Finland //

Culture and etiquette

To an outsider, the percipient and proud Finns can seem almost alarmingly pithy and withdrawn and at times downright odd: little value is put on exuberance, and you can have an entire conversation with a Finn without their making any discernible facial expression. Underneath this reserve, of course, Finnish people are as full of enthusiasm and affection as any other nation. This is a people whose aversion to small talk and affinity for the awkward moment is rivalled only by their remarkable ability to drink several times their body weight in grain alcohol in an evening’s sitting. Their underlying bonhomie does come out when there’s drink around, but alcohol abuse really has long been a noticeable problem here, and it’s wise to avoid trying to keep up with the Finnish capacity for drinking.

Tipping is rare in Finland, and buying rounds is unheard of. Service is usually included in restaurant bills although it’s common to round the bill up to the nearest convenient figure when paying in cash (the same applies for taxi fares).

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