you can expect to see lots of Finnish Swedes if you travel to one of these three locations. In Åland Finnish Swedes is actually a majority, not a minority.

    Today 290 000-Finnish Swedes live in Finland, which is 5,4% of total population of Finland. 25 000 of them live in Åland. The amount of Finnish Swedes in total population of Finland was bigger in the past. At the beginning of 19th century approximately 15% of people in Finland spoke swedish as their mother tongue. When Finland was part of the Russian empire, swedish was the only official language in Finland at first. Nowadays finnish is official language too and both languages are taught in primary school and upper secondary school.

    Majority of Finnish Swedes are proud to be part of finnish nation and they think they are part of Finns, but few of them thinks that they are swedish people who live in Finland. If you compare ordinary finnish people and Finnish Swedes, you can’t find almost any differences at all. They like ice-hockey and winter sports, they like to go sauna and summer cottage and they are honest and quiet people like we are too, but they are slightly more communal compared to us however. We Finns are sometimes jealous to Finnish Swedes, because many of them are wealthy and have succeeded well in their careers.

    I personally think that there are only one finnish nation, where Finnish Swedes belong too. I think language is the only thing where Finnish Swedes differs from us. Otherwise we are same kind of people.

    376 words

    Santtu Hökkä

  15. Finland’s unsung heroes

    Finland became independent in 1917. Finland fought for independence, and the men who had been involved in the war, are the unsung heroes that will never be forgotten. Without them, we may not be here now. Military Veterans’ graves will always be respected, but young people do not always remember it. When you have grown older, you begin to understand what kind of honor they deserve.

    Lauri Törni (28.5.1919-18.10.1965) was a Finnish soldier and a Knight of the Mannerheim Cross, who had served in the armed forces of the three countries. He served in the Finnish army, Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS, 1941-1945, and the United States Army as captain since 1960. Törni reached the battlefields of the three military rank of captain. He died in a helicopter crash during the Vietnam War and was promoted after his death, the U.S. Army major.

    There are also a different unsung heroes. Lasse Viren won two gold medals in Munich in 1972 and Montreal in 1976. It allows Finland became famous in sports, especially running in. I have not heard anyone talking about him almost never.

    Matti Nykänen is also the unsung hero. He will not be remembered any more an athlete. He is a former ski jumper who has won gold in the Olympics four times, it is his biggest achievement. Today, Matti is a singer.

    Nowadays, people who do not get as much appreciation as they should be, are the firemen and doctors. Without them we would be in a big trouble, because both save lives every day. Why they do not get the appreciation? They are taken for granted among us, what is wrong.

    Juha-Matti Heinonen, 281 sanaa

  16. Finland – a welfare state?
    The big question that has been questioned past few years is that if Finland
    is a welfare state or not. There`s so many criterions in this simple question.
    Peoples positions in country , health care , equality ,education etc.
    Well in my opinion those mentioned factors are all top quality in Finland.
    First of all is health care, it is free for all the people in Finland and it is also
    top quality compared to other health cares in the world. Surgeries ,
    medications, treatments are almost free, government pays all of those
    big bills for those who are need in care.
    Education in Finland is also top quality. Schools here are among the best in
    the world. Finnish students pass schools with top grades and are one of
    most wanted in international tasks and jobs.High-schools have high
    expectations on their students and usually schools do not need to be
    Equality is just great here. All people are equal to each others and no one is
    above others. Even the President has limited power nowadays. All men and
    women are as equal to each others even though some question it.
    At a young age your rights and responsibilities keep coming and coming and
    it is great.
    Finns also have very high standard of living , we all have good salaried jobs
    here on every trade. Only negative thing in this country is that Finns are so
    expensive workers and entrepreneurs can`t afford to hire all of these
    highly educated people.
    Last but not least i would like to write something from our financial
    supports that government pays to almost all of us no matter what kind of
    you have. We Finns pay taxes for reasons and you will certainly get back
    that money you paid as taxes. Financial supports are paid to almost all of
    our people on any status and that is a big factor in a matter that is Finland a
    welfare state.

    Topias Siira

  17. Finland – a welfare state?

    If you find yourself to be living in Finland, you can take a break and relax for a moment. Because whatever may happen to you, there probably is a Finnish service that takes care of your problem.

    In case of a serious accident, you can always trust that the ambulance will come soon, even if it’s a dark winter storm. If you have a minor health issue that you are concerned about, you can go to a medical center and they will help you, for free. If you do not have a job and need to get one, you can go to your local employment agency so a job will be provided to you. In this case you also need lots of hope and will, though.

    If your stomach says you need to fill up, that is no problem neither. You can go to a grocery store and choose the kind of food you want from the giant assortments. When you buy food in Finland, you can be sure that it is fresh and does not contain any nasty unhealthy things. Because Finns will not usually tolerate shoddy food. If someone finds something really doubtful in a food product, usually a nation-wide uproar will emerge. Tap water, in Finland even that is so clean that you can drink it.

    We also have an education system that I have often heard to have been praised all over the world. A child starts his or her school career at the age of 7 years, and as years go by, he or she will be taught to not only read and calculate, but also science, biology, history, religion, civics, swedish and what not. And of course english. And all of it is free.

    Finland is famous for its extrem-ish winter. Dark and sometimes really cold. But it is no problem. Finland has always been top notch in technology, and we want to make use of it to make ourselves feel comfortable. Houses in Finland are warm and well built to stand the test of time and weather. Nowadays everyone carries a smartphone device so no one doesn’t have to be on his own at any moment or place. Everybody has a good car to get around places, and even the cars are usually warm, because no one wants a car in Finland that makes you freeze inside in winter. Roads are always kept in good condition by the local authorities, so your trip will rarely be cancelled because of weather conditions. If you don’t have a car, buses and other public transportation methods will serve you also in winter. There is just one thing that everyone knows and maybe it should be fixed: freezing in the bus stop while waiting for the bus to arrive.

    Looking from my point of view: I have lived in Finland for 17 years now, since I was born. I have never had to go sleep hungry. I have never been really badly sick. In my home we have probably all of the modern conveniences that exist, to make our life easier. I have been allowed to be educated by skilled teachers and to be honest I think I really have quite of a knowledge about the world around me, thanks to our school system.

    I think there would be more. But here are some good reasons why I believe that I know I’m living in a welfare state, a very welfare.

    Pauli Nikula

  18. Common values in Finnish society

    When I take a look at the nature of Finland, I have to wonder, what kind people could possibly live in this cold, dark land of sorrow and snow? It seems to me that in this kind of weather the wind and ice would reach the depths of the Finn’s very soul, making him so depressed and uninterested in the things that could make him happier that all he can do is go on about his daily routines till the end of his days. Sadly some of the Finn’s do have this kind of lives; cursed to live alone without the support of the society or the warmth of a family, feeling like the whole world is sitting on their shoulders. In this kind of situation many individuals have decided to arrange an appointment with the Grim Reaper himself, demanding him to give an early ticket out of this world.

    Surprisingly the most of us Finn’s are still the simple, hard-working people we were once known for, though nowadays our methods of dealing with our problems vary from a highly addictive alcoholic substance to a rope, but I digress. In addition to work, a common Finnish person holds a set of other equally honorable values such as honesty and trustworthiness. A Finn would rather tell the truth and take all the responsibility on the things that he has done than try to take the easy way out by lying. He has a strong sense of justice and a compulsive need to lend a helping hand to a fellow Finn.

    The Finnish people might seem a bit grumpy and rude on the outside, but deep inside there’s a person who can’t imagine his life without his friends. Trust may be the most respected value in the Finnish society, which is why most Finn’s prefer to have a few very good and close friends than a large group of them. Earning a Finn’s trust is going to take a good amount of work and time, but losing it is as easy as pie… and more fatal.

    The Finn’s are also very humble and respectful towards each other’s privacy. We don’t go nosing around just for the sake of it and we keep our affairs to ourselves. The concepts of rationalism and simplicity are firmly placed into the mind of a Finn; we try to avoid making things too complicated because it wouldn’t help us to understand the situation at hand. If we know the facts, we draw the conclusions and move on. For example, I know for a fact that it was not a good idea to start writing this text at this hour. I need some sleep.

    – Leo Päkkilä
    (Words: 446)

  19. Finland – a welfare state?

    In my mind Finland can be called a welfare state. There are many things that work well; health care is paid tax money which is so-called free, every child has the right to education, we have freedom of religion, we get money from the government if we stay unemployed, for instance. Compared to many countries Finland is a safe country to live in. But here are also many things that could be improved, of course.

