The real test
for whether you've successfully integrated yourself into
Finnish culture must be the ability to tell, or at least understand, jokes about Finland. Or perhaps just "getting" the odd faux pas? Here are a few I've come across...
please don't hesitate to tell
me more and I can add them to this page!
Chocolate so good it hurts?
Try a Tupla NutKick. "Tupla" means "Double". It would be a brave man who asked the shop-keeper for 5 Double NutKicks.
YLE News: A Tough Choice in Spring 2013
I have great respect for the standards of YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. I did however have to laugh at the wording of this article, which seeems to propose 2 courses of action, one easy and one not so easy...
Finnish drinking game
Two Finnish guys go
into the sauna, each with a litre of Kossu (Finland's
famous Koskenkorva vodka). They each drink the vodka, and
then one guy goes outside. The other guy has to guess who
Finnglish menu items (These have all been printed, truly. Restaurant names withheld)
Shrimp and crap salad for two.
Grilled pork shop.
You can have crap on your pizza.
Tepid chicken salad with bread.
We give you water only when you ask.
Dead snails from Åland in garlic and butter sauce.
The cock is recommending today's beef.
We can serve your steak with much blood, some blood, or
The house's tart is called Torttu in Finnish and is warm.
Ice cream with warm bear halves and toffee sauce.
Finnish mushroom salad - wild, salty and sticky mushrooms
with cream sauce and pickles.
Mexican burrito with mutilated chicken meat and salsa.
Try traditional Finnish pee soup.
(Room service card) We can bring the nuts and drinks to your room.
card) Drink something if you want.
(Room service card) On
our breakfast table you will find the cheese, the meat and
Omelet is made with recent eggs from a local farm where
the chickens are alive.
This week is "bird meat week" but we also have
a good selection of mammal meat.
Japanese guests can have traditional breakfast with stinky
rice and fishes.
Blini served with cream and not real caviar.
Tar ice cream - Finnish special. Good for people who eat
tar and lingon berries.
Children's hamburger is served with the French Pizzas. After
clock 21 are not. Sorry.
Meat with sweat and sour sauce.
Chin piece of steak with potatoes in cream.
Coat cheese and pepper in minced balls.
Overcooked pork neck.
Pad Thai with tiger brawns.
Also seen in hotel, in Lapland
(Card in bathroom) Help us to save water. If you need fresh towel, throw yourself on the floor. If you don't need fresh towel, hang yourself.
Famous last words
of Finnish men
"Naah, we dont need no electrician
"We can go to my place - wife's on night shift"
"I love you Kristiina... eh, I mean Hanna..."
"In principal you shouldnt smoke so near the ammunition"
"Lets study the safety instructions later"
"The side effects of lot of alcohol is hugely exaggerated"
"Damn life save vest - not bothering to wear them"
"Look! Whats that bear cub doing alone in the forest?"
"Damn quick to drill the ice when it's this thin."
Taking the Bull to the Butcher
Extract from 'Under the North Star' - Väinö Linna
"Well then, this old man once went to take a bull to
the butcher, and he took some turpentine with him. And that
bull got tired, so the old man put some turpentine on his
balls. Then the bull started running so fast that the old
man put turpentine on his own balls. But the bull's balls
stopped stinging before the old man's and when the old man
got to the butcher's he handed him the rope and said 'Hold
on to this, I've still got a ways to go...'"
How many Finns does it take to
change a light bulb?
Five. One to hold the bulb and four to drink enough Kosu
(vodka) until the room starts spinning.
(based on the fact that Finland is a nation of engineers) None.
They fix the old one.
A Finnish wife asks her software engineer husband "Hey, could you go to the shop for me and get a litre of milk? And if they have eggs, get six."
The husband returns with six litres of milk. "Why on earth did you buy six litres of milk??" screams the wife.
"They had eggs."
How can you tell the difference between a Finnish introvert
and a Finnish extrovert?
When he's talking to you a Finnish introvert looks at his
A Finnish extrovert looks at yours.
At the airport...
