You’re from Finland? I’ve been there, nice place – Oslo.
I get the fact that not everyone knows where Finland is or what the name of the capital is, but what annoys me is when people start telling me their incorrect facts, so I have mastered a cunning plan (as Baldrick would say!) to counteract this!
Quite often people seem to be confused about the Scandinavian countries and think it’s a bit like Great Britain. As an example, people can’t seem to remember if I’m Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish, and rather than apologise when they get it wrong, they simply say “same thing”.
Well no, it is not the same thing; we speak different languages and have different currencies as a starter, not to mention history and culture! So, when confronted by this in England, I normally reply by saying: “Oh, you Scottish people are so funny”. When the dumbfounded English people correct me, telling me they’re not Scottish but English, I reply back: Same thing isn’t it?”
I also get people telling me they’ve been to Finland and liked the capital Oslo very much. Just as a reminder, Helsinki is the capital of Finland, it was founded in 1550 and has been the capital since 1812. Tired of the confusion, I now reply to people stating they like Oslo: “Oh really, that’s nice to hear. They must have changed the name since I moved away, it used to be called Helsinki when I lived there.”
Lastly, if you really want to annoy me, presume that all Finnish people are fluent in Russian. I actually feel sorry for the last gentleman who “told” me that all us Finns spoke Russian. The poor man was retreating backwards after I told him that my father was a war veteran, shooting down Russian planes during World War II, ensuring that no Finn would ever “have to” learn Russian.
So there you go, my three pet hates or “misunderstandings” people have about Finland. But do you know what? If you don’t know, it is ok to ask! I love talking about my country and educating people about it, so please just ask me and I will probably bore you to death with my stories about Finland!
Love and peace to everyone!