Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ten Amazing Things from Finland

For Tuesday Ten here are 10 great things that come from tiny Finland with population of 5.3 million.

1. Sauna
All Finns love sauna! We have over 2 million saunas in Finland, that's on average one per household.
Health benefits of the sauna include: lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation, cleanses skin from toxins and impurities and blemishes, aids weight loss, relaxes muscles, decreases swelling and reduces stress.
Back in the day, Finnish women gave birth in the sauna!

2. Nokia
Did you know that there is a town in Finland called Nokia and the mobile phone company started out as a woodmill in the 19th century? Nokia also produces raincoats, tyres and rubber boots!
Why Nokia is better than the iPhone: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57332148-1/why-i-dont-want-an-iphone-anymore/

3. Xylitol
The amazing health discovery for dental health is a sweetener derived from the Finnish Birch trees.
Xylitol's health-promoting effects on teeth have been proven in many scientific studies. Xylitol cuts off acid attacks, prevents cavities, reduces the amount of plaque and prevents mothers infecting their children with caries. Xylitol also reduces children's ear infections."

4. Angrybirds
Finnish invention Angrybirds are popular worldwide. But in Finland we even have Angrybirds evening gowns!

5. Education System
Not an innovation per se, but something to be very proud of! Countries all around the world (including very recently Saudi-Arabia) are trying to find out the secret to the success of Finland's education system which consistently tops OECD charts. Learn more from my previous post here:http://blueabaya.blogspot.com/2011/02/saudis-take-lessons-from-finnish.html
Interesting reads from other media:

6. SMS
Well we have all loved and sometimes hated sending and receiving SMS. The Finnish man that invented it never earned a penny for his invention! This might give him something to be happy about: http://www.dfid.gov.uk/stories/case-studies/2010/last-night-an-sms-saved-my-lived/

7. Benecol
The miracle margarine that lowers your cholesterol is sold everywhere and recommended by physicians worldwide. Also available in Saudi-Arabia!

8. Santa Claus
The REAL Santa and his elves live in the arctic circle in Finland. The Santa Claus Village has a post office which receives millions of letters from all around the world. Each one will be replied to. It's not only children who write to Santa, sometimes he gets letters from adults seeking for advice in difficult life situations. Santa Claus could be called the world's most famous Goodwill Ambassador!

9. Ice Skates
Apparently us Finns have already been ice skating for about 5000 years! No wonder Finns have the best Ice Hockey Team in the world! World Champions 2011!

10. Salmiakki
Only Finns will agree: Salmiakki, also known as salty licorice is Finland's gift to the world! Check out this HILARIOUS blog called Salmiyuck! Adventures in Salmiakki, reviews of the endless world of wonderful salmiakki products. It is certainly an acquired taste ;)


Anonymous said...

salty licorice, eh? Well, I will have to see if my watered down Finnish genes are up to the taste test... Where can I find such a treat in the US?

Layla said...

Stephi-you must try it!!Maybe they have some sort of Finnish food stores? Or you could always order in online from the Finnish food shop: http://www.suomikauppa.fi/index.php?language=en

Anonymous said...

dear laylah,

a telephatic and timely post I must say. I just registered a gym membership earlier this afternoon and saw a sauna bath in the changing room. I was wondering what it does for health and now I know :P

Thought perhaps tomorrow I would give it a try. It is already warm in this humid tropical weather maybe that is why te sauna is just empty all afternoon.

What do finns wear in the sauna anyway? A public sauna.


Layla said...

Sireh-Finns don't wear anything to the sauna LOL
At home we will go naked, some public saunas at the swimming pools actually BAN from entering with swimsuit! If we are having mixed sauna people will wear swimsuits, but not everybody. Some wrap a towel around themselves.

What type of sauna was it? I find the saunas abroad are light years from the original Finnish saunas. Is it like a steam room? What's the temperature and do they have the rocks that you can throw the water on?

