Finns spend much of their time raking their forests. True or false? Here’s a hint: It was Donald Trump who put this alternative fact into the world. Find out here how people in the far north really live.
Forests really play an important role here. Well over half of the country is covered by them. Mainly pines, spruces and birches grow there. In addition, almost 188,000 lakes characterize the landscape. The largest is Lake Saimaa in the southeast of the country, covering an area of about 4,400 square kilometers.
Pine forest covered with snow at Oulanka National Park, Finlandd. Photo: Freepik.
Another American Donald, with whom the Finns have their very own history: Donald Duck. In the 1970s, he was banned from Finnish libraries because of his permissiveness down below and because he didn’t marry his permanent girlfriend, Daisy. In the meantime, however, the Finns have reconciled themselves with the drake, who has even set out in a comic book on “The Search for the Kalevala,” the Finnish national epic.
Finns are quite inventive, especially when it comes to fancy sports like cell phone long throw, bog soccer, carrying women, throwing rubber boots, heating up the sauna, playing air guitar and heavy metal knitting. But they have also enriched the world with ice skates, the computer game “Angry Birds,” the heart rate monitor, salty licorice, the Linux operating system, text messaging and the sauna. In Finland itself, by the way, there are said to be more saunas than cars.
Virtual reindeer bell
If you’re on the road in Finland with your truck, you should get the reindeer warning app. After all, the approximately 300,000 reindeer roaming freely in the north of the country cause about 3,000 to 4,000 accidents every year. With the app “Porokello” (reindeer bell) you can also report reindeer sightings yourself, warn others and thus prevent accidents.
Attention: The approximately 300,000 reindeer cause quite a few accidents every year. Photo: Freepik.
Find Santa’s hiding place!
Do you pass Korvatunturis, the Ear Fell on the Finnish-Russian border, on your tour? Then see if you can find the as yet undiscovered entrance there. Because the Finnish Santa Claus Joulupukki is said to live inside with his reindeer and gnomes (tonttu).
Not found what you were looking for? No problem, at least on October 13. That’s when the Finns celebrate their Happy Failure Day – an occasion to deal openly with one’s own mistakes, to learn and to grow from them.
If you’re in the mood to return to the dance floor, Finland is the place to be. When tango came here in 1913, it hit the heart of the Finnish soul, and it’s been impossible to imagine the country without it ever since.
Is it the tango, is it the lakes, the forests, or the sauna? It’s probably the whole package that keeps the Finns at the top of the World Happiness Report as the happiest nation in the world. Let it infect you!
Have you ever had a run-in with a reindeer? Tell us in a comment what you experienced on your tour of Finland.