    Today you can read a lot of news about the treatment of the elderly. Always when I’m reading that kind of news I think what is in people minds? We should think about what they have done in their lives for us and help them now. Some of them are lonely, they’re just sitting at home and waiting for someone who will never come. The elderly who are living in a retirement home, also just sit, or lie in the bed all day. They are not hurry, as opposed to the people who are helping them. Government of the Finland is taking money away from the services for the elderly, all the time. It’s crazy. We only take care ourselves and just forget about the elderly. Could we do the change to treatment of elderly?

    Another thing which should be improved is the treatment of children. I can’t understand why do some parents abuse their children, or why some children bully others, for instance at school. If the child must one of the two, he or she will sure remember it through the life. For example, in 2006, the police recorded 2128 violent crimes against children in Finland. And there is certainly a lot more. If you can’t grow your children otherwise than by violence, get help for yourself. It will help your children too. Research shows that ten per cent of the boys and six per cent of girls have been bullied. But here too the number is certainly larger. If you’re in group which is bullying someone, leave them and help the bullied. I don’t say it will be easy but you are able to do it. The government is also taking money away from the school system. The students are in the big groups and there is just a few teachers taking care of them.

    Here were a few things that worry me the most. All in all we would have to remember that person is always more important than money.

    Linnea Pennanen
    420 words


  20. Finland – a welfare state

    A welfare state have to be democratic. it takes care of its citizens and the most importantly its have to be safe.
    Freedom of speech, equality, good education system and health care are the hallmarks of the welfare state.

    In Finland state helps people in many ways. For example if you get ill you can go to see a doctor without having any money with you. Doctors are well educated. We have one of the best school systems in the world and it´s free, preschool, primary school and following education is free. If you are ill and you aren’t able to work you are still given your salary. if you are unemployed the state will lend a helping hand. People in Finland feel safe. You don´t have to be scared war or terrorism and you have the freedom of religion.

    But is Finland really a welfare state, if it is why unemployment rises every year. Why almost 20% of population have to use medicines for treating depression.Why there are so much suicides and violence. Is this caused by dark, cold and depressing Finnish winter. Is Finland really a egalitarian country. Are women, immigrants and other minorities treated in the same way as “ordinary” Finnish men. For instance income gap between women and men are big. There is so many lonely elderly people and at the same time young people face social exclusion.

    After all this I think Finland has some things that makes it a welfare state but there is too much and way too big problems to be considered as a welfare state. Government has to find ways to reduce unemployment. Finnish population is aging quickly. Where to find the money to extra health care that they need? Lifting taxes could help, but Finland already has very high taxes. The current economic situation doesn’t make this any easier.

    Teemu Piri

  21. Finland’s unsung heroes

    Lauri Törni later known as Larry Thorne was born in may 28, 1919, at Viipuri. In fall 1939, Lauri Törni was completing his enlistment in the Finnish Army when the Soviet Union attacked Finland.
    He served in machinegun company and sweared his military oath in 8. October. In december he joined to AUK, but because of threat of war he had to re-enter the service. In Winter War he served in Martti S. Nurmela’s Jaeger Battalion which was called as “Hiipijäksi”. After a while Törni volunteered as first patrol behind enemylines. Törni was commanded to RUK in February 5. The winter war ended while Törni was in RUK Lauri fell in love at Virolahti with Ilona Oeschin.

    Towards Petrozavodsk
    After the Winter War, in 1941, Törni went to Germany to train with the Waffen-SS. Törni did not speak german. Soon he returned to Finland. Törni become a Guerrillacompany Commander in January 1943. Törni’s mission was to do patroltrips, organized ambushes, built land-mines and secured terrain. March 16. and 17. Red army’s troops attacked Seesjärve’s south beach and surrounded finnish military base, after that there was alerted Department Thorne which cleared the attack Thorne had a great reputation. Törni’s unit inflicted such heavy casualties on Russian units that the Soviet Army placed a bounty on his head. He was reputedly the only Finnish officer to have had a bounty

    The Mannerheim Cross,
    He was decorated as mannerheim-cross knight number 144.”Lieutenant Törni is reliable conductivity, coldbloded and resourceful” writed major general Uno Fagernäs. The Finnish government believed he had fought enough and discharged him. In 1945, he was recruited by a pro-German resistance movement in Finland and left for saboteur training in Germany, and to organize resistance in case Finland were occupied by the Soviet Union. He surrendered to British troops in the last stages of World War II and eventually returned to Finland after escaping a British POW camp.

    After world war 2, Törni decided to move in to sweden. After a while Törni became engaged, but it didn’t work out. So Törni decided to move in to states In states Törni got married with Spanish doctor. In year 1953 Törni got residence permit. After a while he decided to join army

    In November 1963 Thorne joined Special Forces and fought in the Mekong Delta, where he was twice decorated. Shortly after his disappearance, Thorne was promoted to the rank of major. Larry Thorne’s remains were found in 1999 and formally identified in 2003. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, section 60, tombstone 8136, on 26 June 2003.

    Juho Tyni
    Sources: Wikipedia, various books, knowledge, various forums.

  22. Finland’s unsung heroes

    I think we have a lot of people that need to get more recognition in Finland. First of all some people like politicians and athletes do get appreciation and recognition from us. Politicians make decisions that have influence in our everyday life so they are easily seen. You can see athletes and politicians in the news everyday and that way hear their newest acts and achievements. Finland’s succesful athletes are heroes for the whole country and their names will stay in history. When someone is talking about someone famous politician or athlete like Teemu Selänne or Pekka Haavisto, everyone knows who are they talking about and what kind of person is he. Even Finland’s best movie stars are awarded with trophies every year. All these people listed above gain all the respect and trophies, but who are the real heroes in this country?

    Of course politicians, athletes and other celebrities are important for our country, but they haven’t done anything so special that only they should be called heroes. We have a huge amount of people who have risked their lives for our country and independence and those are two things we take for granted today. We have over 34000 war veterans still alive in Finland, without them our life would be totally different. They have risked their life and experienced terrible things that they will never forget, they are like ghosts in our midst. How many people recognize or even know name of one? How many of them are treated as a hero? Almost all of our veterans are 90 years old and their standard of living is even worse than ordinary people, I think that it’s a raw deal.

    So veterans would deserve much better treatment in our society, but they aren’t the only unsung heroes in our country. We have everyday heroes that common people don’t even notice. Professions like fire fighters, polices and doctors make their living by helping and saving other peoples. They face dangerous situations and even risk their lives of their own free will. They are also doing hard manual work, when they could earn their salaries easily more subtle ways. I can’t help thinking that they would also deserve to be called as heroes and be awarded for their contributions.

    People should stop for a moment and think about the people who have taken care of us and will take care of us. All in all I hope that over time common people start giving their respect to our unsung heroes and they would be treated like real heroes.

    Miika Heikkinen, 446 words

  23. Finnish minorities

    In Finland there are many minorities such as Finnish- Swedish, Laplanders, Gypsies, homosexuals and religious minorities. For me comes to mind especially deaf people because in my family there are some hearing impaired. For example my mother and my father’s parents are deaf. So I know a bit about their culture.

    There are about five thousand deaf persons in Finland. Those five thousand uses sign language as their native language that means they have either Finnish or Swedish as their second language. Additionally ten thousand are able to use sign language even though they are not deaf.

    The deaf values are not so different than anyone others. But they highlight some values more for example hardworking. Being diligent is very important to them which make studying also essential and prosperity in life is usually necessary. Religious traditions and patriotism are often really important to the deaf. They generally celebrate every holiday, birthday and name days of the family members. They also appreciate their identity and they are very proud of their language.

    The lifestyle of the deaf is little bit complicated than normal hearing people for example they cannot make a call and there are other problems based on communication with people. They are insulted if someone calls them handicapped because they see themselves as language minority not as disabled.

    If you cannot sign you may communicate with the deaf by writing or they can read your lips. When they read your lips you have to speak slowly and clearly. It is good to know when you speak with the deaf that they can read your body language and face expression which means they can see immediately if you are tired or bored.

    Their social lifestyle is based on meeting other deaf people. They have also events which are arranged by the Finnish Association of the Deaf. In those events they meet people from other cities of Finland and different cultures.

    I think the deaf contribute to Finland’s diversity with their sign language and expressive behavior. For them there is schools and even television news for hearing impaired. So they may live like us. I also think we can learn understanding from the deaf that there is different kind of people living among us.

    Jemina Suomela (376)

  24. Finland – a welfare state?

    It’s true that operate the school system in Finland. But when view in many other areas, they are not in as good a position with the education system. Finland is a welfare state, but it is not perfect a welfare state. I mean it that in Finland is a welfare state of matters, but they don’t always realize as well.

