Today is the day when Finland has been independent for 100 years. 100 years full of change – from rags to riches (simply said). Hundred years ago the country started building itself after the war and the change that has happened since is quite incredible. A nation of only 5.5 million people has been able to build a country that now ranks top of the world in many studies (quality of life, equality, education etc). I feel very privileged to be born here and here are some reasons why I’m proud to be a Finn.

❥ The Finnish nature is amazing and so versatile. As you know, my favorite place on earth is my family’s summerhouse and there is nothing better than spending time in the green forest surrounded by clean lakes. We also have four seasons. In Lapland you can enjoy the sun in the middle of the night during midsummer and six months later complete darkness, (with some luck )northern lights and snow.

❥ Equality. Finnish women were among the first in the world to have the right to vote. As a woman, I obviously respect this and believe it has molded us Finns into a nation where men and women are considered equal. There is still some room for improvement (salary wise), but here you don’t need to be in anyway dependent on a man to succeed in life.

❥ We are a nation of only 5.5 million people (most sparsely populated country in Europe), but so many world recognized companies have been established here (Kone, Fiskars, Nokia (RIP), Fazer, Marimekko, Finnair, UPM, Supercell, Rovio etc.)

❥ The Finnish education is ranked one of the best in the world and it is completely free for everyone. I think my career and life is strongly influenced by the education I received here. I actually always studied in English, but that says how good the education is. There are many options and possibilities and schools give us the tools to be prepared for the international arena as well. And did you know that in Finland we have two official languages? Finnish and Swedish. Besides that, almost everyone speaks also English and study another foreign language in school (most German or French).

❥ Finnish people are often described as shy, quiet and hard to connect with. The truth is that after you get through the barrier, Finnish will be the most loyal, warm and trustworthy friends. I also believe that the best characteristic of Finns is that if they make a promise, they most likely will keep it.

SUOMI 100 – congratulations and thank you for everything! Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää kaikille!


*Photo/Thomas D.