government of Rauma is represented by such professions as a chef, a nurse, a
police constable, a pharmacist, a school lecturer, a curator, a product engineer,
a stevedore and a number of salesmen and entrepreneurs. As a rule, the city government
meets every Monday.
The chairman of the city government is a social democrat Kalle Leppikorpi. We see him in the newspapers commenting on city decisions and we see him at the store working as a security guard the other half time! So I caught him with a camera to ask a few questions. Rauma city government members (see here)
He said he liked
working that way, partly as a spokesman and partly doing something else. He has
small kids at home, whom he can take care of from now and then when mother is
Finland is a
country of gender and profession equality. All of the professions are respected
and paid accordingly. If it were only politicians at the city government, their
decisions could be far from realistic.
Rauma city council has 43 councilors and they get together on the last Monday of each month. 18 members of the city council are members of the currently Finnish leading Social Democratic party (that is led by Antti Rinne).
The Prime Minister
of Finland, Antti Rinne, is actually planning to visit Rauma quite soon, on
August 9th. He has a speech at the Rauma Marketplace (in front of the town
hall) from 6 pm to 7 pm. People sing and coffee is served.
The way people call each other sounds like they’ve been friends for ages. It’s a “you” with a small letter, not the “You” that you call your teacher, the strangers or the older people in your own country. So if you follow your friend in a town, seems he knows everyone. And if he comes to your country, seems like he is flirting with strangers.
The other politeness related issue is that Finns don’t say please as a word. They put ‘ko at the end of the verb and that’s it . ( Voitko antaa minulle .. = Can you give me).
A nice habit is to say “thank you” after each meal before getting up. Even the smallest kids say so, regardless of whether the hostess hears it or not.
Unlike Russians or Estonians, Finnish people do not have the habit of bringing flowers when visiting somebody. Even at the wedding you might end up having a flower girl stand empty handed (the little girl who is supposed to collect all the flowers guests bring).
But they do care about people on the “other side”. For me it seems that they take too expensive flowers to the graveyard and visit the graveyard every week of December. ..when instead I’d pay more attention to the ones alive. The graveyards are then full of candles.
Finnish people are very polite and modest to my mind. They speak few and seldom you hear them speak about someone behind the back. Avoid getting to the yoga class too early. You end up looking at your toes quietly for too long time and it’s a pain.
Finns are rather too early than late. Especially the church and the concerts, sometimes even half an hour early.
Ther eis a certain tradition with the funerals that you have to learn or see what others do or tell you.
At the birthdays and parties it is considered polite not to come to the table when a hostess calls people! It shows that you came with an empty stomach. Unlike me, don’t take too much cake. People take a queue for the cake and the coffee. At bigger events, people at the first table go first. Then second table and so on.
Unfortunately I have to say something sad too. Finnish party, if alcohol is offered, turns out into a zoo. A grayest mouse becomes a talkative brave bull. The events last too long, from 17 til 1 or 2 at midnight. Alcohol is consumed to become social. At the beginning hardly anyone speaks and it just doesn’t get started til people rescue themselves by smoking corners to avoid the restless situation or hide behind the beer cans. Alcohol is expensive in Finland. The winner gets to carry one home in his stomach.
I just wanted to write you what a nice colorful candle-like flower called lupine grows on the roadside.
As an outsider, you would notice it right away. But for the locals it is a rapidly spreading weed that should be destroyed. It is in the national list of harmful alien species that doesn’t enable local flowers to grow . Read more here.
Finns are the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. Was it 6 cups per day, I can’t remember. I try to manage with 4 and not drink coffee after 18 ‘clock.
Their is no gathering without a Finnish coffee and coffee bread. Shops attract people by offering free coffee . Old coffeepots work well on advertisements. I have about five such pots to sell, if you want to. 15 eur?
Finnish coffee, either President or Kulta Katriina usually, tastes weird to a foreigner. But you get used to it and even addicted to it.
Coffees are of light and strong taste. Quite cheap. Sometimes 3 packages for a price of 10 euros. The Kahvipulla is about 2.60 eur.