Today was our last EOTO Meeting. It is incredible how time flies and that the semester is nearly over! To celebrate this meeting, we decided to do something typically finish – Sauna. Because, I have a free little Sauna in the basement of Lapinkaari, we went there. During our Sauna-time, we found out, that there are a lot of differences between “the real Finnish sauna” and “Finnish sauna” in Germany.

The first difference is of course, the temperature. In Finland, the sauna Is definitely hotter and people just put all the time water over the oven. In Germany, I think it depends on the people inside, but they don’t do that more often than once in 15 minutes.

Another difference is: time. The time seems to me always as an important fact when you’re in the Sauna in Germany/Switzerland/Austria. In every corner you find sandglasses, showing you how long you’re in there and furthermore it shows how hard you are. Even if you don’t turn the sandglass around, everybody recognizes if you are “long enough” (which means about 15 minutes) inside or not.
The Finish rule seems more like: “stay inside as long as you’re comfortable with it”. And indeed, that’s so right! The Sauna is no competition where you must show how long you can stay, it’s more something you should enjoy as long as you’re able to and as long it feels healthy.

The Finns don’t use towels in the sauna – this is something that’s a real German thing. I guess that we use the towels, because we don’t want to get in contact with other peoples swat – so it’s a hygienic thing. That’s why I highly recommend to all the Finns if you’re going to use the sauna outside your country, use a towel. And keep in mind, that your whole body, even your feet, should be on it – we are really strict :D.

Usually you can decide between two types of public saunas in the German speaking countries. 1) a public sauna, where it’s allowed to wear swimsuits and 2) the ones, where its forbidden to wear something. So maybe that’s another reason why we’re using towels inside the sauna, because if you’re uncomfortable with being naked, you can just hide everything under the towel. Because we use our towels, we don’t have the wooden plates to sit on. So, this was also new to me, but in fact, a good alternative to a towel.

And there’s this other thing, which was new for me: to hit yourself with some twigs of birch. I think we don’t do that, because it would be another “dirt factor” inside the sauna.

Let’s talk about the last difference: talking: usually people are quite in the sauna in my country. That’s why you’re only greeting when you enter and leave the sauna. I don’t exactly know why, but I guess because they really want to relax inside. In Finland it seems more like the people have a real party in the sauna, which gets even more underlined with the fact, that you drink beer inside.

What I’ve learned so far: when I’m back home, I think I will never watch again on this stupid sandglass. However, I will use my towel & speak not that loud, because I don’t want to feel the other people uncomfortable. And for sure, I will lough when people think, that 70°C is too hot 😀

Because we don’t want you all to see us in Bikinis :D, here’s a self-made picture, that shows the differences in the German and Finish Sauna-culture.

Our last meeting was great & it was so nice to meet these girls and I’m really happy, that I decided to enroll for EOTO!

2 thoughts on “Saunatime!

  1. Oh Tabea, you speak out loud exactly my thoughts. During all these finnish saunas, it is exactly how you describe it. Nice blog entry, thank you for sharing 🙂

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