What is so special in Helsinki, Finland, Mr Putin and Mr Trump?

World leaders travel the world without having to queue to the security check or immigration control, but sadly, they have few opportunities to take a sightseeing tour or interact with local people. Maybe Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is an exception.
Kiavopuisto in Helsinki, Finland. Read the story “What is so special in Helsinki, Finland, Mr Putin and Mr Trump?”

Unesco designated 13 geoparks that feature the great outdoors, evolution and culture

If you are an outdoors lover looking for new places to visit that are not popular tourist destinations (yet), Unesco has designated 13 new fabulous geoparks to consider for your next adventure. Unesco Global Geoparks are territories that promote geodiversity through community-led initiatives. Sustainable tourism in these regions is also an important factor.

Photo: Mudeungsan Area Geopark/Geumseongsanseong Read the story “Unesco designated 13 geoparks that feature the great outdoors, evolution and culture”

Finland can be fun

Summers are full of light in Nordic countries – that much we knew already, but the book The Lighter Side of Finland claims that it is not all grey and gloomy in winter, either. The book is an entertaining description of the Scandinavian country that is renowned for its education system, racing car drivers, and Nokia (well, used to be, anyway).

For a tourist, the biggest attraction is the capital Helsinki, followed by Lapland, lake district in the East and the South-West archipelago. This book, however, is not a travel guide (even though it includes a few travel tips as well), but a warm and fun account of the culture, people, traditions, food and sauna etiquette.

It is a well-written book that is a pleasure to read even if your next travel destination wouldn’t be Finland, but if it is, and you are interested what makes the nation tick, this book is worth your time.

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The Lighter Side of Finland

Culture shock in Europe: Spaghetti and Sauna

Finns are from Neptune and Italians from Mercury – that is what someone moving from Italy to Finland (or vice versa) might think. The differences in culture, behavior and socializing – not to mention weather and food – are so great that it can drive a normal, healthy person to believe that the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy correctly defined the meaning of life.

Spaghetti and Sauna is a very personal story of a young woman who moved from Italy to Finland in order to study and work in the Nordic country. Her personal story, however, develops into a insightful description of Italian and Finnish cultures. The author believes that these two countries are the remotest countries in Europe culturally. She tells countless funny and humiliating stories how easy it is to misinterpret people who have different background than yourself.

I happen to be fairly familiar with both Italian and Nordic cultures, and I can confirm that the detailed insight in the book on the people, their customs and the way of thinking and behaving is similar to mine. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to understand at least two from the many diverse cultures of Europe.

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