    For example health care is problems. There’s nothing wrong the quality of care, but access to care is difficult. When you go to the health centre and you tell what you bother, you answered: “To follow the situation. If the situation is getting worse or symptom persists you come again.” I think about this because I have got experience.

    I have second problem which comes to mind is the social exclusion. I think that the social exclusion is not part of the welfare state. Too many the young aren’t can to school after comprehensive school. The young won’t be able to go to job without education, except in the company relation. Out of works arouse concern and problems to society.

    How well do we care for and treats the elderly? Many senior citizens – particularly in North-Finland – suffer from loneliness. In a welfare state everyone have to be security, the old people also.

    Equality don’t always come to fruition. A case in point is “woman’s euro and man’s euro”. In Finland paying a couple of trades to men more pay than to women.

    I know that all can’t be perfect, not even in a welfare state. I know too that defects doing better. We the Finns must be a stickle for ours the public good. We have much good! In any case Finland is good country, but soon yet better.

    Sofia Tyni
    (294 words)

  25. Does the typical Finn still exist?

    Finns is generalized people who work hard. Is this only claim which over time has passed. Is this image still valid today? If you ask me the new generation is not so hard-working, because times have changed and the living is easier these days, thanks for electronics. In my heart i want to still believe that we have the same intensity in our genes. The typical Finns don’t reveal their feelings and are uncommunicative, so can we then speak Finnish as an honest?

    First thing, which come to my mind is Finns are relentless, which was also the key to the success of the war. We are very shy and quiet people. Place you can notice this very well is the bus, the difference between other countries is obvious. Finns are tongue-tieds and blanks, while for example in America you can’t even hear your own thoughts in the middle of people. So, we are quiet and boring people, but when we drink some alcohol we are completely different people.

    In my opinion our national identity is still alive, even though internationalization is effected on it. In these days lots of our teenagers have been exchange students in abroad and have met others culture’s characteristics and way of life. In the other hand the immigrants have contributed and have brought colorful features. Also development of language skills have influenced of internationalization.

    There is a saying, Finns do not praise, at least not themselves. That describes our personality very well. Finnish people’s attitude is awesome, we are conscientious and precise community. Finnish work ethic is huge, the same as also its reputation. “No wins without the Finns”. Even if it is said Finns are boring people, we have our own pride topics. That is the way we are.

    Riku Kaisto (302)

  26. Politics in Finland

    Finland is a democratic country. We have a multi-party system so there is a lot
    of different kind of parties here. The president, government and parliament are
    the most important parts of the Finnish politics. I think it is good thing to
    have many parties because then many opinions can be heard. If there was one
    party only just part of the Finnish people would agree with them. In the
    situation we have now people can choose the party or a member of the party they
    like most and give them their votes.

    When it comes to voting only a few people go and vote. Still they are not
    ashamed to complain about our political situation. People should be more
    interested in politics because it affects their life all the time. Even if they
    don?t want to follow any parties they can at least find a member of parliament
    to give a vote. That kind of parliamentarian who is working with the values
    they appreciate. If you want something to happen in our political situation you
    should vote! But in the other hand there are people who vote just because the
    parliamentarian is famous and although he or she wouldn?t know anything about
    politics. That is not good at all in my opinion. Good thing is that there are
    also people who are interested in politics. Unfortunately all the people who
    want to vote just can?t vote for some reason.

    I am not very interested in politics, at least not yet. I don?t know if it is
    just because I am not very old. Even though I am not very keen on politics I
    still find it good thing that there are many young people working with
    politics. This people really know what they want in the future. They can for
    example belong to an organization which is sponsored by some party.

    Also media is an integral part of the politics nowdays. Media is creating an
    image of politicians. It can distort images of politicians or it can help
    people to form an opinion of politicians. Also part of the election campaigning
    happens via media.

    Minttu Tolvanen (355)

  27. Finland – a welfare state?

    They say that living in Finland is like winning the lottery. And yes it is. I love to live in Finland.

    The first thing that makes Finland a welfare state is a health care. The health care works very well. Finnish health care take care of you whether you are poor, rich, old, young, dark-skinned, white, fat or skinny. They would take care of you even if you were an alien from another world!

    Good health care is not the only thing that makes Finland welfare state. Education opportunities in Finland are huge. I bet that our school system ranks one of the world’s best. And what is the best we can eat our lunch in school every day and we don’t need to pay for it! So when you live in Finland, you will definitely get a good education and fine health care.

    We don’t have people who die because they are hungry and we take care of every people. We don’t have war in Finland and man and woman, young and old people are equal and education is very well. But because nothing is perfect we have a bad sides in Finland too. At first glance you don’t maybe notice them, but you have to go ‘’beyond the surface’’ to see them.

    I think the Finns are too evil and prejudiced to other people. Here are too much prejudices against immigrants, for example. And I think that it’s really sad. If all Finnish people treat others well I think that Finland would be almost perfect country.

    Like I said, I love to live in Finland. This is safe country and no one has to starve, education opportunities are huge and Finnish people don’t even know what I feels like to live in the middle of war ( If they are not old enough or moved from some country like Syria). But I hope that someday all Finns will treat others well. I do not think that this thing will never change completely, but each person’s own behavior contribute it.

    Annika Heikkinen

  28. Common values in Finnish society

    Whenever someone says the phrase “Finnish values”, the first things that come to mind are quietness and nature. But when you start to think about it, I think that’s not the case anymore. People are moving to large cities of their own free will, away from nature, into chaos. So that’s kind of against those two values that I just mentioned.

    But on the other hand, those things are still valued by what I hope is the majority of people. Some of the people that live in those previously mentioned cities are forced to live there for studying or work. So they’re not there voluntarily, which is understandable.

    So, what do these values “quietness” and “nature” actually mean? Well, “nature” should be self-explanatory. We want to seek a place that is peaceful and not filled with hassle. And “quietness”; we want to be in a place where there is no one and nothing. A place where we can clear our thoughts and get our minds straight.

    Another thing that Finns value is that as a listener you don’t comment or mumble as we’re speaking to you. So things like “Aha”, “Hmm”, “Oh yeah” and other are completely forbidden. Otherwise we’ll think you’re being rude. So in short you just shut your face when we’re talking to you. This may seem strange to other foreign people, but that’s just how we are.

    In conclusion, we are slowly but surely moving away from our dimension of peace and silence, and going towards city life that comes with chaos and mess and hassle and, well, I could go on but I don’t think that’s wise. However, there’s one value that I think will always stay in Finns and Finnish frame of mind. And that is listening to people completely silent and expecting others to do the same.

    Valtteri Heikkilä (304)

  29. Finland’s unsung heroes

    One of the most popular topics in the social media recently has been the bad treatment of the old people. It’s true that most of them don’t get the treatment they deserve as an old people or even as human beings. Many people are blaming the nurses about this bad condition of the elderly. In my opinion it’s not that the nurses wouldn’t do their best while working –surely they do. The big problem in this case is that there are not enough nurses in the nursery homes. This causes the situation where the nurses don’t have enough time to take a proper care of everyone. So in my opinion the unsung heroes in our society are all the nurses in the nursery homes.
    Why there is so little amount of nurses? One reason is that the councils don’t have enough money to hire as much nurses as the nursery homes would need. Another reason is that few of nowadays’ youngsters are choosing this job. Most of them are looking for a well-paid job where they can develop and gain ground. That is one reason what makes me appreciate nurses so much; they does this job despite of the low salaries and overwork.
    The job of a nurse is very hard. It’s not easy day after day to see ill and almost dying people. The working times are also very demanding. Working in shifts both days and nights makes it that you can’t sleep regularly. That for sure affects to your vitality level.
    Since both of my grandmothers are on a nursing home I’ve seen many nurses. None of them have ever been rude or impolite. Conversely, they have always been very warm and friendly. I’ve got the impression that they really care and respect all of the grandmothers and –fathers.
    All in all I think that the daily toilers like nurses who make the important and not so glamorous work are the ones who should be regarded as heroes in our society.

