The Culture of Finland Cesar Botello

Country profile-1

  • Capital: Helsinki
  • Population: 5.2 million
  • Ethinic Makeup: Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.6%, Russian .5%, Estonian .3%, Roman .1% & Sami .1%
  • Language: Finnish & Swedish

Country Profile-2

  • Type of Government: Republic
  • Currency: Euro
  • Major Religions: Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Climate: Cold winters and warm summers

Appointment Alert

  • Office hours are between 09.00-16.00 and all appointments made in between are ok
  • In offices people have lunch at different times between 11.00-13.00
  • Finland’s regular working week is 37,5 hours long

Business dress

  • Finns dress conservatively
  • dark business suits in the winter and light suits in the summer for both men and women.
  • Men typically wear suits or jacket and shirt, often leaving the tie out.


  • Finns avoid small talk as they feel uncomfortable with small talk.
  • Finns never interrupt when someone is speaking and tend to distrust those who talk too much.
  • The Finns are generally quite tolerant of newcomers to their country.

Gift Giving Etiquette

  • Any gift that the foreigner brings is appreciated, but it shouldn’t be very valuable as this is embarrassing.
  • Company gifts like umbrellas, pens or scarves and bags with the company logo on them are common.
  • When visiting a home, a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers is appreciated.

Let’s Make a Deal

  • An agreement is considered final when a paper contract is signed.
  • .Finns are typically analytical thinkers and tend to focus more on technical facts rather than emotional appeal.
  • Company policy is followed rather strictly and exceptions are not made easily.

Entertaining etiquette

  • .Dinner is between 18.00-21.00
  • Being seated next to the host/hostess is a great honor.
  • The host/hostess will offer a refill only once and if the guest says ‘no’, the offer will not be repeated. You are supposed to eat everything on your plate.

Public Behavior

  • Shouting loudly, making a scene or drawing too much attention to oneself are considered rude
  • Finns maintain eye contact when talking with others and this is considered important as they think that people who do not maintain eye contact are hiding something or are dishonest.
  • Men and women shake hands quite comfortably.

Work cited

Created By
Cesar Botello


Created with images by LylyTreg - "finland helsinki building"

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