A guy sitting at an airport bar in Atlanta noticed a beautiful
woman sitting next to him. He thought to himself,
"Wow, she's gorgeous! And I
think she's a flight attendant...but which airline does she
Hoping to pick her up, he leaned towards her and uttered
the Delta slogan, "Love to fly and it shows?"
She gave him a blank, confused stare and he immediately
thought to himself, "Hmm, no, she doesn't work for Delta."
A moment later, another slogan popped into his head. He
leaned towards her again; "Something special in the
She gave him the same confused look. He mentally kicked
himself, and scratched American Airlines off the list. Next
he tried the United slogan,
"I would really love to
fly your friendly skies!"
This time the woman looked at him, irritated, and screamed
"What the $%#! do you want?!"
The man slumped back in his chair, and said: "Ahh,
Sakke and Ville are sitting in a cottage in the middle of
nowhere. They've been drinking for three days straight and
they finally run out of booze.
Sakke says to his mate "Hey, go and look in the tool
shed and see if there's anything to drink there."
Ville comes back with a bottle of methanol, and
says "We could drink this, but we'll go blind!"
Sakke slowly looks around the cottage and out the window,
and says "I think we've seen enough."
More on Finnish drinking attitudes...
My mate Santtu was sitting in the pub with a yellowish drink
in front of him. I asked
"Oh, are you having a Jaloiviina, mate?"
"No" he replied, "It's whiskey - I'm working
(Almost invariably, this is the first Finnish joke people ever hear)
Mika and Peppe hadn't seen each other for ages, so they
decided to get together for "one" beer. At the
end of the first pint Peppe says
"How have you been?" Mika
just grunts in reply.
At the end of the second pint Peppe asks
your family?" Again, Mika just grunts in reply.
After three pints Peppe asks
"How's work going?" Mika turns in fury and yells
"Perkele! Did we
come here to talk or drink?!"
Why are there no Finns on the moon?
They went, but there was no wood.
A young female reporter from a British newspaper was sent
to Finland to write an article about Finnish soldiers returning
from the Winter War. Interviewing one infantry-man, Jussi,
"When you came home, when the war was over, what was
the first thing you did?"
"I screwed my wife," Jussi replied bluntly.
The journalist went red, and tried to change the subject.
"After that, I mean. What did you do after that?"
"I screwed her again," he answered.
The journalist turned an even darker shade of red.
"Other than that! Uh - what did you do when you were
finished with all that?"
"I took off my skis and had a beer."
Finnish storm - a tragic memory
The following is a real e-mail and photo I received
from a Finnish mate (with great English) in
summer 2004. Who says Finns aren't funny?!:
"With all the news on TV lately about the extreme weather
conditions affecting the East Coast of the US, the mud slides
in the Middle East and South America, the flood that made
its mark on Southern England, along with the dire predictions
made by such films as The Day After Tomorrow, we shouldn't
forget that Finland has its share of devastating weather
I've attached a photo illustrating the damage caused to
my home from a storm that passed through South-Western Finland
last week. It really makes you cherish what you have, and
reminds us not to take things for granted!"
Click for photo
Finnish weather explained
+15°C / 59°F
This is as warm as it gets in Finland, so we'll start here.
People in Spain wears winter-coats and gloves.
The Finns are out in the sun, getting a tan.
+10°C / 50°F
The French are trying in vain to start their central heating.
The Finns plant flowers in their gardens.
+5°C / 41°F
Italian cars won't start.
The Finns are cruising in cabriolets.
0°C / 32°F
Distilled water freezes.
The water in the Vanda river (in Finland) gets a little thicker.
-5°C / 23°F
People in California almost freeze to death.
The Finns have their final barbecue before winter.
-10°C / 14°F
The Brits start the heat in their houses.
The Finns start using long sleeves.
-20°C / -4°F
The Aussies flee from Mallorca.
The Finns end their Midsummer celebrations. Autumn is here.
-30°C / -22°F
People in Greece die from the cold and disappear from the
face of the earth.
The Finns start drying their laundry indoors.
