Finns are said to be relatively quiet and shy, but also straightforward and honest. The four distinct seasons mould the Finnish character. Life, in general, is much more relaxed in the summer than in the winter.

    Even though it is not possible to talk in general terms of a national character, all in all it is fair to say that Finns perhaps give an extreme degree of space to other people which can mean that the initiative for making friends often falls to the foreigner. However, many have observed that once the ice is broken Finns are open, warm and can be relied on. Honesty and dependability are the two characteristics most highly regarded by Finns.

    Finns have a real passion for sports and their patriotic spirit is aroused in international ice hockey games, skiing competitions, athletics (especially when competing against neighboring countries) and in motor sports. Finland has also achieved a lot of media coverage internationally for organizing some crazy sports events such as wife-carrying, boot-throwing, mosquito killing world championships or swimming in ice cold water in the winter.

    Given the country’s excellent natural setting, it is no wonder that sports are the Finns’ favorite leisure time activity. Slalom and cross country skiing are popular in winter as are snowboarding and ice fishing, where a hole is drilled in the ice and you fish through it. During the summer, biking, hiking, swimming, canoeing, river rafting and yachting are popular, as are Finnish baseball, which differs from the American variety, and soccer. And Finland is gradually filling up with golf courses and golfers.