Tampere, Finland by Viivi Severina
Locals say that it is blessing to born and live in Finland. Sometimes, it is a little questionable statement. We have almost eternal winters (about 7 months) and our summers are chilly but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the fresh air, short summers and wonders you can do during snowy season. If you dismiss the weather conditions, there is no safer and more interesting place than Finland. Although as local my point of view may be a little biased.
Nowadays, I spend more time traveling and living in foreigner cities than enjoying my childhood home in Tampere. Returning back to my roots feels always so relaxing. There is no place like Finnish forests and narrow paths between green trees, idyllic buildings and raw huge rocks. What it is like to live in Finland? This is a question I get asked too often while traveling. If you interested or planning a trip to Finland, I hope this short text will help you to understand my cold homeland better.
I was raised in the suburbs of Tampere which is Finland’s second most populated city. You could think that growing up in a city means concrete buildings, big crowds and dangerous nights. This is not true in Finland. Most Finns love nature and I am no exception to that as I have always loved nature. We lived near forests and most of my favorite childhood memories are from there. Me and my sister playing around, eating wild berries and making flower crowns during short Finnish summers is reminisce of my live as a child and nostalgia sweeps me off my feet when my heart glimpses back those memories. My home country may not have many tourist attractions but we have something better. Nature, freedom and safe environment.
When I was little, Tampere’s central felt so huge and scary to me. All those shops, museums and a lot of people haunted me a bit. My family lived about 15 minutes away from the central but we did trips there every weekend. On these culture trips like my parents called them, we went to the local amusement park Särkänniemi and museums like Tampere Art Museum, Sara Hilden Art Museum or Vapriikki Museum. All these places are still on my must visit list every time I go back home and I will recommend them to anyone visiting Tampere.
In addition to culture weekends and running freely in forests, I have strong memories of Moomins. All Finns of my age or younger have grown up watching Moomins. Basically this Finnish cartoon tells stories about these cute creatures called Moomins. Where ever you go in Finland you can find Moomin souvenirs or attractions. In Tampere, I recommend visiting Moomin Museum because this is important part of Finnish culture (and I may have spent too many weekends there during my childhood…) Another place that isn’t even near Tampere but is important daytrip destination for all locals is Moominworld. When me and my siblings were growing up we used to visit in this Moomin theme park every year to see the cute fluffy creatures in real life. There is no better place to spend sunny afternoon in Finland.
Memories from my childhood living in this northern diamond will end with winter. Because most of Finnish year is taken over by cold, ice and snow it is clear that there must be a lot of experiences to try during winter. Around Christmas Finns have three weeks’ holiday that is spend with family and friends doing all kind of wintery things. On my childhood home’s yard was this huge hill that was popular sledding hill among all children in our neighborhood. We used to sled and roll down that snowy hill, build huge snow castles and of course do snow angels and then after hours of being outside my parents would make hot cocoa for us. And if it had been super cold day we warmed up in traditional Finnish Sauna.
The only way I can end this text is by saying: Welcome to Finland! I love traveling and visiting new places but I still think there is no better country than my quirky and off home.