Facts about Finland

We would like to warmly welcome all our participants to the European Transplant Sport Championships. This might even be the first visit to Finland for the most of our international guests. That’s why we’ve decided to share some interesting facts about our country.

Finnish character

It’s always difficult to describe a nation with only a few words but Finns can be described as honest, modest, and reliable people, who tend to be quiet unless there is something to communicate.  It’s easy to talk with a Finn: a “yes” means yes and a “no” means no. We think that small talk is usually unnecessary. Then again, Finns are good listeners. Silent moments are a normal part of our conversations. Finns do love to hear what the rest of the world thinks about Finland. So be prepared to share your thoughts with us during the Championships!

Finnish summer

According to a Finnish Meteorological institute summer means that the average daily temperature is constantly above 10°C. You shouldn’t worry, Finnish summer is not as bad as it sounds. The regions north of the Arctic Circle are characterized by "polar days", when the sun does not set at all during the summer. Hence the expression “nightless night”.  Even in southern Finland, the longest day around the Midsummer is nearly 19 hours long. Statistics also show that the warmest day of the year comes roughly one month after the Midsummer. This could very well mean that the warmest day might just happen during the European Transplant Sport Championships! Then again, it might rain as well. Be prepared for everything.

Finnish sports

We tend to think that success is important. That’s why Finns have invited so many strange sports, like Wife Carrying World Championships, Ant-Nest Sitting Competition and Swamp football World Championships. Our national game is “pesäpallo”, Finnish baseball. It’s easy to win World Championship when you participate in unique and local events that won’t happen anywhere else in the world. The rivalry between Finland and Sweden is always on our minds when competing: for instance, ice hockey match between Finland and Sweden is always a special event.

Coffee

Finnish people do enjoy their coffee. According to the 2015 data (Eurostat), each Finn consumes 12.2 kilograms of coffee per year. That’s a lot – even on a global scale we are easily among the top two coffee drinking nations. Coffee is consumed almost every waking moment and it is an integral part of every occasion, big or small. A cup of coffee is always a good idea in Finland.

Sauna

A sauna is a place for relaxation where Finns clear their mind and their body. There isn’t a right or a wrong way to do it – everyone has their own way of bathing in the sauna. The total number of saunas in Finland was estimated to be over 2 million at the end of 2014 (Statistics Finland). That’s a lot since our population is only 5.3 million. They are found in city apartments, country cottages and in hotels as well. What to do when you find yourself in a sauna-related situation?  First you take all your clothes off – nudity is completely normal part of the Finnish sauna etiquette. Then you take a shower. Step into a sauna and stay in as long as you feel comfortable, bearing in mind that temperature in sauna is usually between 60-90°C. Step outside now and then and return to the sauna several times if you feel like it. Traditional saunas are heated by wood, more modern ones with electricity. Try it, at least once!