Author: a Russian who lived in Finland for several years
After many years of living amongst Finns, I can identify their negative and positive traits:
1. Honesty. Finns won't pretend, but will heartily and honestly hate us... They have no imagination or inclination to dissembling.
2. Law-abidingness. If there is a sign on the door saying "Do not enter", a Finn will die before he comes in. He won't even look inside out of the corner of his eye. Why do such a thing?
3. Concern for the environment - their swamps ("Suomi" translated means "swamp") are pristinely preserved.
4. Massive interest in sports. Seeing Finnish women marching down the street with skis in the middle of summer gives me a rolling laugh even today. Sometimes it seems like I am in China, with everyone riding their "Tunturi" bicycles ("Turvalinen Kotimainen" Safe Domestic)
1. Dullness - incredible dullness. No creativity. Their nickname is "people from the forest", who never gave the world anything.
2. Laziness - Incredible laziness. Half the population lives on welfare. Why work when the state pays you so well to sit and do nothing?
3. Apathy - Nothing interests Finns (except beer and sports news). Someone here wrote about a Finn at the theatre... *Laughing*. Finns don't go to the theatre, nor do they go to museums, art galleries, the opera or the ballet. To talk with Finns about art, classical music or literature is a complete waste of time. Their entire knowledge of politics and history is limited to the Winter War and russophobia.
4. Taciturnity - At first, you think that they're simply shy, then, perhaps that they have something against you, but then you understand that they're always quiet. "Hot blooded Finnish boys" is a stupid joke. Because of their incredibly narrow view of life, there is nothing to talk about with Finns. "Kaumas ilmaa tanjan oon" ("There's good weather today") that's how I like to start conversations with them. Add to this phrase words along the lines of "Jo", "Niin on" or "Ust, ust" and you'll sound just like a typical Finn - their speech isn't developed beyond these few words... just like their brains.
5. Greediness and stinginess. And not just to others... to themselves as well. Finns will never even think about spending money on culturally enriching travel. The closest thing a Finn will ever do is travel to Talinn or St. Petersburg for cheap alcohol. Everything that Finns ever buy, they buy on sale. Early in the morning, they get their coupons in the mail, and immeadiately start deciding which store to ski to for the best bargains.
6. Tendency to suicide. A tendency that is completely abrupt and unexplainable. A man will be living along, not a drunk, not bankrupt, not spurned in love, and then, all of a sudden, he'll just hang himself. Something's not right in the head with these people. I think that pyromaniacs burn churches in Finland for similar reasons.
7. Alcoholism. The Swedish government barely saved these White Eskomoes from "fire water" by instituting a complete ban on the sale of alcohol except some special "ALKO" stores, where the prices are simply astronomical. That's why when they get their hands on cheap vodka over the border, Finns go insane. This isn't your Frenchman, Italian, Spaniard or Greek, who'll drink a glass (or a bottle) of red wine, and go on to create some masterpiece of art... Absolutely nothing like that... When the 'quite Finn' gets full of vodka, his tongue gets untied, and all the dirt and idiocy that he keeps concealed is revealed. The resulting show is a nightmare.
8. Stubbornness. Anything that a Finn gets into his head, you won't beat out with a club. Of course, stubbornness and dullness always go hand in hand...
9. Conservatism. Or, more accurately, a fear of being different from the crowd. This isn't a Frenchwoman, intentionally looking a little disheveled so that someone will notice... No, the Finnish woman will always wear her tracksuit and hat, the same as everyone else. No make up, no style, no individuality - straight from the forest.
10. Keeping grudges.. You've already forgotten what happened, but the Finns will quietly remind you, and stab you in the back. The Finn won't bring his hurts and problems out into the open to solve them right then and there... no, the Finns is afraid of causing a stir. He'll much rather quietly hunker down in the corner and fantasize about how her can get his revenge..
Feel free to flame me, chukhontzi. Of course we all know that all your criticisms of Russians are motivated solely by the myopic, almost instinctive Russophobia that forms most of your political and historical consciousness, and not by personal experience.