So the most joyous month of the year has come. December is very special in Finland for many reasons. Not only “Joulukuu” is the holiday month of the year, but also on the 6th of December, the Finns all over the world celebrate their Independence Day.
Independence Day in Finland is a national public holiday, and also known as a ”flag day” (you can see the national flag is flown in various public areas). If it falls during the weekdays, that day would be a day-off, and stores & buses will work according to Sunday schedule. Finns would enthusiastically gather together, with friends or families, to watch the Presidential Independence Day reception, which is a customary event broadcast on national television. For others like me, I still really enjoy celebrating the 6th of December with some hot seasonal Glögi (mulled wine) and cinnamon buns, then reading and learning about Finland & Finnish customs.
A beautiful Flag day in Turku
In this post, I will share with you some of my most favorite picks that I have discovered during my two-year living in Finland. These books and materials have helped me to understand a lot more about this beautiful country, even when I am unable to speak the language. If you are looking for some suggestions of what to do this Independence Day, hopefully this list might be useful.
“What is Finnish-ness?”
This is a blog series conducted by the blogger The Hieno for the celebration of Suomi 100 in 2017. The series are different stories about Finland unfolded through 35 interviews featuring people from young Finns to entrepreneurs, politicians, innovators, educators or international students. It is an incredibly feeling to learn about Finland through others’ experiences and opinions. Some shared their happiest moments that they had experienced; others told us about the struggles they had gone through. There are things they love about the country, or things they wish to be improved in the future. However, as you continue with the series, you would realize they all share the same love to this beautiful nation. Also, you can find all the related and interesting news about the celebration at the official website for the Suomi Finland 100 program. Last but not least, the New Year countdown in Helsinki this year probably will be one of the best parties to welcome the anniversary year 2017 of Finland 100!
“Hey Helsinki” is a beautiful blog run by a New Zealand woman who found her new home in Helsinki. I accidentally came across this blog when I was searching for tips in one of my trips to the capital of Finland. The blog features many sides of Helsinki, from well-known must-visit places for tourists to hidden corners with authentic touches themed cafes and restaurants. Besides, the blog is a cool collection of photos taken in various places in Finland. In fact, “Hey Helsinki” has turned into a photo book filled with exclusive stories and interviews published in early 2016. The book is named as “Helsinki – People make the city”, and immediately became a beautiful must-have book for any Helsinki-enthusiastic (aka me).
Book: The Almost Nearly Perfect People
“The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia” is published in 2014 by Michael Booth. He is an English writer who has spent more than a decade living and travelling in Nordic countries. This is a well-researched read filled with various perspectives from historical to anthropological and sociological anecdotes and observations. The chapter about Finland might not be the most detailed or well-painted picture of the country; however, it surely gives you an insightful view about the famous Finnish educational system, Finns’ brilliant inventions or how the nation is built based on trust and honesty. Though the book is a little bit long, it is entertaining and hilarious at times. One might argue this book has some over-generalizations and promote certain stereotypes. However, we should all bear in mind that it is written by a foreign author, who is not a historian or a sociologist. I personally think this is quite a solid book, and it would be perfect to read in the upcoming cold winter days.
Hello blog readers! Thank you for stopping by. I am a Vietnamese student at UTU majoring in Education, loving and living life here in Turku , Finland. I’m gonna write about the exciting life of an international student who’s trying to complete her degrees while learning to appreciate the Finnish weathers <3.