Finns have a strong sense of national identity. The conception that Finns are a reserved and taciturn lot true for old generations but not with the younger generations. They take each word seriously, like says a Finnish proverb 'Take a man by his words and a bull by its horns'. In public transport Finns are silent. However the hospitality of Finns easily overrides their customary reserve.
To introduce themselves, Finns will say their forename followed by their surname. Finns shake hands and make eye contact, handshakes are brief and firm and involve no supporting gestures.
The symbol of Finland is the Coat of Arms, the original design first appeared in the 1580's. It was later adopted by the newly independent Finland as its national arms in 1917. The official description: 'A crowned lion rampant on a red field holding a raised sword in an armored hand replacing the animal's right front leg, and trampling a sabre with its hind legs. The lion, the crown, the hilts and the joints of armor being in gold; the blades of weapons and the armor itself being of silver; 9 silver rosettes being scattered in the field'.
The flag of Finland was officially adopted in 29 May 1918. The off-centered blue cross is based on the Scandinavian Cross, a cross widely used on Scandinavian country flags. The blue color is symbolic of blue skies and the thousands of lakes in Finland. The white represents the winter snows.
Concerning the Finnish cuisine has western European, Scandinavian and Russian elements. Breakfast is important, because the lunch can be skip. The dinner can be start at 18h. Finns drink coffee anywhere and everywhere, it's very easy to find a coffee. There isn't a lot of brand of supermarket, the best known is the MARKET and the ALEPA.
Concerning alcohol, there are special shop for that, named 'Alko', and person of less of 20 years can't enter. In the grocery store you can buy only beer and cider. Because of the expensive price of Alcohol in Finland, a lot of person go to Tallinn to buy it. To buy cigarettes you can go to Kioski or in supermarket, where the ID is necessarily. Like for alcohol, there is only one brand of tobacco shop.
Having a sauna is something completely natural to Finns. Both men and women go to sauna, but never together except within the family. Normally, you have to go to sauna naked.
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