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"Behaviour" Finland Local Custom Tip by kimmo_v

Finland Local Customs: 156 reviews and 110 photos

Finns talk as little as possible. Rarely they touch anyone, shaking hands is the most anyone will ever do. Unless drunk, of course. Whenever there is a big meeting, where a lot of people freely mix together, there are usually no formal introductions. People might have name badges. Foreigners are sometimes treated exceptionally, and, actually, introduced to Finns!

The usual way to introduce a foreigner is to do it in front of everyone, so that Finns wouldn't have to touch the foreigner or to talk him/her in person. However, if the introduction is personal, the finns reclutantly shake hands and "say" their name - the custom is to quietly mumble something like "hhmnumh hnmuhmnhh". Ignore what the Finn says and look at the name badge instead.

Then there is the Finnish small talk. The face of a Finn, who is attempting to small talk, gets red, swollen and sweaty, and, after a long silence, he or she finally says something simple with bad english. Nearly every Finn can speak English, most even speak it very well, but these situations make them forget almost everything.

What most Finns are desperate to know is what you think about them and their country. They might even ask you. Prepare some vague, round statements which do not offend or embarrass the Finns. Too positive evaluation is often much more embarrassing than too negative!

In their home or with the closest friends, Finns can pick their nose, fart, burp, scratch their butt and so on. However, they never do this in public or among strangers. So, if a Finn does any of those things, you know you are now his/her close friend - a great honor!

(dont take this too seriously...;))

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 1, 2002
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