-40°C / -40°F
Paris start cracking in the cold.
The Finns stand in line at the "grilli-kioski".
-50°C / -58°F
Polar bears start evacuating the North Pole.
The Finnish army postpones their winter survival training
awaiting real winter weather.
-60°C / -76°F
Korvatunturi (the home for Santa Claus) freezes.
The Finns rent a movie and stay indoors.
-70°C / -94°F
The false Santa moves south.
The Finns get frustrated since they can't store their Kossu
(Koskenkorva vodka) outdoors.
The Finnish army goes out on winter survival training.
-183°C / -297.4°F
Microbes in food don't survive.
The Finnish cows complain that the farmers' hands are cold.
-273°C / -459.4°F
All atom-based movent halts.
The Finns start saying "Perkele, it's cold outside today."
-300°C / -508°F
Hell freezes over.
Finland wins the Eurovision Song Contest.
(Yes I know this is redundant after Lordi's hitorical 2006 victory!)
You Know You've Been In Finland
Too Long, When...
You meticulously manage your plastic bag collection.
You don't think twice about putting wet dishes in the cupboard.
Silence is fun.
Your coffee consumption exceeds 8 cups a day.
Your native language has seriously deteriorated. Now you "eat
medicine", "open the television", and "close
the lights off".
You associate pea soup with Thursday.
Your notion of street life is reduced to hanging out in
front of the railway station on Friday nights.
After giving presentations, you finally stop asking "Are
there any questions?"
Hugging is reserved for sexual foreplay.
You no longer look at a track suit as casual wear, but consider
it acceptable for formal occasions. Neither do you see a
problem wearing white socks with loafers.
You accept alcohol as food.
You no longer eat mashed potatoes - you eat smashed potatoes.
You understand why the Finnish language has no future tense.
You know that "one" beer means "let's get
When a stranger smiles at you, you assume he is drunk, insane,
You've become lactose intolerant.
You know how to prepare herring 105 different ways.
Swedish jokes, but Finns like them!
Three construction workers, an Australian, a Finn and a
Swede, are sitting on a beam on the tenth floor about to
have their lunch.
The Australian opens his lunch box and says "Bloody
hell - meat pies again! Every day it's bloody meat pies!
If I get meat pies again tomorrow, I'm going to jump!"
The Finn opens up his lunch next. "Saatana! Makkara
(sausage) again! Always sausages! If I get sausage tomorrow,
I'm gonna jump too!"
The Swede is the last to open up his lunch. "Ah crap
- meatballs again! Why always meatballs? If I get meatballs
tomorrow, I'm going to jump too!"
The next day the Aussie opens his lunch box and it's a meat
pie... He jumps to his death.
The Finn opens his lunch box and, yes, it's a sausage. He
too jumps to his death.
The Swede opens his lunch and sadly there's a pile of meatballs,
so he jumps too.
The three widows of the construction workers are talking
at the funeral and the Aussie's wife says "I don't understand.
I thought my husband loved meat pies! If he didn't want them
he should have said something!"
The Finnish widow says "Same here - I thought my husband wanted sausages!
Why didn't he say something?"
The Swede's widow says, "I don't get it... my husband
made his own lunch."
An American, a Finn and a Swede are in the sauna together.
Suddenly there is a "beep beep" sound,
and the American starts to look at the palm of his hand.
"What are you doing?" asks the Finn. The American
"This is the latest Motorola technology. I've got my
pager embedded in the palm of my hand, so I don't have to
carry it around any more."
Then the familiar old Nokia ring tone is heard, and the
Finn starts looking at the palm of his hand.
"What are you doing?" ask the other guys. The
"This is the latest Nokia technology. I've got my mobile
phone embedded in the palm of my hand, so I don't have to
carry it around any more."
The Swede thinks to himself that he'd better not be outdone
by these guys, so he leaves the sauna. In a couple of minutes
he returns, and there is toilet paper hanging out of his
"What the hell is that??" shout the other guys
"I'm getting a fax." says the Swede.