Finland’s Independence Day – December 6th

It is Tuesday today, the 6th day of December, 2002 and very few Finns not working today except in a few restaurants, and other parts of the service industry.

This is what we do on Finland’s Independence Day!

We take our 105 years of independence seriously by remembering how this country secured its independence and managed to keep it from the Big Bear next door some 70 years ago.

Russia’s mindless attack on Ukraine is a clear warning that their present leaders cannot be trusted, and that is the reason why Finland, along with our good neighbours in Sweden, have applied for Nato membership. We have learnt our lesson and maintained a strong military force to defend our Eastern border, and we recognize now, more than ever, that there is great strength in numbers.

In 105 years, we have the makings of a great society where opportunities are open to all with free education, good public healthcare, and excellent other basic services. Income differentials are really tight and there is a clear acceptance that your education, your family and your job really matter. Believe it or not, most of us are also ready to pay for a safety net for those who are less fortunate or incapacitated and cannot take proper care of themselves.

This time of the year, just before Christmas, it is dark, wet and cold. We retreat to our warm homes, that are well insulated and lit with candlelight and log fires… both of the latter being safer LED-contraptions because candle and wood smoke are greenhouse gas emitters! 

The international media has regularly published stories telling readers that Finland is one of the happiness countries in the world. However, we are too serious here to take that claim as being truthful. It is better to say that we take life seriously, with a no-nonsense approach. If a Finn can get through the day with doing what is expected and what we expect of ourselves, then we are happy with that! Our definition of happiness is doing what is expected without any fuss. Few Finns indulge in smalltalk, which many regard as being weak-minded…

So we wish readers an enjoyable working week, with our national flag fluttering happily in the freezing breeze.

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