In Finland there are “open prisons” where you can work for $8 an hour, own cell phones, can do your own grocery shopping and get three days of vacation every couple of months while serving your sentence.
One fantastic and wonderful origin theory of Santa Claus involves psychedelic mushrooms and shamanic rituals of the indigenous Sámi people who live in northern Finland. Paul Devereux wrote about this incredible hidden history in his fascinating 2008 book The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia. Then, Brooklyn filmmaker Matthew Salton blew mainstream minds with this fantastic New York Times “Op-Doc” short video on the topic.
For more on psychedelic Santa, check out the following pieces by Greg Taylor at the Daily Grail:
In Finland some children read to dogs and cows because they actually like listening and are extremely attentive.
Märket is a tiny island divided by the Finnish-Swedish border. When the finns inadvertedly built a lighthouse on the wrong side of the border, the swedes agreed to trade it for an equal spot of land on the other side, causing the border to zig-zag.
Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the only region in the US where Finnish Americans make up a plurality of the population. Even the local English dialect is influenced by Finnish.
Finnish people were believed to be able to control weather. This resulted in reluctance to accept Finnish Sailors aboard ships from the Vikings all the way until the 1900s.
A Burger King in Finland recently opened a sauna in its restaurant.
In Finland they have ‘National Sleepy Head day’, where the last person in a family to wake up is thrown in to a lake or the sea by the rest of the family.
Finland is a future-obsessed nation. It was the first country in the world to offer a master’s degree in futures studies, has a special parliamentary committee for the future, and its government is required by law to produce an official review of the future every four years.
A tax auditor in Finland died at his desk, and despite there being 100 staff on the same floor in the department no-one realized he was dead for 2 days.