Social Life in Finland
The Finns are very well aware of the world around them as well as the differences
in opinions and behaviors. Because of this they are quite understanding of various
cultures and foreigners so odd behaviors are generally accepted (but not encouraged).
Your behavior should begin with modesty as being loud, rude, showing off wealth,
or dressing provocatively will get you stares. Likewise, placing yourself above
others or boasting is viewed negatively, whether that be in your attitude, talking
about finances, making others wait for you at a meeting, polluting their environment,
or even in personal relationships. Putting others down gets the same reaction; Finns
view men, women, minorities, and people of all sexual orientations as equals and
not doing the same can be very offensive.
As a visitor to Finland, try to follow the lead of the locals by being modest, dressing
in like manner (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Finland Dining & Food Page), and
avoiding sensitive conversation topics such as politics, finances, and business
unless initiated by your local counterpart.