    Reetta Määttä, 337 words

  30. Alcohol – a danger to our society

    Alcohol has been always popular in our society. In this days more and more younger people starts use alcohol after the age of 15. It doesn’t sound good. The way I see, is that alcohol have only negative effects for people and society.
    Alcohol can destroy the healthy of human. It causes many diseases, for example depression, dependence and cancer. Under the influence of alcohol accident possibility grows several-fold compared to normal situation. Accidents can cause death to innocent and can endanger the general safety. Also human relationships can suffer because of alcohol.
    When you are drunk, you can do a lot of stupid things that you wont never do when you are clear. For example: messing, stealing, violation, rapes, disturbing and that kind of stuff. When you use alcohol, your children have a high risk to injured before born because alcohol is not just your problem, it is also babies problem. So there is an innocent person suffering again about alcohol. The alcoholic nearby can suffer for example money problems because alcoholic drinks all money.
    Alcohol can cause unemployment because nobody don’t want to employ people who have a alcoholic problem. This uses a lot of societies money. Under influence you can think that you be able to fly. When you
    try it, who knows what then happen. Hospitals aren’t free, every case it too expensive for society. If you want get rid of for alcohol, it pays a lot. Often the sponsor is our society or we, because we pays tax and treatments are payed for by taxes. Alcoholics employ widely many bodies, it can be both good and bad thing.
    Moderate drinking of course it’s good in some cases. For example, if you are a passenger and scared of flying in the airplane, one dose of alcohol can relax. I don’t see more good things for alcohol.
    I think prices of alcohol should have to raise, age should be raise up too and penalties for alcohol should be become harder. Our society people use too much alcohol and this need to change. Everybody suffers.

    Annika Mikkonen

  31. Finland – a welfare state ?

    Finland has been among welfare states in the top group for many years, the school system, free health care and people’s level of equality of income. States to develop all the time operational and equal to that of direction. All the laws adopted by the Parliament enters into force may not be as effective as before the reform, but they are usually corrected if it is found that the law does not work. But in general, the law comes into force the law has become operational. Laws constant change and renewal is important for society, because society is changing over time continuously in a new direction, which laws are followed, that the state will work perfectly well. But the state, or the new legislative reforms do not help all the people in a positive, and it is not even possible, that all the legislative changes are effective for all people’s minds, because every law reform has its advocates and its opponents. Also, the state and the state laws do not prevent people from acting wrong and harmful to themselves or the community, but the state has an important role in influence people’s ways of thinking, and manipulating them in the right direction to change countries more effective and better place for people.
    The school system has earned international recognition performance. And I also believe that education is a first-class international border level, which thanks to the part of the teachers and the fact that the state allows each person to train as much as he likes his wealth in spite of, but which side of the Finnish education level does not have the same level due to the municipal budget how much they can afford to invest in training of its diversity and quality.
    The health care in Finland is superior, because all of whom the chances of getting health care regardless of wealth, because the government provides free health care for every citizen. Also, physicians and nurses displayed a high level of training of health care quality.
    Also, people’s gender equality is the State of Finland particularly important that no one is discriminated against or criticize the appearance or other special feature which, as should all get to be exactly as they are, and in this case the protection is important and it is also easy to identify the welfare state, if this issue valued state.

    Niklas Väisänen (393 words)

  32. Does the typical Finn still exist?

    When you’re walking on the street and you see somebody semi-familiar walking across you, you may think that should you say ‘’Hi’’ or not. The situation ends when you decide not to say anything, because the person would look at you some weird way and not answer to you at all. This particular one is very common in Finnish culture. Or sitting on a bus with only Finnish people on it. Hardly any speaks to another maybe some girls laughing or talking to a mobile phone. On the stop some foreign people step in and immediately bus is filled with ripple of conversation in different languages. But still no Finnish is heard. After that you are starting to realize how quiet it actually was.
    And that’s how it is, Finns are still very uncommunicative people and letting everyone else handle the conversation. What comes to fact with Finnish people as a very hard-working nation in my opinion it is totally still here. We do our job as good as we can. Finnish people are really ambitious. We do our job well because we know that hard work really pays off!
    When talking about Finnish small talk, I would say that it doesn’t even exist. Or if it does it’s very minimum. I really did notice that difference when I was visiting London last holiday. In England people were much more open and they talked a lot more, even with strangers. I got a lot of experience there particularly about small talk. That is one thing, in my option, that Finnish people should do more. At least we have to learn to speak ourselves clear, because Finns as you know don’t like repeating themselves. Finns are also known as impassive people. I think that prejudice comes from the way we talk. We talk very steady way and there’s no height variations noticed. We don’t show our feelings easily either.
    We are no longer connected to nature so strong these days as it used to be when talking about Finnish people. Major cities get bigger when more people move there. Urbanization has been a common phenomenon for quite some time in Finland. But still you can find nature very important to Finns. Thousands of summer cottages down by the rivers are excellent example about that. Closeness to nature is also still one of the most important values to us.
    When answering to headline question: Yes. I really think that Finn with the typical characteristics still exists. However Finns are getting more recognition around the world. But I wouldn’t mind if Finnish national identity would change to more outgoing way.
    – 444 words
    – Pinja Ojala 2D

  33. Does the typical Finn still exist?
    The stereotype of the typical Finn used to be an honest, hard-working man or woman of few words. Plus we are silent, drinks a lot, like to fight, watch ice hockey or foot ball. There are many typical features in Finnish people and I could list 1000 of them here but I need to go deep in the issue.
    The stereotype of typical Finn may match best whit middle aged man or woman. They actually don´t speak other languages as well as younger generation and they may have little fear to speak other languages like English. That might be the reason why foreigners think that we are silent people.
    When it comes to working, middle aged and older Finnish people are much more devoted than younger generation. Older generation used to move from rags to riches by working hard but it seems to me that younger really move riches to rags. I mean that younger people are used to high standards of living. It causes that they may not study or just do enough work for the money that they need to maintain their standard of living, when the move on their own.
    There are one thing that binds together all Finns no matter how old they are, and it´s very well known abroad. They are swearwords and alcohol. Swearwords are famous because of there are no that kind of vocabulary anywhere else in this world. What comes to alcohol and as mentioned earlier in the past we drink a lot. Everyone knows it so why even try to hide it. Almost everyone in Finland between age of 15 or even younger – oldest living Finn ever drinks. There are few exceptions but only thing that really changes is the price of bottle.

    Jani Mertala

  34. Finland – a welfare state?
    Many people say it’s a jackpot to be born in Finland, but is it really? Finland is known as a welfare state which means that education and health services are free and everyone is equality to each other. Also the welfare state tries to cut big differences between rich and poor with progressive taxation. So in other words rich people pay more taxes than poor ones.
    Finland, as well many other European countries, is paying schools and hospitals with their taxation money which they got from people who work and earn money. The problem is that workers are getting replaced with robots and getting fired, which cause lower tax money for the government. Also if they can’t find new job, the government needs to start pay welfare for unemployed, which again decrease the money for upgrading schools and hospitals.
    Another problem is, that in Finland there were born ‘’baby boom generation’’ after the Second World War. Today these old ones are retiring which causes, that the government has to pay more pension fund than before, so again, we have less money for important upgrades.
    And what happens when there is not enough money? If there isn’t enough money, the government has to do budget cuts, for example in schools they can’t afford substitute teacher when the main one is sick or when it comes to social services, people are suffering depression and mental illness, but there isn’t enough help.
    The question is that how can this be repaired. With higher taxation the government would get more money, but raising taxes is always a hard decision because raising taxes decreases the popularity of politicians who are in order, they still want to keep their jobs too. Another way is get more loan and try to heal economy with that.
    At the moment Finland is doing well and it’s still welfare state, but if go 10 or 20 years forward, things can be way different than nowadays and I’m not sure could you call Finland a welfare state then.
    Markus Rytkönen

  35. Finland a welfare state ?
    Finland is known for its school system and our health care , every month finnish people pay taxes whitch are quite high.Taxes pays our school and health care systems and it means every recident got an education and health care whether you are rich or you do not.State of finland pays old people pensions and gives supports to poor people and students and it is really good thats why the taxes are so high in finland.
    Kela is social insuranse institution and Kela gives the supports,Kela is finnish states organisation and it is great help to disadvantaged people.If you are unemployed Kela gives you unempoyment support and will help you to get work.If you are student you need to send papers to Kela and if you arent in work you can get a student allowance it will really help your daily life and you do not have to eat noodles whole month.Kela gives your parents child benefit until then you comlete 17 years age.If you are sick or injured State of finland gives you sickness insurance and you get compensation for lost work.Child-care services are really good in finland,if child´s parrents are in work and no one cant take care for the child at days you can put your child in kindergarten and nannys take care of your child.
    When you complete 7 yoears age you need to start basic education witch takes 9 years and the you can choose that are you going to upper secondary school or vocational education.So i can still say that finland is a wellfare state because health care and school system are best of the world and state takes care of every finnish resident.
    Santtu Liljenbäck

  36. Finnish minorities

    Finland is a home for over five million people. Not all of them are native, pure-blooded Finns, but people who have a different ethnic background. Some of these minority groups include Estonians, Russians, Swedes, Finnish-Swedes, Somalis and Norwegians.
    Finnish people, in my opinion, are not terribly racist against aliens, but they do have quite a few of stereotypes for some people. For example, we think that all Finnish-Swedish men are extremely wealthy and that all gypsies steal things from stores. These statements are false and give ethnic minorities a bad reputation. But like I said, not everyone think this way. The people in their mid-twenties are the most permissive people. That is, they get along the most with people from foreign cultures.
    Finland also has religious minorities. Over two-thirds of Finnish people belong to The Evangelical Lutheran church, while the biggest religious minorities are the Orthodox Church and Islam. The religious background of a person does not matter so much in the modern Finland as it did in the 20th century. Nowadays it’s not entirely extraordinary to be an atheist, a Buddhist or even to belong to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Sadly, some people still think that all Jews are greedy and all Muslims are terrorists. The life of a religious Muslim junior high school student can be tough if he can’t adapt to the “normal people”.
    Minority people are pretty much the same as other Finnish people. They have jobs, families, dreams, plans and needs. They are as much human as any other, and they should be treated as such. But people don’t understand this. If an average Finn steals from a shop and gets caught, nobody thinks: “All average Finns are thieves.” But if a black man gets caught pickpocketing someone on a subway, everyone around thinks: “Typical immigrant action.” This is wrong, racist and should not be the case. I hope that in the future all people, regardless of skin color, religion or sexual preferences can live in harmony and work together as friends.

