If you are a Finn or if you know a Finn, you will probably be quite entertained by
this slim little volume. I certainly was!
Xenophobe’s Guide to the Finns
By Tarja Moles
Finns revel in hardship. They are at their best when circumstances are at their worst.
This little book starts off with a sort of warning which ends with these two sentences:
A Finn can get extremely angry or ecstatically happy without the use of any facial expressions or change in tone of voice. He will only wave his hands when drowning.
Tarja Moles writes about the Finns reticence, their saunas, their winters, sense of humor, language and their relationship to the Swedes:
Even in international competitions the Finns measure themselves against the Swedes. Winning is, of course, great, but beating the Swedes is even better. The Finns never tire of exulting about their victories in the 1995 and 2011 Ice Hockey World Championships, which were particularly sweet due to having beaten Sweden into second place.
I also own the Xenophobe’s Guide to the Germans and being married to a German and having lived here for over twenty years, I can say that there are a lot of truths to that one too… :-)
According to the list at the back of the book, there are guides for 30 different nationalities in this series.
The humor in these books, I must add, is not of a nasty nature. While pointing out the quirkiness of Finns for example, the (Finnish) author does it in a very – well, I would say “loving” manner if that didn’t sound so sentimentally squishy (for a Finn…)