With Bankstone top dog Dixon Tight-Rope just recently returned from foreign part Finland, we thought we’d dig out some fascinating facts about this forlorn and waterlogged land, to bring you… Bankstone News’ top ten things to know about Finland.

  1. Finland has exactly 187,888 lakes (counting only those of 500 metres square or above in size). That is why it is known, inexactly, as The Land of a Thousand Lakes.
  2. It is illegal not to own a mobile phone in Finland.
  3. There are approximately 13,230,000 saunas in Finland – that’s around 2.5 saunas per person, although many of them are quite poky and can accommodate no more than four people, even when tightly packed.
  4. Be careful when ordering Finland’s national dish Reindeer Pie, as the word for this is the same as the word for prostitute (except that you discretely raise one eyebrow when asking for a companion for the evening rather than a tasty local delicacy).
  5. Finns are the world’s most outrageous caffeine fiends, with the average Finn consuming the equivalent of 17.5 single espressos a day (that’s 8.75 double espressos, if you’re a greedy person).
  6. The Finnish language has no word for Finland, forcing natives to refer to the place where they live simply as Suomi or ‘People’.
  7. Finns watch more pornography than the rest of the world put together and are second only to the notorious Danes when it comes to copping off with random strangers for a one-off sex-grapple.
  8. Finland is not, in fact, a real country at all. It was invented in the 1830s by poet Alias Lawnrot who cobbled together a lot of old folktales to create a not entirely coherent, nor indeed sensical, epic work called The Kalevala. A few generations later this was converted into a country by Lawnrot fans who didn’t fancy being bossed about by the Bolsheviks.
  9. The popular Finnish sport of wife carrying was invented to take the pressure off the native dwarves who complained of excessive physical attention from larger Finns.
  10. Only two forms of music are permitted in Finland: Death Metal and Tango. So strictly enforced is this restriction that even the hybrid form Death Tango, briefly popularised in the late 90s by Helsinki-based rock stalwart Plastikraft Karälainen-Normaalperson, has since been banned.

And that’s it.


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