    Janne Eskola (340 words)

  37. Does the typical Finn still exist?

    Typical Finns are presented as silent, honest, hard-working people. Is this the truth, is this the typical Finn nowadays? This is my opinion.

    Finns are honest no matter what. If you leave your jacket to stand probably it will be there with everything you left to its pocket on the next day, or it is moved to somewhere safe, or there is very small chance it has been stolen. Another thing which Finns are known for is honest opinions about everything, we dont try to circle around the topic or lie about something only because our opinion will make u feel bad, Finns go straight to the point and leaves no doubt.

    When you travel to Finland dont expect any conversations in public transports, Finns are bad at talking to strangers it is known fact. Most of Finns can speak three different languages and we have nine years of mandatory education but we have problems with speaking to strangers? Luckily our younger generations have broken the ice and are more than willing to let their voice be heard. Maybe this will remove the mark of silence from our nation.

    Finns way of working is our well known trademark and it hasn’t been changed. Finns methods for working are simple we do it as soon as possible and we do it as well as we can, this is why Finns are so praised in other countries. Of course there is people who doesn’t work at all or are just unemployed for some reason, however many of those unemployed are trying to get work and only small part doesn’t want to work at all.

    Our stereotype haven’t yet changed but our people is changing we are still those hard-working and honest people, but our silence has been broken by the younger generations maybe someday the stereotype will change as well.

    Tuomas Isoniemi (315)

  38. Finland´s unsung heroes

    In Finland things such as equality, education and health care are good. Still you can find people and groups who would deserve some more attention and respect. Farmers for instance. What would we do without them?
    Formerly the main industry of Finland was husbandry. In 1950 about half of Finns farmed. In these days there are only few of them and they are forgotten in some way. In my opinion farmers deserve some more respect, because arable land is the place where our everyday food is made.
    Finnish kids and youngsters should consider where the food originally comes from to their dining table, but they do not, because they take it for granted. The kids do not understand how many working hours it has taken on field to make that mash on their plates. Unfortunately often you can hear something like this in school canteens: “Oh heck, this food is disgusting. Where is a trash can?” Of course the farmers do not put the food on kids’ plates ultimately, but that is still pretty sad.
    Who decides and could actuate to the farmers’ issues then? Politicians. The politicians who make lot of money by sitting in offices while farmers labor on lands for a living in whatever the weather. Fortunately there is the party for workpeople in Finland and as a hard-working country most of us esteem them.
    Farmers and other workers are unsung heroes in Finland. They pay taxes and help people who cannot make their living themselves. Farming is hard work and farmers are usually people, who have inherited farms from their parents. In fact, farmers will be heroes for the whole world. Especially grain farmers will be needed when the population of people rises.

    Harri Räisänen

  39. Finland – a welfare state?

    Finland is known as welfare state, and has gained international recognition by education and healthcare systems. Healthcare and education are working well, but there are problems which I would like to talk about.

    Education system itself is functional, but what the student exactly have to do to be able to study? We have lot of young people, but the number of studying places is low. People need work a lot to be able to get studying place. If you are lucky and you get the studying place, you can be happy, but that’s not enough. Living in Finland is expensive, and student allowance is small. To support yourself, you have to work besides studying and that disturb your studies.

    Not only students, but older people’s supports are small. Because of inflation, prices are rising, but supports remain at the same level. Pensioners can’t usually afford to live in center of a city. Especially in north Finland distances are long and traveling is hard. Public transport is poor and car taxes are high and gasoline is expensive. Services are at the center of cities and if you live in suburb it can be hard to get there.

    And now you may think that Finland must keep taxes high so Finland’s society works. It’s not that easy. Finland is owed billions of euros and it still borrows money, for example to Greece. Would it be easier to use the money to own citizens? Or consider that fact, Finland got a candy tax. At the same year immigration expenses were the same amount than government got from the candy tax.
    How could all this happen in Finnish welfare state? Because The Finns are so goodhearted that the welfare of nations own people takes the back seat.

    Anni Tikkanen (296)

    Finland has Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
    In Finland, 76.4% of the population was in April of 2013 the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and 1.1% Orthodox Church. Of other religions was 1.4% of the population. The rest 21.0% were not covered by any religious denomination, or religion of their empire was unknown. Different religions have different rituals and beliefs. Is a religions where believe many gods, and that kind of where believe only one god. Some religions have really strict rules, what do not break.
    In the old days, churches had a lot of people, but today even more people to differ from the Church. Before people looked bad, if you don’t belong to the Church or differ from the Church, but now it doesn’t really matter anymore.
    Finland has the freedom to believe anything what you really want, and here Finland, we don’t have religious persecutions as if the world is. Finnish Evangelical-Lutheran Church is the world’s seventh largest.
    Here in Finland we have minority religions, for example Muslims, Hindus, Buddhist. Here, Muslim religions pursued circumcision benefit of a problem here in Finland because the laws deny it. Minority religions cannot found enough public places to practice their religion here in Finland.
    Different religions have different ways to practice their religion Buddhists believe piece of mind and reincarnation, Hinduism is believed to reincarnation where the person is born to the earth again and again, until he or she realizes the individual soul Atman and the world of the soul Brahman is in and that the good deeds in life generate good karma and the bad acts of bad karma and these affect the next life. The third part of them is vegetarians because they worship the cows, and those have their sacred animals but belong to the lower caste eat meat. Islam concern of the six basic beliefs: faith in God, believe in angels, faith god sent the books, believe in the prophets and messengers, believe in the Day of Judgment and the resurrection and believe in destiny. Jews believe that god is one, indivisible, unlimited, at it has no material body, beginning or the end and he must not and cannot do image, and that human is not naturally good or bad, but he or she has a god-created propensity to good and evil. According to the Christian faith who believe in Jesus, and his teachings following people will rescue, so they don’t have physically destruction after death, but live forever in happiness with God in a better place, heaven.

    Tiia Huhtanen (425)

  41. Does the typical Finn still exist?

    The stereotype of the typical Finn used to be honest, hard-working man or woman of few words. People have been discussing if we have changed during past years, but actually we haven’t changed, at least much.

    We say things how they really are, we don’t like to lie much. Actually, we make lies very rarely. Like, if someone asks your opinion of something, we just say our view straight, we’re not trying to make the questioner feel better by making lies.

    About our way of working, we still work hard. If we start to do something, we don’t leave it unfinished, we finish it instantly and we finish it well. Things what I know about Finnish workers, are all good things. Generally, we don’t take extra breaks, and if someone (e.g. your boss) asks you to do something, we do it with pleasure. This doesn’t mean all Finns works like this, because there is still a lot people who doesn’t like working and who finishes works as quick as possible.

    “… man or woman of few words.”
    This is the part of stereotype of Finns where we have changed most during past years.
    People around the world thinks that we Finns are boring people, who doesn’t like to converse much. Nowadays we try to start conversations of different things, and usually say more than just our opinion with few words, like people over world have expected. Or at least youth be like this, I’m not so sure about elders. I think we’re going to be more chatty country in future, and I hope this thing changes in stereotype of typical Finns.

    We may lose some of our characteristics, but we’re all the time creating new ones.
    Even we’re going to be better speakers and we are destroying one of our typical stereotype, we’re creating one new stereotype same time. We will be more friendly country.

    Juho Leinonen 321 words

  42. Finnish taxation

    Everyone know, that Finnish people are hard/working, earn money, pay tax… pay tax¬? Maybe have a lot of different taxation types in the world and in Finland have type, that I don’t like. Why Finnish people pay tax from things what they earn? For example wage. Why people don’t pay tax from things what they wear out?

