Most Finns belong formally to the Evangelical-Lutheran Church (about 83%), while 1.1% belong to the Finnish Orthodox Church; but people in general are fairly secular in their views.
Despite this, the Church and its ministers are held in high esteem, and personal religious views are respected.
Finland is a country where considerable weight is attached to the spoken word – words are chosen carefully and for the purpose of delivering a message.
A man may politely refuse such an offer, but it is equally polite to accept it.
In international contexts, or when using foreign languages, particularly English, Finns have become accustomed to politically correct language in which traditional masculine terms are replaced with gender-neutral ones (e.g.
Finns would be happy if visitors knew something about the achievements of Finnish rally drivers and Formula 1 stars, or if they knew that footballers Jari Litmanen and Sami Hyypiä are Finns.
Culturally oriented Finns will take it for granted that like-minded visitors are familiar not only with Sibelius but with contemporary composers Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg, and orchestral conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sakari Oramo and Osmo Vänskä.
The Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland accepts the ordination of women, and there are women priests in numerous parishes.
The first female Finnish bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is Irja Askola. Chauvinistic or patronizing attitudes towards women are generally considered unacceptable, although such attitudes do persist in practice.
This year Helsinki Fashion Week took place from 19th to 22nd of July, in four locations in Helsinki.
The fashion shows took place in the Palace of Nobility, Wanha Satama and Clarion hotel Helsinki.
This is rooted in the country’s history – particularly its honourable wartime achievements and significant sporting merits – and is today nurtured by pride in Finland’s high-tech expertise.
Being realists, Finns do not expect foreigners to know a lot about their country and its prominent people, past or present, so they will be pleased if a visitor is familair with at least some of the milestones of Finnish history or the sports careers of Paavo Nurmi and Lasse Viren.
However, although Finns are ready enough to criticize their own country, they do not necessarily wish to hear visitors doing so.