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Cultural Traces Around the World

Finland: A Land of Natural Wonders and Happy Citizens, Part 2 of 2

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Finland is famous for its beautiful lakes that offer the pleasures of both summer and winter sports. Known as the “Land of a Thousand Lakes,” the country is blessed with over 187,000 lakes - the equivalent of one lake for every 26 people.

The Finnish people are guaranteed by law to have Everyman’s Rights, or public access rights, meaning everyone has the right to explore and enjoy nature and outdoor activities regardless of who owns or occupies an area. You may pick wild berries or mushrooms, go boating on a lake, or even pitch a tent virtually anywhere for a short stay, so long as you don’t damage the environment or disturb the wildlife and other people.

It’s traditional in Finland to celebrate midsummer, which falls between June 20 and 26. During this time, many Finns leave the city and head to their summer cottages, or mökki, to be near nature for five to six weeks. It’s a time to spend with family and friends.

Finland’s Lapland region is famous for the Aurora Borealis, which can be seen in autumn, winter, and spring, while in the summer the sun never sets in this enchanting place. Another major attraction in Lapland is the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, a fairy tale land where Santa Claus is believed to reside.

Finnish art is influenced by the Finnish people’s love for nature, which can be seen through the works of their architects, designers, artists, and craftspeople. One of the most famous Finnish architects of the 20th century Alvar Aalto once said, “The very essence of architecture consists of a variety and development reminiscent of natural organic life. This is the only true style in architecture.”

In recent years, veganism has grown significantly in the country. In 2019, Helsinki, the largest city in Finland, was considered a vegan paradise by the online site Veganista. In June 2020, the Finnish government allocated EUR 2.1 million (US$ 2.3 million) for plant-based food production to reinforce Finland’s position in the plant-based sector of the international food market.

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