A hilarious book about Finland and Finns seen through German lenses!
"I wouldn't go so far as to call Finland a paradise. It's too damn expensive and too damn cold. But to be brutally honest again: As much as I love to complain, I have never really regretted coming here."
Roman Schatz (born 1960) is a German TV producer, director, performer and writer. He has been living in Helsinki since 1986.
1. Hard to digest, but good for you (The Finnish culture shock)
2. From "A" to "O" with two dots (The Finnish language)
4. When God created man (Women and men in Finland)
7. Big Brother (The Land of Law and Order)
9. Vittu (The most frequent Finnish word)
15. Back to the roots (The Finnish summer cottage)
16. May the force be with us (The Kalevala)
22. Invading Paradise (Foreigners in Finland)
23. This is a bit embarassing (Drinking with Finns)
24. See where it gets you (Ten pieces of advice)
If someone who just came to Finland asked me: "Which book about Finns and Finland should I read"? I would only have one answer.
From Finland With Love is an invaluable insight into the Finnish way of living and the Finns character as seen by someone who meets Finland for the first time. The book is a collection of satirical columns. In each chapter the author approaches one aspect of the Finnish life, pointing out all the peculiarities which strike any foreigner confronting the Finnish daily life.
Some of the topics covered by the author:
the culture shock: "You don't belive me? See for yourself: [..] Smile, look right into people's face and start chatting away. You'll see their heart rate rise and sweat appear on their brows."
the oddities of the language: "'It looks like she/he pretends to be asleep.' Ten words. The same in Finnish is just two words: Liene nukkuvinaan (or Nukkuneeko tuo?). An extremely economical language."
the Finns in various social situations: "Drinking with Finns is always an experience. While you just get drunk - first a little tipsy, then blurred, then tired - your Finnish friends' personality changes completely."
and much more ...
The last chapter lists some valuable advice on how to cope with Finland and the Finns.
The gentle humor tone of the book is complemented by the funny illustrations (by Maarika Autio). It makes this book an easy read, so you won't be able to put it down until you finish it.
Everyone will agree that this book is a must read for anyone thinking of moving to Finland or just wanting to learn more about "the land of the thousand lakes".