I also asked my friend what things she found the most memorable here in Finland
The feeling after jumping into a frozen lake is something very special that she discovered in Finland. It´s like cleaning the body and making your mind fresh, she said.
She was initially shocked by naked people in the dressing rooms of public saunas. Then she got used to sometimes seeing naked people in the wild.
The most amazing skies she had ever seen in her life were in Finland. Tons of pink and grey in winter and yellow/pink/blue in summer.
I asked my friend what she liked or disliked about Finland when she was living here in Tampere for several months.
When she was doing the dishes, she wondered where she should put the dishes after washing them because there was no space on the kitchen counter. She wasn’t sure how they could even do the dishes in Finland until her friend showed her the Finnish drying cupboard (which she found very convenient).
She was at the beginning shocked by her neighbours not keeping the door open for her while she was also entering the building. Then shesaid she understood that Finnish people are very autonomous, and that wasn’t a rude thing.
She really enjoyed that open-minded side of the culture, to respect and let people live their own lives how they wish. She said she never felt judged by others when she was here.
One of the first things to discuss with our foreign friends is sauna. I want to know what people think about our sauna. Many visitors seem to like it. Our Spanish friends say that it reminds them of scorching summer days and makes them feel uncomfortable. After a really hot summer here in Finland I am starting to understand that point. We did not warm our sauna for many weeks this summer.
Nudity is a big issue for many foreigners. Beating yourself with a vihta or competing who can stay there the longest. These are some of the more memorable things about sauna, but it means a lot more to Finns.
Sauna is a quiet place to think in peace or discuss deep thoughts with your friends or just spend time in silence with a friend. It is meditative.
For older people it was a place to wash yourself, a place to give birth and a place to make food. For many it is more like a second church. There is something holy and peaceful about sauna. And in my opinion, a tv or speakers don’t belong there.
I would really like visitors to discover the real sauna.