Finland has taken first place in the ranking of the happiest countries in the world, a place where punctual and hard-working people live. It is a small northern country where patriotism is popular, where at least once a week 99 per cent of the population goes to a sauna, and deer roam freely along the streets of small towns.
1. Finns spend a lot of time outdoors.
Approximately 70% of Finland’s land is covered by forests. That’s why the Finns in the woods feel comfortable. By being surrounded in nature, they feel protected and it calms them down. The Finns also spend time outdoors, and they also frequently go hiking and cycling.
2. Free drinking water
The land with a thousand lakes is often called Finland. As a result of the last glaciation that ended about 10,000 years ago, these lakes appeared. The water in them is so pure that at home you can drink it straight from the faucet and it does not require further refining. Almost every restaurant, even if you fail to ask the waiter for it, can sell you a container or bottle of water for free.
3. A child allowance is paid every year until the kid reaches the age of 17.
Families in Finland earn a child benefit of approximately € 100 a month. For each next child born into the family, it increases slightly and is charged until the child is 17 years old. Such money can be spent, but most people prefer not to use it and save it so that they can give their son or daughter a decent amount for their future lives. Therefore, parents obtain cardboard boxes from the state right after having a baby, which in reality includes all the necessary stuff for the baby. The boxes contain 64 different items, including clothing, diapers, toys, and all the details needed to care for a newborn.
4. The best pizza in the world
It all started with the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who made a statement that he did not like Finnish food. The tasteless smoked venison he spoke especially harshly, saying it can not be compared with Parma ham. Three years later, Finland won the international pizza competition, leaving Italy behind and presenting with deer meat its famous “Pizza Berlusconi.”
5. This country is one of the world leaders in trash recycling.
Finland adheres to a circular economy that makes it possible to use with a minimal amount of waste all the resources available to society. 99% of municipal waste is either recycled or sent to incinerators, resulting in energy generation. 9 Of the 10 plastic bottles recycled, the same applies to glassware, where the amount of the recycled product is even higher.
6. There is a high level of public trust in the police.
The peculiarity of the Finnish police is that, as in most countries around the world, they are organizationally a single formation and not several separate structures. This is done to counter the possible attempts to monopolize and influence the police by any group of ruling circles. As history shows, this was one of the Finnish government’s best decisions because it has been shown that nearly 90% of Finnish people trust the police.
7. There are many types of strange sports competitions.
Sports for the Finns are an important part of life. This country has come up with competitions like wife-carrying, mobile phone tossing, mosquito-hunting, air guitar playing, and boot-throwing in addition to the well-known sports.
8. It’s the first country in the world to give every citizen the right to access the internet.
In 2010, Finland has become the world’s first country to include the right to access the internet in the list of civil rights. The government officially required internet providers to provide high-speed (broadband) internet to the population and to ensure that people who had no internet connection at the time of the law’s implementation have it from now on. Although governments of other countries do not officially guarantee a high-speed link due to piracy concern, Finland agreed that the internet is mainly necessary for people to operate.
9. Fathers spend more time with their kids than mothers.
A variety of laws have been passed in the country to encourage the more active involvement of fathers in the lives of children. For instance, paternity leave can last for 9 weeks and during this period 70 per cent of the average salary of the fathers is paid to him. This turned Finland into the world’s first county where fathers play a major role in caring for their children.
10. Finland takes second place in the world for coffee consumption.
Every Finn consumes 26.5 pounds of coffee per year, according to the International Coffee Association. A so-called coffee break (kahvitauko) at work or at school is a holy thing for a Finn and a reasonable amount of time should always be allocated.
11. The village of Santa Claus
A small village in Finland’s Lapland region called Joulupukki (which is what the Finns call Santa Claus) is open all year round to visit the Finnish Santa. The Finnish Santa even has a real passport on the line of birthdate that says “long ago” and “married” on the line of marital status. The name of the wife of Joulupukki is Joulumuori (“Old Lady Christmas”).
12. Free education
Finnish education requires good English and Finnish language skills, which are then demonstrated by taking international examinations. Education is free for EU citizens in public institutions, both in schools and universities, and education in this country is considered one of the best in the world.
13. The philosophy of happiness: Sisu and kalsarikännit
The word Sisu in the English language does not have a literal counterpart, but it is often translated as stoic resolve, courage, and tenacity of intent and strength. Sisu is a total calmness, vital energy, power, and self-control of emotions. This idea developed into an entire philosophy and in the 20th century in Finland became a strange way of life for the country’s inhabitants. The belief that the kid can do everything is introduced by Sisu in the upbringing of children.