• Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Ireland!

    Ireland: Cliffs of Moher! Go Now!

    Ireland
    The Emerald Isle is world famous for its landscapes, foods, beers, and culture. Explore Ireland!

  • Serbia!

    Serbia: Houses in the mountains. Go Now!

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    Serbia is a historic power now looking internally to re-discovery their identity and future. Explore Serbia!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

  • Switzerland!

    Switzerland: The Matterhorn. Go Now!

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    This mountainous country unites ethnic Germans, French, and Italians; making it home to a number of diverse cultures. Go Now!

  • Latvia!

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    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in Finland

Behavior

The Finns are very well aware of the world around them as well as the differences in opinions and behaviors. Because of this they are quite understanding of various cultures and foreigners so odd behaviors are generally accepted (but not encouraged).

Your behavior should begin with modesty as being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or dressing provocatively will get you stares. Likewise, placing yourself above others or boasting is viewed negatively, whether that be in your attitude, talking about finances, making others wait for you at a meeting, polluting their environment, or even in personal relationships. Putting others down gets the same reaction; Finns view men, women, minorities, and people of all sexual orientations as equals and not doing the same can be very offensive.

As a visitor to Finland, try to follow the lead of the locals by being modest, dressing in like manner (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Finland Dining & Food Page), and avoiding sensitive conversation topics such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart.

Dress

Today what is considered traditional dress in Finland consists of the popular clothing of the 1600s and 1700s, which were generally fairly simple in style and design. Today, the clothing from that time is known as kansallispuvut or the national dress. For women this generally includes a loose-fitting white shirt with a long dress, which was usually in red, blue, or green. This was often topped with an apron of some sort. For men the dress was simply pants, usually black, with a white shirt and a vest, which again was often times red, blue, or green.

Today the traditional dress is only worn by some individuals for special occasions or events. Most people today wear modern western-styled clothing, which varies with the seasons and personal preferences.

As a visitor to Finland, you are free to wear nearly anything, but try to dress for the weather and the occasion. The Finns are fairly liberal and forgiving so making a mistake is often ignored, but in churches long pants should be worn and anything that makes you stand out should be avoided as the Finns are fairly modest and you should try to follow their lead. Lastly, sunbathing naked or women sunbathing topless is only permitted in certain places so always be sure to know where this is allowed before doing so.

This page was last updated: November, 2013