Some good advice about Finnish culture
Some people who move to Finland for the first time may suffer from a generous dose of culture shock like in any country.
In the thirty years that I have lived in Finland on and off, the best advice I can give you and the Finns is the following: What is normal in your culture may be abnormal in another — and viceversa.
One of the most common observations I hear from some foreigners that live in Finland is that Finns are “cold.” Even though some may greet you with a laconic “hei,” it does not mean that they are “cold.” It only shows that some Finns greet that way because it is normal in their culture.
The matter that surprised me the most about Finland when I moved here was the Finns’ view of the people who lived in different parts of the country. “The Hämäläinens are slow,” one would say as it it were a scientific fact, while another would affirm: The Savolainens are all crooked people. Never trust a Gypsy – they are all thieves!”
Certainly such simplistic definitions of a so-called regional character, which does not exist, also must have rubbed off on how some Finns see foreigners today.
But all those types of so-called fictional behavior “traits” are nothing more than stereotypes and not based on any empirical study. They are only cultural fairy tales.