    Finnish people pay big part of tax theirs wage. I thing, that it is wrong way to tax. It is good that we have a value added tax, tax of sugar, gas…but why tax of gas or sugar is low? We will save nature more if we have bigger taxation of things what we spending, for example tree or before named gas. People maybe will spend less gas if it expensive and then they maybe will use public transport more.

    For counterbalance government will tax less of wage, because now they get money of other objects. In fact I don’t know what kind of taxation is in other country and I don’t know could this work but I believe that this work if very smart Finnish parliament do something and little bit polish that taxation system. It feel so wrong ,that Finnish people do 40 hours work every week very hard and after that, government take over 30 %, sometimes even 50% of theirs wages. Government could take always 20 % less of Finnish people wages and in return take 20 % gas, sugar or things what we spend. People will choose more, where they spend their money.

    This is not my own opinion, I heard that idea from appropriate and more and more I believe, that this will work but current taxation system in Finland work too, so maybe ours have to be glad, that we were born in good country like Finland is.

    Saku Tyni 2c

  43. Religion in Finland

    Even though majority of Finns are Christians and only 21% of population are Atheists, I feel like religion in modern Finnish society has lost most of it’s significance during the last few decades.
    Even most of the Christians in Finland choose not to say grace before meal or go to church on Sundays. However, religion is still present in our everyday lives in many ways, such as holidays.
    It doesn’t matter if you are religious or not, Christmas will always be the biggest and most anticipated event of the year, even though it’s meaning has changed a bit. I think that Christmas is no more all about celebrating the birthday of Jesus. It is more about spending time with your family and showing your appreciation by giving gifts.

    In my honest opinion the role of the church in Finland is nothing more than a remnant of past. It has no real power, and majority of Finns belong to the church only because they want to have their wedding in a church, and it can’t be done if one does not belong to the church. The church also collects taxes from it’s members, which is a good thing, because part of that money is used on charity. There is also mandatory religious education throughout Finnish school system and schools occasionally have Christian announcements and ceremonies. After all this, we get a feeling like religion is being shoved down our throats, which may be a reason why the church is no more as respected as it was some decades ago.

    There is one quite big Christian minority called “lestadiolaisuus” in Finland whose beliefs show in their lives in many ways. For example they usually have their community, girls don’t wear makeup or earrings because it is said in the Bible that humans were made in God’s image. They aren’t allowed to watch television either, but this rule isn’t so strict anymore, since there are ways around it, like watching programs online. Especially the youth is starting to disagree with strict rules and prohibitions, and more and more people abandon their religion at the age of 18.

    Even now, in 2013 the youth is starting to discriminate those with beliefs and it is common to hear such sentences as “I don’t believe in God” or “I will part ways with the church when I turn 18, I’m not going to pay that stupid tax”. All things considered, it is very possible that in few decades religion will be a minority in Finland, and Atheism
    will be the majority.

    Jiri Ylimäki 425 words

  44. Finland – a welfare state?

    A welfare state is a state, which ensures human rights, political rights and, in addition, social rights and the right to the minimum standard of living and care. The question is, do we have this in Finland?

    I do not believe that any state can perfectly implement the definition of welfare state. There are always some people who are poor, outcast or sick. There will always be people who are not happy for their lives. There is no state which can make all people pleased, wealthy, healthy, social, educated, happy… The list goes on.

    However, I think that here in Finland, a large part of the definition of the welfare state has been implemented. We have human rights, equality of opportunity and full political freedom. Namely, Finland’s citizens can participate the political decision-making and social affairs. The standard of living is high in Finland. Although, we have disadvantaged, every Finn should keep in mind how many poor people there is in the rest of the world.

    I think the Finnish health care system should be paid more attention. Although, it has a high quality and they are training experts in the industry, more and more senior citizen are living in solitude without proper food or assistance. In addition, there is a lot of youngsters suffering from depression. But what should we do for it and can we even do anything to make things better?

    One reason for youngsters’ depression is probably unemployment. We should get it to its end. But is there any way we can get every human being healthy, prosperous and happy? How can we get all these people in this country full of life so that nothing would be wrong? Is there even a way to make this happen?

    I know, that all these things in Finland are better than in many other countries.
    I believe that we are trying our best in everything here so that we had a good and safe life. There is still a lot to be done here but we just have to keep trying harder.

    Roosa Tyni (346)

  45. Finnish minorities

    When people talk about Finnish minorities, like Romanians, especially Finland’s Romanians spring to my mind. Romanians are linguistic and cultural minority, and Finland has roughly 10 000 Romanians. Most of them live in southern and western Finland. Romanians are Finnish citizens and they enjoy about full civil rights and obligations. They have a strong cultural identity of their own, but they consider themselves as Finns.

    Romanian culture includes the concepts of cleanliness, dirtiness, respect and shame. In these ways they express their Romanian identity. Romanians concept of purity and clean are connected to physical purity and spiritual purity, ethical and honorable. The Romanians maintain the purity by keeping clean and dirty object, and status and activity separate from each other. If a clean object gets dirty, it is useless, no wash or other cleaning can fix it. In a nutshell: clean-dirty, honor-shame.

    To Romanian it is really important to respect older people. Old people are the ‘cleanest’ and revered, and at the bottom of the hierarchy are the young women who are in reproductive age. Shame is respecting. To Romanians, shame means morality, inhibition and good manners, which includes dressing at the right way, the exact nurturing of purity and avoiding inappropriate speech topics and words. Young people address formally the older ones. A young man can’t be above the old: if there are old people at ground floor of the building, young man can’t go to upstairs without insulting their honor. Family is the most important thing to Romanians.

    In nowadays, position of the Romanians in Finland has got a lot better, thanks to co-operation between the authorities and the Romanians. The Romanians are known for investments in cultural life among the majority population. Besides, Romanians participation in social activities has increased interactions between majority population and the Romanians.

    The majority population has learned to understand the behavior of Romanians, and to respect their culture. So racism against them is no longer as visible as it used to be. Unfortunately, it has not completely stopped.

    Veera Malmstedt (334 words)

  46. Religion in Finland

    Religions followers have been decreasing powerfully in few years.In 2011 church made survey whereby 27% of finns believed in god and 21% didn`t believed in god at all.Believe in god decrease the younger generation is all about.15 to 29 years of age generations of Christianity no longer believed in God 15 per cent and 34 per cent do not believe in God at all.In same survey the finns believe to key teachings of Christianity collapsed.

    In finland church has little influence in finish society they can for example make an law proposal.Church is someone comforter and someone else it is a savior.The Constitution of Finland notes that the Evangelical Lutheran Church organization and administration of the Act provides for the church. Church of the initiative to amend the Act can only be made Synod, and the parliament can only accept the proposal as is or reject it. The Church Under the law, the church is given the opportunity to give an opinion on regulating matters relating to the relationship between the state of the Church or to other religious communities. The church is the law of the right to make representations to government authorities, or to give opinions on church doctrine and mission-critical social issues.

    Both the Evangelical Lutheran and Orthodox Churches have a public role. The Evangelical Lutheran Church is on service as a form of service relationship. They inherit the members of church tax, which is levied in connection with taxation. Churches, institutions, decisions may bring an action in general administrative courts. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the Church is also determined by the Government representative, Bishop of the field and the Sami Parliament elected by a representative of the Saami.

    In finland there is few religions minorities like Orthodox, Jews, Muslims and Neo-Pagans.There are approximately 61 343 Orthodox in Finland which is 1.1% of population in Finland.Muslims have 50-60 thousand people in Finland.

    I think people have different ways serve god.Some goes in churches and some fullfill their spritual needs invidually and some dont do anything spritual.

    Jouni Heimonen (345)

  47. Does the typical Finn still exist?

    Many people around the world think that we Finns are quiet but wise. I think that it is true, because many studies have shown that Finnish education system is one of the best in the world. About the quietness, it is true that we don’t do small talk as commonly as for example American people usually do. This phenomenon is changing amongst the younger Finns who are more used to talking in the modern and global culture.

    Outside Finland it’s a common stereotype that many Finns like to live isolated in forests. In that case particularly young people are making a change but those older people living alone in the woods are such an exeption as well, i think. A lot of people live in towns because the amount of workplaces is naturally bigger there comparing to the countryside.

    Finnish people usually like to have a decent job. That’s why they often get a good education whitch is relatively easy because Finnish government allows everybody to have it quite cheap. The government is anyhow the reason when some people rather default their education. Finlands government supports disadvantaged people which makes it possible to get along without working at all. Standard of living stays so low when life depends on just aid money that people usually rather go to work and work hard to keep their jobs.

