Answers to Questions, Part 3

This short post is a response to another series of questions I was asked.

Pesäpallo, or Finnish baseball, is the national sport of Finland, and is generally the favorite summertime sport. Ice hockey is very popular in the winter. Formula One racing is also popular. Besides those three, athletics, floorball, harness racing, soccer,  bandy (related to ice hockey), basketball, and skiing are also popular, although to a lesser degree. There are professional settings and/or teams for all of these sports.

The Finns are wary of Russia and its actions, but they continue to do business with them because it’s good for the economy. They see Russian invasion as a possibility, although things look okay at the moment.

I think for some people there is a slight thought of competition against Sweden, with whom Finland has had some rough interactions in the past. Beyond that, the Finns are generally receptive of the other countries in Europe and the world, from what I have seen and heard.

Answers to Questions, Part 2

This short post is a response to another series of questions I was asked.

Finnish people know a good deal about the US, such as what the US is doing internationally and also some internal happenings, such as if a important person is assassinated. They learn other things, such as culture, from watching US movies.

People here in Finland do hear about the presidential election and how it’s going. They can readily identify the major candidates and cite general information about them.

Some people love the US way of life but others have a strong dislike for the US. I would estimate that most people are somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.

The businesses here in Finland are largely Finnish, with a mixing of businesses found in other developed parts of the world. There are some US businesses here, but they are by no means a majority.

Most people drive cars made in Europe, however some people drive smaller Ford cars. Chevrolet has little to no presence here.

There are McDonald’s restaurants in nearly every major city in Finland. However, most people prefer to eat at Hesburger, a Finnish fast food restaurant which is similar to McDonald’s but has superior food.

People are happy with the increased services and taxes of the socialist state.

The major chain of stores here in Finland is Prisma, which is similar to Walmart but with what seems to be higher quality items. There are chains of grocery stores too, such as S-Market and K-Market. I do not know of any chain hardware stores.

As in most developed countries, there is a variety of income levels. However, the money from taxes goes to pay for most services, and the government has a plan which gives people housing if they have none.

Generally, the crime rate here in Finland is a good deal lower than in the US. Here is a link to a site which details this:
http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Finland/United-States/Crime

To quote Wikipedia, drinking in Finland is regulated in the following way:
18 [years of age] for possession and purchase of 1.2–22% ABV.
20 [years of age] for possession and purchase of 23–80% ABV.
18 [years of age] for all in bars, clubs and restaurants.

Drunk driving happens on a daily basis.

Finnish saunas vary aesthetically, but there are some universal features: they all have a sauna stove; the normal temperature is usually between 60 and 80 degrees Celsius (140-176 degrees Fahrenheit); people sit on thin towels; and there is always a bucket and a ladle to get löyly lisää (more steam).

Answers to Questions

This short post is a response to a series of questions I was asked.

There are some cultural differences and similarities between the US and Finland which I detail, in part, here: Finns are more serious about making engagements compared to some people in the US. To a Finn, if you say he can come to your house some day, he will take you seriously. The Finnish don’t engage in small talk to any great extent, if at all. In the US it’s common and expected. Finns don’t mind silence in conversation so much as people from the US do. The Finnish news (in my opinion) is much nicer to watch than US news. People here can be just as foolish as in the US. Drunk people and their doings seem to be the most common issue for the police here; in the US, the police have a much broader range of incidents that they must respond to.

Some of the things people in Finland enjoy doing include going to sauna, playing sports, travelling around Finland and abroad, drinking, being in or near nature, and watching things on the internet. Of course, everyone is different, and these do not always apply.

The most enjoyable thing I have done so far in my time here has probably been seeing the countryside. However, there have been plenty of other occasions that I’ve enjoyed as well, such as seeing a Finnish baseball game and going to sauna every other night

Although Finland is different in many ways from the US, I do not think there is anything that is done here that I wouldn’t do in the US.

The most interesting feature of Finland for me is the the Finnish design. It some cases it’s superior to US designs, but in most cases it’s just an interesting, different way of doing things.

The Finnish find certain things about the US interesting; here are some: US football and baseball; US politics; small talk and other social differences; places in the US; and US food.

Life Goes On

Hello

Life goes on here in Finland, and elsewhere, as I am told. There have been a few changes in my situation which may be of interest.

Daylight hours have been decreasing steadily here in Finland. Today, the sun rose at about 8 am and went down a bit after 6 pm, meaning that we had just over 10 hours of daylight. This will continue to drop as we get further into winter.

The leaves have all fallen. Chlorophyll, a major chemical component in leaves, requires a certain amount of sunlight a day in order to react chemically and keep the leaf alive. With the decreasing daylight hours, the leaves have failed to react enough to keep themselves alive, therefore they have died.

The temperature during the daytime has been around 4 degrees Celsius recently, or about 39 degrees Fahrenheit. It seems to be decreasing.

As I’ve been typing, it was announced that the first snow has fallen in the north. I am immensely pleased.

I haven’t missed anyone, with the occasional exception for a short amount of time. Overall, I have remained happily independent. I count this as a blessing, since homesickness can be crippling. I still talk with family and friends though, via email and Skype.

I feel very comfortable here now. I have good relationships. I have seen the change of the seasons. This is like home for me.  It was interesting though, we went to visit a family who live out of town, and it reminded me a lot of home and it was probably the most relaxing thing that’s happened here. Suburban life is fine though. I remember when I first arrived, I didn’t care for it too much, so I’m glad I don’t mind it now.

I’m starting to get a good feel of the background of Finnish culture. I like it a lot.

I’ve learned to type on a Finnish keyboard just as well as a US keyboard. I think that’s cool.

I’m learning Russian in school now. It’s going surprisingly well, in my opinion. I suppose that once you learn a second language, learning a third isn’t too difficult.

I’m also taking part in an English conversation class. I find it interesting to talk about how English works and discuss how it should be used in certain situations. It makes me think about how I use it, and how I could improve my use of it for better understanding.

I feel as though I have learned and matured quite a bit since I came here. I’m not the same person who left home over two months ago. I’m happy that I’m becoming a better person.

The days seem to blur together for me. I can remember everything I have done, but it all seems like one long and great day with naps every so often.

If you would like to pray for me, pray that God would use me to bring glory to himself. I see that as my greatest calling in this life.