Etiquette in Finland

Finland, home to five and a half million people, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe.

Finnish and Swedish are officially recognized languages. English is the principal foreign language studied in Finnish schools, and many Finns are multilingual.

Finland is a parliamentary democracy. The president is the head of state, however, the prime minister is the country’s most powerful politician.

The principal religion in Finland is Lutheranism, with approximately 80% of the population as followers. Many other religions, especially other sects of Protestantism are represented.

As part of the European Union, the Euro is the accepted currency.

Greetings & Gesture Etiquette

In Finland, a firm handshake is the greeting standard, even with children. When you are greeting a larger group, it is proper the shake the hands of the women first.

People are introduced with two names; the first and last name or a title and the last name.

Only close friends and family greet with hugs or kisses. Finns are not comfortable with physical contact, such as a pat on the back.

Do not fold your arms, as this is considered arrogant, and do not have your hands in your pockets during conversation. Also avoid sitting with an ankle resting on your knee, as it is viewed as too casual.

A toss of the head is a motion for “come here”.