    After all, i think that all the stereotypical traits hold true in some people but there are always some exeptions. In todays world all cultures are getting mixed up so strongly in Western countries – and all around the world – that people are getting more and more similar in different countries and when the time goes by it’s always harder and more pointless to generalize anything when it comes to people and their characteristics.

    Tuomo Ollila (299)

  48. Finnish minorities

    There are many minorities in Finland. When I think them, particular sexual minorities, Romany minorities, Laplander, Finnish-Swedish, immigrants and different disabled people like hearing impaired and retarded. They all have different values and lifestyles but most of them are quite similar than the rest of us.

    Gypsies think that it is important to respect older people and to behave well. They appreciate both physical and mental purity. Community and religion is important to them. The most of us associate them crimes instead. They have typical clothes to them too.

    Laplander love nature and animals over all. Their traditional livelihoods are reindeer herding, trading, collecting, hunting and fishing. They believe different genies.

    When we talk about human who are gay, lesbian or bi sexual, it feel like him or her would not have name at all. He is just gay. Really they are just as normal as we are. They have actually own flag, the rainbow flag.

    What about immigrants. They tries working here and live similar than we. Often they have different culture than we particularly if they have come from far away, for example from the Middle East. It requires adaption if guy come some Muslim country. The most of them are very mannerly and friendly for local.

    If you are for example hearing impaired or somehow retarded it would be a little bit difficult to get a job. But everyone will find a way to make money. For example information technology or handicraft.

    Minorities contribute to Finland’s diversity in many ways overall. There are many different cultures, human races and different religions, thank for foreigners. We talk two language at least because Finnish-Swedish. All of this to people accept each other and to create Finland more international country.

    Jenni Partanen

  49. Finland- a welfare state

    Every Finn has the obligation to attend school. In practice, this means that every 7 to 16 must attend school. This is prescribed for by law. In general, everyone is in elementary school, but it can also provide a home school. Grammar school is free for everyone and is governed by the Basic Education Act. Grammar school is obligatory, and then tend to continue to secondary education, either in high school or vocational school. High school or vocational school is voluntary, but it usually will happen to employment it is possible to later. However, if the work is not in the future be, when you do not have enough education or there is some other reason, so you can still get the social security. No one has to live in Finland without any money, because it is possible to obtain even if the work was not. Social Security is a state or municipal entity produced by the public health and ensure the livelihood of. Everyone has the right to basic subsistence in the event of a disease, unemployment, disability and old age. Social security is often funded mostly by taxes.
    Welfare State means that the State has been given the role of citizens’ standard of living and income assurance. In Finland, it is possible, for example social protection, which allows housing and food supply will allow. The Finnish welfare state has, however, gone from bad to worse in the last twenty years. For example, poverty has increased in Finland since 1990.

    In Finland there is equality. As the law says” no one shall, without an acceptable reason, be treated differently on the grounds of sex, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, disability, or other personal characteristics. Gender equality refers to the equal value of all human beings as individuals and as members of the human race. In Finland, the word equality generally refers to the men’s and women’s equality. In Finland, women and men have the same rights. Women and men will participate in both work and home work. There is no specific definition of what it is for women, and thus men.
    I think that Finland is still a welfare state, even if they have gone from bad to worse. In Finland, there are a lot of things much better than in many other countries. In many countries, for example, education is not possible especially in girls, but in Finland it is impossible to avoid in education.

    Iina Hamarinaho (413)

  50. Finland’s unsung heroes

    In Finland we do not express our feelings as clearly or often as example in other European countries. Here we tell too rarely, how important our relatives, friends or mates are. We also do not tell this often enough to our unsung, everyday heroes, to our parents.

    What I meant by that parents are unsung heroes is that they do not get enough a verbal indication from their children, how important they actually are. Our parents raise, take care, help and love their children. They listen to our worries, give us a safety place and they are supporting you, even in the most difficult situations. Most of parents are willing to do anything for them child. So can’t we children as well to show more praise, do not take them for granted and do not remember them only a Mother’s or Father’s day.

    Parents might sometimes commend us, get angry or even punish us some how, but usually only because they care about us and want us to do well in life. They certainly know that their children love them, but of course it would feel wonderful if they would hear that directly from them. That would be like a reward from the hard work.

    I think that everyone of us should show more love to our parents, there can’t be too much love, especially here in Finland. Even thought you sometimes have a fight with your parents and they make you angry or they will make you embarrassed with some how, I wouldn’t still change them for any price. I can trust them completely and they will stay by my side in every life situation. I love my parents. My parents are my heroes.

    Ansa Juntunen (285)

  51. Does the typical Finn still exist?

    The stereotype of the typical Finn use to be tight-lipped, honest, hard-working and maybe little depressed man or woman. It is still quite accurate but I think we have raised our self-esteem and courage over the past few decades. Especially new cultures and their representatives have arrived in Finland around the world affecting our country differently. Finns are studying all sorts of languages in order to be able to communicate with other nations. Increasing connections to other nations makes us more and more tolerant towards other people. Still we do not speak much and we barely do small talk with a stranger.

    Usually the word “sisu” is connected to Finns. It means persons strength and willpower to survive from something that they see hard. In my opinion “sisu” is slipping away from Finns because we don’t need to try so hard for example to stay alive from war or be afraid to starve to death. Plus the technology has developed massively so big and hard part of the manual work is carried out at the touch of a button. Many Finnish people are also depressed and some drink alcohol too much which does not show “sisu” at all.

    There have always been huge amount sides in people. Every person is different and individual. For example others are hard workers and some are not. Some foreigners could easily think that Finns behaviour is rude and disrespectful while it actually is not. Maybe we Finns like to keep things nice and smooth without exaggerating things. The image that we produce to the world is not always the straight truth but it is not a lie either. Even if we Finns lose some common characteristics we don’t lose our national identity, we just develop new ones. The question is: How can we change the way people around the world think about us?

    Tiia Ylijukuri (309)

  52. Finland – a Welfare State

    As you all know, people have a habit to criticize almost every single thing on this planet. Therefore, doesn’t it seem quite obvious that people would start criticizing countries as well, based on different things? So it’s not a wonder that these days there’s a wide selection of different studies which, for instance, study what is the best country to live in.

    Finland, a small country from the far north, has succeeded surprisingly well in these studies and researches. Once it was even ranked at the very top, as number one, in American researches. The American researches especially praised the schooling and health care in Finland, and to be honest, it’s quite good indeed.

    So, to get started, schooling is completely free of charge in Finland. That means everyone, regardless of wealth, has the opportunity to study as much as they want.To add to that, teachers are professional and well trained, along with students who are eager to learn, if not always. The results are good, as you can guess. The Finns are known as hard-working and professional employees abroad.

    The other thing that the research praised was the health care. It’s paid by taxes in Finland, so it’s often completely free. I can’t tell you much about the health care, simply because I haven’t had a need to use their services many times. Though those times when I needed it, everything went well; the doctors were professional and knew what they were doing. Of course the queuing is a pain, but that’s the same everywhere.

    Naturally, there are a few cons too. One of them is equality; Women still get lower wages than men and sometimes racism occurs. The other con is the position of the young and especially the old people in the Finnish society. Many younger Finns just seem to think of the older people as necessary evil and as a drag; like they aren’t ”human like” and as important as the younger people. Also, there are lots of Finns who just seem not to be satisfied with anything. I used to be like that, but then I realized that no country is perfect and that things aren’t so bad in Finland after all. To conclude, in my mind Finland really deserves to be in the list of welfare countries.

    Aleksi Jolanki (382)


    When we think of Finnish minorities, we remember homosexuals, Finnish Swede, deaf people and immigrants. We tend to forget some ethnic minorities like Tatars who descent from the people who moved to Finland in the beginning of 19th century. Tatars are Finland’s oldest minorities.

    Finland is home to about 800-900 Tatar, and most of them live in the Helsinki metropolitan area. This is perhaps why people who live a bit northern do not know so much about them. They have been adapted to the Finns lifestyle very well and their appearance does not stand out from the Finnish. That can be one reason why people do not talk about them so much.

    Tatars has many different values. They have lived already over a hundred year in Finland and still they have managed to preserve their culture quite well. One of their values is the language. Even all Tatars who live in Finland speak Finnish; Tatar language has an important role in the group’s mutual communion. To them family is important. Tatars respect and take good care of elder people. In families, the man of the house keeps an order. Parts of Tatars culture are ordered marriages, which the younger Tatars are not so keen. Tatar families are liberal and they give to youths more freedoms than usually in Islamic communities do but still they try to teach children to respect old traditions and Islamic habits. Even in Finland Tatars operate male circumcisions. They do not eat dishes, which have been made of pork, and they do not use much alcohol. They also fast during Ramadan.

