Soon, on 6th of December, Finland celebrates 100 years of independence.
Here are some fun facts about my country that some people find strange
In the interest of transparency, taxable income is public knowledge
Every year, on 1st of November, the tax authorities publish everyone's taxable income. For a couple of days the newspapers and tabloids are filled with stories about the income of celebrities, politicians, corporate leaders and other people of public interest. Corporate taxes are of course also published.
So, if you want to know how much your neighbour makes, or how much a potential partner makes, you can check it out. Not that anyone I know admits ever having done that
I think it is a good system, but I have noticed many foreigners find it shocking.
A couple of days ago the Kaamos started in northern Finland. They wont see the sun for 8 weeks.Speeding tickets are relative to your income.
If you have a very high income a speeding ticket can be hundreds of thousands. I think it's a good system. A few hundred euros fine is no deterrent for a millionaire, merely a small fee to purchase the "right" to speed as they please. Speed limits are too strict in Finland. I'd prefer the higher ones they have in safety conscious Sweden.
(Edit: I forgot to mention that fines in general are relative to your income)
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, and the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office.
This happened before we declared independence in 1917. At the time Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire with it's own currency since 1860.
As a side note, our perhaps greatest feminist was called Minna Canth (1844-1897). A bit of verbal comedy in that
Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development.
In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index
and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index and second in the Global Gender Gap Report.
In a country with 5.5 million people there's about 3.2 million saunas
"Sauna" might be the only Finnish word that has made it into English, at least I can't think of another
In Finland you always bathe nude
. No clothing or towels. That goes for public saunas too.
Although Finland had to concede some territories to Russia after WW2, Finland is still larger than all the British Isles put together. Very close to the size of Germany.
In the all-time statistics Finland has the most Summer Olympic medals per capita in the World
, and our dear neighbour Sweden is 2nd. That's a bit silly given geographic locations of the two
Finns drink the most coffee and milk in the world