Bus stops and sauna, so very Finnish


For a non-Finnish person sitting with several strangers in a hot room – naked – sounds maybe a little bit strange, but I do it pretty regularly. I’m of course talking about sauna, that essential invention that is often seen as something very Finnish. Another thing that’s very Finnish is being silent, no matter if you’re sitting in a bus or in a sauna.

I like sitting in sauna, especially alone. It’s one of those pure moments of peace you seem to rarely get these days. I also think too much about what other people think about me, even though I’m one of those “strong and silent” types, at least when among strangers. Combined these features may lead to some uncomfortable situations in sauna: I am always worried about how much water I am supposed to pour on the stove when other people are present. Otherwise I think I would be fine with just sitting in there. Naked.

I was actually thinking about this very thing recently while sitting in sauna after a workout. Then when I went to take a bus home, I noticed another strangely related phenomenon. You know that situation when there are several people waiting for a bus at the bus stop, a bus arrives, and all those people raise their hands to signal the vehicle to stop. Just thinking about it, it feels a bit strange, doesn’t it? But that’s also very Finnish, I would say. Like sitting in sauna, not being worried about being naked but worrying about talking to other people. Huh.


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