    I think that Tatars brought to our culture the idea how different kind of people could live together. They have helped us to understand multiculturalism. Tatars even fought next to Finns in the Second World War. In these days, Tatars are part of Finnish culture. They try to act like Finns and they try to blend in to the Finnish society. They are hard working men and women who deserve to come respected.

    Inkeri Kokko (Words 338)


  54. Politics in Finland

    Finland, like the most countries in the world, has a political system. The system is named republic and the person in charge is the President named Sauli Niinistö. After President, there comes the Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, followed by the Ministers and the Minister Council. But the decisions that affect Finland and its law are done by the Parliament.

    Moving on in our topic of Finland’s politics, we might want to take a peek at a normal Finnish youngster’s political thinking. Usually the youngest of the youngsters aren’t very keen on politics, but over time, they get a little keener towards the decisions afflicting our country and society. The youngest usually think that it would be better to decide the things like they did in the Greece of Antique. The people gathered on a town square and voted about the things. But I would say that the system of parties we have today is a little better, for that you vote the party you like to the Parliament and if they get there, the decisions are usually something you like for being their supporter.

    Next we will discuss about the Medias affliction on to politics. Of course, some decisions the politicians make are not liked by the normal people or neither by the media. Some Finns say that the politics are a fight of government and media, where the media is winning because they have the power to “manipulate” people to support them by exaggerating the news and other stuff that has something to deal with the government. But I think they are not in a war of that kind. Of course there is sometimes some exaggeration in the media, but very slightly in my opinion.

    Voting percentages in Finland are something that needs improving. Too many people think that they don’t need to vote because their party will get to the parliament on the election. But this is one too common misunderstanding, and you can always improve their chances of getting there by voting yourself. Many people have been very disappointed about that they didn’t vote on the elections. Hope this isn’t going to last, and that they find the good things their votes can give!

    Teemu Väänänen

  55. Religion in Finland

    Religion is part of our everyday life, no matter are you religious or not. Holidays such as Christmas and Easter are a part of Christian faith which is the largest religion in the world. Majority of people believe in some sort of superhuman power and they find comfort and safety in them. Religions are a great way to get the feeling of fellowship between the others with same beliefs. In 2012 about 75% of Finnish people were a part of Christian church and 21% were atheists. Orthodoxies are 1% of population.

    Christmas is absolutely the biggest and the most anticipated feast in
    Finland and it is celebrated by those with no beliefs too. It seems that the atheists are not finding it hard to celebrate the birthday of Jesus even though they do not go to church or worship God in any other way. Should it then be that the atheists are not allowed to celebrate Christmas or Easter, the day when Jesus resurrected? When atheists are a part of religious traditions it might seem to be disrespect towards the Christianity. Many don’t consider Christmas as religious celebration; everyone is just thinking it is a holiday with gifts and lots of food. There is Christmas church but it does not get that much attention.

    Religion is losing its significance in Finnish society and many are now resigning from the church but at the same time more people are joining the church than ever before. The truth is that the church will not mean anything after few decades and the generation that is sitting in churches is dead. Children are finding the confirmation as an overwhelming challenge not as a joy. Youngsters are more and more drifting away from religions and choose the atheism. Nowadays church is taking taxes from Finnish people but to be honest I see it very unlikely to be possible until 2050. If there is no one to be taken taxes from, the church has to abandon those taxes.

    If you take a look back to the beginning of the 20th century, everyone was
    part of some religion in Finland. Back then it really meant something and no one was questioning God. The attitude of young generation towards the religion is ridiculous and teaching religion is almost as hard as teaching Swedish. It goes without saying that religious education must be reduced from schools and they should only teach the most important facts such as religions influence to culture and the history of religions.

    Finnish people are parting ways with the church and the folks with
    religious beliefs are considered as insane and they are being discriminated by the people without beliefs. That is very common nowadays and religious can only have social life with same believing people. Children are laughing at those who have chosen to follow God and go to the church. After decades will there anymore be religion in Finland? Is there any way we can live the 20th century again and have the churches full of people? Right now it seems very questionable that we can approve religious traditions as everyday basics and that everyone believes in God.

    Petri Lehtola

    In Finland, we have many kind of minorities. Minorities are created to color our world. In Finland minorities are for example; immigrants. We have immigrants from Russia, Estonia, Sweden, Somalia, Iraq, China, German, Turkey, Thailand and India. People in Finland are often prejudiced, that’s the reason why it is so hard to find a job when you are an immigrant.

    Because of immigrants, one minority is language. In Finland, people are speaking mostly Finnish, but also Russian, English, Swedish, Germany etc. Usually people think that we are racist, but it’s not the biggest reason we are avoiding immigrants. It’s because of our own badness, we can’t find a language we could understand each other, immigrants are speaking English even better than we are, we just blame wrong people.
    Religions are taking their own place from minorities too. A bit more than half of the people are Christian, but there are people who are Muslim or Jewish. They say religion is a big thing that keeps people apart, but I’m not finding any reasons why couldn’t people from different religions be friends, or love each other. Does the religion say who have to marry with?

    Minority, which first springs to teenagers mind is probably sexuality. Teens love to use from homosexuals, names like “gay” or “lesbian”. Our law doesn’t deny homosexuals, because they are humans too. It’s shame how people think about homosexuals, because love is still love, even it isn’t between boy and girl.

    Belonging to minority is richness, people are different anyway. Some people wants to be part of majority, because they don’t want to shine from the others. It takes courage to be one of those shining ones, unfortunately those people are often bullied, but wrong reasons, not because of the difference, only because teasers are jealous, they would like to shine too, they are just doing it wrong.

    Pinja Torro 313 words

  57. Does the typical Finn still exist?

    It is said that Finns are usually straight-faced people, who work hard. They speak little and when they get words out of their mouths, it usually contains the truth or Finnish swearword. Or at least foreigners say so. But what does the Finns say, are we really so boring people? Well here’s my opinion.

    It’s true that we are few-words people, especially when we’re speaking to a stranger. We say just what we need, not much more. But things have advanced: nowadays we speak more than before and many Finns can speak different languages too. But silence is not always a bad thing, it’s just a trait like openess, happiness or social. Nowadays Finns, especially youngsters think that it’s a bad thing, and they try to change it. It can be seen just by comparing elders and youngsters: quiet and loud.

    I’m sure that the war has affected how Finns act. We were just a little poor nation against massive empire. After the war we acted so kindly and tried to be best friends with our enemy and that affected how we act nowadays. We are still modest and kind even things are now much better than with many other state.

    How ever, things have changed because we are going to a more international direction. Finnish language is no more enough and there comes only foreign programs on tv too. Foreigners think that sauna, salmiakki and other Finnish inventions are weird and little by little the Finns think that too. But I’m sure that Finns are proud of them. That’s why Finn celebs like Kimi Räikkönen or bands like HIM want to bring them up, and I’m sure that the weirdness is one what interest globally.
    Isn’t it funny when Kimi speaks with steady voice without making gestures at all? But I must say that partially the image of Finn changes and partially not, what is a good thing.

    Mikke Penttilä (327)

  58. Finland – a welfare state?

    Why are Finnish people so unpleased of our society here in Finland? If one has been living in a small village like I have for my whole life, then one might see the displeasure we have every day. All the social- and health services have been taken away from us since the communes have been combined into one huge Oulu.

    I don’t say that the problem occurs only here around Oulu, but as far as I’m concerned the problems here are really bad. We don’t have our own ambulance, health service, dental service, bank service or social service. That all has been taken away because the all-mighty Oulu is up to its eyes in debt.

    I have seen the situation that old people have here. Not everyone of them gets proper food, their health is just something to pity and all of them don’t get the care they need. I’ve worked in a rest home and it was a life-changing event. We youngsters feel so good about ourselves and think that we don’t have to take care of anyone except ourselves. I think that it needs to change. We should copy America in this situation and look up from our own bellybuttons for once!

    Exclusion amongst us youngsters has became a huge thing in today’s northern Finland. We think that everything is possible for us but no. We feel that way because of the thought that we get to work after secondary school. After we find out that it doesn’t work that way, depression grows and we get secluded from our community and society.

    We have an excellent internet connection here in Finland, but still I hear people complaining about it every single day. Our country is wealthier than many other country and still politicians think that we should take more loan. We have an exclusively cold state, the Finns are cold and selfish, our summer is wet and freezing and Finnish people are not that religious anymore. Many things are wrong here in Finland but I wouldn’t move to any other country in search of a better society.

    Niina Ylitalo 349 words.

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