Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It is wrong being away from Finland in the summer

If you can, avoid being away from Finland in the summer. If you've never even been there, go finally NOW. Why? Well, first of all, you should just go there for the sake of my friends. They're just mad, silly, goofy, cute and absolutely insane. I miss them so much.

The blondes are the best reason to go to Finland.

Top 5 of Finnish Summer

1. The Silence. It's breathtaking. Finland is a big country with few inhabitants, and they're famous for not speaking much. Just sit on the coast of a lake on a summer night and listen and see the purity around you.


2. The Noise. In the summer Finland is full of festivals and music. People really come out of their shells and get out on the streets to bond and be merry. They say Finland is a land of opposites, and I agree. After all the melancholy and silence of the winter, summer brings out a new side in us, and it is extreme.

Ankkarock, 2007.

PMMP playing in Ankkarock, 2007.

Juhani the Sleeper in the wooden school keeping his Gin's close. Provinssirock, 2008.

Henri the Sleeper and his mattrass-tattoo. Provinssirock, 2008.

1st of May celebrations, Helsinki, 2008.

3. The water. Finland is largely covered in lakes. They are beautiful and calming to look at by sunset with a beer in your hand, and refreshing to swim in after a hot sauna.

They are clean too, and the Finnish tap water is the best tasting water in the world. (Except in the town of Nokia some time ago, where a pipe was accidentally reversed and the crap got back into the purified water. Just wanted to mention that so you can't blame me for idealizing Finland too much.)

Olivia and isoisä (grandpa) on the lake Päijänne.

The lake likes it when you jump into it.

4. Spending time at the summer house. This includes happy people, sauna, cutting wood with an axe, fireplaces, barbequeing sausages and delicious fresh food from the local farm, silence, fighting off mosquitos and sitting outside with a wine bottle till late at night staring at the blue sky.

At the summer house you have all your cousins' old overalls and college-shirts from 1993, which are totally OK to wear to the local village market.

Going to the summer house is a freeing experience. It kind of takes you back to the nature, where there is often no running water or inside toilets. Everything is old and primitive but beautiful.

Johku shows how a beer after the sauna makes you naturally gorgeous.

Tired home-karaoke is one of my favorite pastimes.

Just check out the sky, and it's midnight.

5. The food. It's not just in the summer, though, I can't live without Finnish food any season. But in the summer, most of the celebrating surrounds food. Maybe because the country is so cold most of the year, and only 3 months in the summer you can have new potatoes, the sweetest strawberries in the world (!), and fresh fish, we enjoy eating them so much.

Salad in a tin pot with a spoon and plastic fork. In the backgroung you can see a national dish: champignons filled with garlic cheese and wrapped in bacon. Just fry them on the grill and cry of happiness!

Well, this fish is far from fresh, but it's domestic, and Finns love it with new potatoes and butter.

I just had to make some 'mansikkamaito' (strawberries with milk), to soothe my home-ache... It's the simplest and healthiest thing, but so delicious, and reminds me of childhood. Although the German berries can't beat the sweeties back home.

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