Friday, February 25, 2011

The Sauna

During my first few years in London, one of the questions frequently posed by my Finnish relatives was "Do you miss the sauna?" At the time I always truthfully replied no. However, my appreciation for the sauna grew as I grew older. Today, I can't imagine anything better than a sauna after a long day at work. Always when on holiday in Finland, I enjoy going back to traditions, things that remind me of my childhood and obviously sauna is a part of virtually every Finn's live from an early age.

I think the statistic goes 'Two million saunas for five million people'. That just shows how that little hot room, which is considered luxury in many countries, is a standard thing for Finns to have.

I tried to explain the purpose of the sauna to a London friend of mine who is half Colombian. I discovered that to be an impossible task as by the end of it she still would not comprehend why a room should be used up like that.

I have a feeling that unless you have grown up with a sauna or at least been using one for several years, it is difficult to grasp the feel of total relaxation and to enjoy the sweet warmth of the sauna. Especially during the cold, Nordic winters it feels amazing to be sitting in a sauna watching the fire in the kiuas and occasionally glancing out of the little window at the layer of snow which appears blue in the darkening evening.

On the other hand, we have even managed to make a contest out of sitting in the sauna. Watch a video on the Sauna Championships here.

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