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BBNers - International Experiences Thread - Sharing Global Information & ExperiencesViews: 568
Oct 14, 2006 6:42 pm BBNer in Finland
Sabita Tarun, great idea! :-)

I've been in Finland for more than a year now, and BBN keeps me connected to Bangalore in it's own way...

Finland's been a great learning experience for me, in so many ways...
Language: I used to assume English is mandatory everywhere, till I hit Europe. The initial shock of not being able to communicate with everyone around me took a while to wear off :-) People do speak English, some very well, but most do so very hesitantly. It is rude to prompt them if they seem stuck for words - they are, but they don't appreciate being told so :-)

Food: Be prepared :-) Vegetarian diet will comprise fruits and salads if you can't cook. Pork rates high on the popularity scale, alongwith beef, and followed by reindeer meat. Food labels - ingredients are all written in Finnish and Swedish - it's easier to learn a few ingredient-words, than to go hunting for food with English labels...

People: Among the sweetest, friendliest people, if they ever get talking to you! It takes a while for people to warm up, and on an average, they seem shy and reserved towards foreigners. It's a completely different story when they're drunk, and they like their alcohol :-)
They do share a fascination for all things exotic, like India :-) Finland's a small country - 5 million people, though geographically they're 3rd(?) largest in Europe. The idea of a country like India, with all its population, is a favourite topic of questions, for most Finnish. It gets a little awkward when you have to explain, sometimes,(in this age!), that we don't really have elephants walking the streets...

Work and business: IT seems to form a fair majority of the businesses. Manufacturing industries are bigger towards the south...I'm sure Google can help a lot more here!
Work ethics: People are very strict about their work hours. The high levels of honesty and integrity really struck me. No chatting or fooling around in the 8hrs spent at the desk. All gossip and chatter is reserved for the coffee and lunch-breaks. No overtime unless required, and punctual reporting.

It seems like they're all about seriousness and the stiff-upper-lip, but most Finnish have a great lifestyle - they are entitled by law to month-long summer breaks, week-long winter breaks, and they make full use of it :-) Four very distinct seasons here and they have a set of activities for every season - summer being the most 'celebrated'. Winters can be really harsh here - upto -30C in Jan-Feb.

I could go on I s'pose :-)

Private Reply to Sabita (new win)

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