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Sauna

5 Best Things We Miss When Not Living in Finland

What We Are Missing From Finland?

What you miss from Finland? I miss lots of things from Finland. After living overseas in a few different locations and making lots of trips home my suitcase is always full of memories and food. So it was not surprising when I asked Finnish people what they miss about Finland when living abroad certain foods popped up on the top of the list.

But even before the food, there was one thing that we miss the most: the sauna.

1.What Is Sauna ?

A Finnish Sauna is a place to relax after a long day at work. It is to purify your soul and your body. Click To Tweet.

The Finnish sauna is a steam bathroom in which the steam is provided by water thrown on hot stones. Nearly every house have their own sauna. Most of the flats or units have their own or you have one that you use communally. You have your weekly sauna time scheduled in.

Sauna

Olden days it was used to give birth as well before hospitals and midwives. It was the cleanest place to do so.

Sauna is an integral part of the Finnish psyche. People have a sauna at least a few times a week. Sauna is relaxing and for some conditions, doctors encourage you to use it. It has been researched to have reduced risk of cardiovascular deaths, and inflammation on the body among other things.

When having a sauna, we Finns tend to go there naked. Yes, shock horror for those who are from overseas but wearing a bathing costume is frowned upon.

Sauna bathing is connected to dip on ice-cold water or rolling on snow in winter. Or swim on the lake in between sauna sessions in summer.

Why Sauna?

As said sauna is an integral part of Finnish culture and we are grown up having a sauna. The relaxation that it provides and you feel so clean afterward not just in a physical sense but in a spiritual and psychological way as well.

I think we all would build a sauna in our houses if we would have a chance. What else we miss from not living in Finland?

2. Rye Bread is Never the Same Unless Made in Finland

Lots of food it seems. Rye bread, do I need to say more? We love our dark bread that is made from rye and you just cannot buy it from shops anywhere else.

The origin of rye is in Asia where it was brought to Europe in the middle ages to produce alcohol. Vikings are known to bring rye to England and all the way to Iceland. Nowadays rye bread is favorite in Scandinavia and Germany and other Northern European countries.

The rye bread like we would eat is only done using rye (no wheat) and yeast, water and some might use a sourdough starter. There are many variations and types of rye bread. See link for more.

Rye bread is known to be full of fiber, so it is good for your digestion and it is low in fat and sugar. Rye bread takes a long time to bake at home, five days until you have a real dough to put into the oven.  You can use a bread made from the sourdough starter as well.

Lots of immigrants have taken rye with them to for example North America and there are different variations of the bread regionally in Finland.

3.Did Someone Say Nakki?

Yes, another one of those things that we Finns miss when at abroad. We are talking nakit here. Nakki is like frankfurter, small sausage or cocktail sausage if I would describe it to you. The meat is already cooked and you can eat them as they are or grill them, make sausage soup, oven sausages or barbeque them.  If you want to get some ideas for baking Nordic dessert then jump on my email list here.

Most of the people said they miss sausages as many countries have only fresh sausages, not those thin or small ready to eat ones. The high meat quantity puts Finnish nakit apart from other sausages you might have in your country.

Missing Finland and sauna

4.Insulated and Well Build Houses, Do I Need To Say More?

What is missing from Finland This has been the pain of my existence for all the years I have lived overseas. I cannot understand why countries like the UK or Australia ignore insulation. Like there have been houses we lived without no insulation at all.

The building standards are different here, I get that. But many people complaint and commented on this as one of the pet hates when looking to move and selecting a home to live in. And I could not agree more.

Insulation means less heating or cooling required. Click To Tweet.

This is more cost-effective and sustainable in the long run. So hey my Aussie friends, put some insulation on your houses!

5.Cycling Paths Do Not Exist

Missing FinlandPeople were missing cycling pathways as well. Shorter distance to cycle from place to place. Many cities are designed for cars and cycleways are forgotten or ignored and you are forced to cycle between cars.

Many wished that there would be pathways between cities and suburban areas that would help to cycle and move in between locations. The lack of urban planning with cycle paths increases car usage that again is not good for the environment.

What Else We Miss From Finland?

Foraging berries and mushrooms in the wild. The ability to fish and get your own food from nature. I think this is great for the kids to know what grows in your forest as well.

When your child can walk to school, don’t take it for granted. This is not a given for every location and in Finland where 7-year-olds take a bus or public transport independently or walk or cycle to school would be unheard of in Australia.

Many were missing those waterproofed clothing.  I am missing Reima clothing. The overalls that you can put on your kids when wet outside and then take them off and clothes inside are clean and dry.

Young women in politics or women in politics in general. It is very caucasian white men rule the roost in Australian politics when in Finland the fab five (all top ministers including prime minister Sanna Marin are women) rule the government.

Honesty and real conversation. When we ask how are you? We say okay, good, great. Even when we might not feel that. In Finland when we ask how are you we mean it, how are you? And we expect an honest answer. Click To Tweet.

How many times I have started explaining how my day has been and my friend has looked at me like OMG she is really telling me how she is!

So here you are the things we Finns miss the most from home. If you have any that was not on the list please comment or share the post or podcast with your friends.

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