Hello everyone! Joel Willans here again. The author of 101 Very Finnish Problems and creator of Very Finnish problems. This week as a result of the fact that we all discover how much money everybody earns, I thought I would discuss things that freak British people out about Finland. Does that make sense, yeah? So problem number 54 in 101 Very Finnish Problems is “When you discover your neighbour earns way more than you” Now this is a result of the fact that in Finland You have the opportunity to see how much money when everyones taxes are published. And number one on the list of things that freak British people out is the fact that in Finland you pay such hugely high taxes. The UK is famous for being uber Thatcherite even now decades after the Iron Lady is no more and the idea of paying really high taxes feels people full of dread. And when people come here
They always like “Wow! You pay so much tax.” and this is true absolutely you do however The thing you have to point out to these people is the fact that we have a fantastically functioning health service, schools are brilliant, free university education The gap between rich and poor is a lot smaller so there are many benefits to a high tax system where the people who are able to contribute more do and And consequently and the people who are less able to look after themselves are are nurtured. So, that’s number one of what will freak British people out when they come to Finland. Number two is something less to do with money more to do with how you present yourself in public and that, of course, is nudity. Nudity is interesting in the sense that in the UK Getting naked generally is combined with having sex. It’s very rare you get naked in the you UK other than to get it together with someone This is really reflected actually in things like sauna. Most of the saunas you can go to in the UK If they’re not in a health club Will possibly be a brothel and the giveaway would be the pink neon signs you may see flashing above them with extras advertised. So I’ve been to weddings in Pohjanmaa. Where a friend of mine got married and half the people who came with from the UK And you could tell the people from the UK in the sauna Because they were all wearing Bermuda
shorts or some form of covering. So the idea of letting it all hang out or getting naked in public with other people Is pretty much guaranteed to freak a British person out. Number three, is winter sports winter sports are a strange one because Predominantly we’re rubbish. I think that’s fair to say and this is really typified by the most famous British winter sportsman being Eddie the Eagle who you may or may not remember, but he was celebrated basically for being crap And that’s because no one does ski jumping No one really does it. Skiing was very much in the past the preserve of the middle classes Now more people do ski But it’s fairly rare. If you ask 10 English people probably lucky to have three you would say they’re good at skiing Ice skating, also is that is another sport Which they fail at abysmally and winter Cross-country skiing is just totally alien. Ice hockey so if you present an English person with the opportunity to do any one of these sports the likelihood is they’ll freak out and come up with some excuse or They’ll try a flop around and look like a baby deer on ice number four number four number number four Is silence there is nothing an English person hates more than a roomful of silent people. it’s possibly the most torturous thing they can experience and I’ve experienced this my first time when I Hung out with with Finnish people in a pub. Typically a pub is a place where most people Spend a lot of time talking loudly, but yeah I think its first time ever I’ve ever been in a pub where everyone’s sitting silently round a table Contemplating their beers. So that if you want a really freak an English person out just invite them to your Grandmother’s or your or a great aunts or a gathering and just have them sitting there in the living room Surrounded by people drinking coffee and not saying a word Watch them sweat. Watch them twitch. Watch them make excuses to go to the toilets. They’ll be very, very uncomfortable. Number five of the things that freaks out a British person. I keeps saying English basically the British Isles this is probably going to freak you out. This is rules. The adherence to rules is something that’s very unEnglish. We don’t trust our government as much as Finn’s trust their government but also things like you know social etiquette like the idea of making sure you only cross the road when the green light says you can cross the road. When I first arrived here one of the things that really struck me was standing at Zebra crossing not a car in sight for as far as the eye could see yet still everyone stayed in exactly the spot they were meant to because the man was flashing red Whereas, it would never happen in the UK basically? There’s no cars there people use this sort of initiative, and they just cross the road. So now actually you can see that I’ve been here a long time because I totally have bought into the idea of staying still Social pressures, or you just think it basically if the red man’s red Then I shall not pass in the words of Gandalf So each of those things combined high taxes, nudity, winter sports of any variety Silence and rules. Those five things are guaranteed to freak out any person from the British Isles, okay? I can’t generalise about 65 million people but more or less you’re guaranteed you’re gonna do it with one of those things. So if you want to freak out British person why not go for all five. Go crazy! Try them all. So, that’s my insight into the comparisons between British and Finnish society. You’ll find plenty more in 101 Very Finnish Problems, the foreigners guide to surviving in Finland available from all good bookshops. And next week I’ll be looking at some more interesting insights and facts observations, In the meantime, subscribe here. Thumbs up if you liked it thumbs down if you don’t comments are always welcome I look forward to hearing from you all. Kiitos paljon. Moi moi!