I hope you enjoy the experience and please do come tell how it goes :)

NAWAL said...

pretty informative.. loved the way used the images.. :) keep it up.. :)

Jenny said...

Enjoyed learning a little more about Finland! I tried salmiakki once and thought it was very strange.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting!!! Thank you for sharing! I really want to visit Finland.

MoOn said...

the sauna reminds me of hamam maghrebi we get in the Middle East or as they call it Hamam in Turkey,
That was an enlighting post and very interesting. loved it

Pia said...

My dad was born in the sauna!

In the UK under 18 year olds are not allowed to go to sauna (at gyms), or if you are pregnant. Makes me laugh and it really shows they have no clue about saunas here! The best Finnish sauna I've been to outside Finland was in Malaysia funnily enough.

Love your blog, it's so interesting to learn about Saudi culture and what life is like there :)

Almost a Muslimah said...

I love Finland and other Scandinavian countries :) it's my dream to go and spend some time there. thanks for an interesting post, i didn't know angry birds were Finnish!

Meraj Khattak said...

Also add Linux (the most popular *nix system) to this list :) as it was born in Finland.

Layla said...

Maharukh-thanks and welcome to my blog :)

Layla said...

Jenny-which kind of salmiakki did you try? Some of them are really strong and even some Finns find them..strange LOL
You should start with a mild soft one IMHO.

Layla said...

Alice-thanks for commenting :) aah I wish you can visit some day!

Layla said...

Moon-thanks! The hamams in Turkey are not like the saunas we have in Finland..hamam is more like a steam room with lower temperatures..sauna should have temp from 70-100 and we control the heat by throwing water on rocks.
But that said the Turkish hamam are fabulous! Absolutely love them.

Layla said...

Pia-OMG really??In which part of Finland? wow I thought this was like back int he 19th century or something LOL
I remember as a kid we were not allowed in the saunas at the public swimming halls in the states, they were not allowed for under 16 yr olds!
How can ppl be so clueless?
And what's gonna happen if a 15 yr old goes in?
Is she gonna melt??

Layla said...

Almost Muslimah-thank you, I hope you can visit Finland too! I would recommend going in July when the weather and nature is best!

Layla said...

Meraj Khattak-ya I was thinking of adding Linux but you know we just have SO many innovations from Finland that I could not possibly get them into one post ;)
Also, it's tuesday TEN so the list was full!

Pia said...

My grandparents lived in the countryside of Southern Ostrobothnia and in 1949 when my dad was born, my grandparents only had a horse and carriage. So, I assume the sauna was probably a nicer option when in labour than travelling to the hospital in bumpy roads :D Maybe in the countryside it was more common as hospitals were quite far away and not many people had cars those days. They probably had midwifes who came to people's homes then.

I will ask next time I see a sign like that that why they have such silly rules and what do they think will happen to a 15 year old who goes to sauna! :)

Layla said...

Pia-that is amazing, when you think of it,only one generation ago this was happening.
Please do ask them!

Anonymous said...

What about that guy who helped invent Linux? He was Finnish too, wasn't he? :D

Layla said...

Mary-Yes he was a Finn! Didn't have space for more than ten things :)

Sylvia said...

#1 is definitely the greatest thing Finland gave to the world, I simply adore going to (Finnish) saunas! Are there any in Saudi?

All the saunas I have visited (this being in Croatia, Austria, Italy...) were +18, or +16 at best...I reckon this is because they are all mixed-gender saunas where nudity is compulsory. Though sometimes in Austria I saw very small children in the sauna in spite of this rule!

Minä said...

Santa is from Turkey :)


I was amazed too! :)

Jean said...

Honest, I have difficulty enjoying saunas. So I'll just stick to a hot (humid) days.

Thanks for this trivia. We will be having speakers and exhibitors from Helsinki for our conference on cycling in ....Vancouver, British Columbia!

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