Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finnish Culture Comeback - We have Nokia

After I discovered that I can actually see stats on what posts are the most popular and what key words people use to find my blog, I realised that there are lots of people who have come across my blog by trying to find out about things to do with Finnish personality and Finnish culture. If that's you then I am proud to announce that there will be more frequent posts about that in the future. 

Today I would like to draw your attention to mobile phones which are an essential part of the Finnish culture. We have Nokia which unfortunately sometimes is slightly behind other brands with the development of products but, frankly, many Finnish people still opt for a Nokia phone because they want to support anything that is Finnish. Or, alternatively, they opt for a Nokia phone because that is the only one they can navigate (it is so confusing with the menus of different brands, you would not think that but it is when you've only ever done it in one way!). 

Many Finnish children get their first mobile phone when they start school at the age of 7. I was nine years old when I first got one. It was my mum's old phone. My first brand new phone was a Nokia 3410 which I got for my 11th birthday. This is what it looks like today and, as you can see, it is still in full working order:

Okay, I am an extreme case, I admit. Most Finns do not hang onto the same phone for as long as I have hung to this. This model along with the 3310 (which was the more popular one at the time) became known as the unbreakable phones. If you go into a Finnish home today and turn it upside down, you are very likely to find at least one phone like this somewhere in the cupboard. It has not been thrown away because there is something wrong with it but rather because the owner wanted to update their phone and everyone had one of them in 2002-2003.

In Finland land line phones are fairly close to extinction as a great proportion of the population has at least one mobile phone. Apparently foreign people joke about the fact that Finns tend to have an extreme number of working phone lines. Quite a few have a work mobile and a personal mobile separately, that's true but surely this is the case in other countries as well. 

Another thing I have heard foreigners say about Finns and mobile phones is the fact that although Finns are fairly quiet and reserved, the way to get them talking (to check they are not mute) is to give them a mobile phone. Sit on a bus in Finland: all passengers will sit quietly unless their phone rings. They will answer it and discuss their dinner plans in, well, not a loud voice but there is no way in which you will not be heard in a silent bus.

Going back to having old mobile phones in the cupboards. You know how Finns have competitions for everything. I now present to you the Mobile Phone Throwing Championships (I have no idea why the video is without sound):



  1. Replies
    1. Ei kerrassaan mitään! Nokia bara är så stereotypiskt finsk (träffade nyss någon som trodde den var ungersk så beslutade mig för att skriva den här) :P