Category Archives: Very Finnish

Have a Fika – the mandatory coffee break

Have you been to a workplace, where people sit down for a coffee and chat at certain times of the day? At one place it was always at 11 and 13 o’clock. At another office it happened randomly. A colleague would pass your door and call you for a break.

Feels embarrassing to be paid for this time, but this is part of the work culture!

Fika is the act of “stopping everything to sit down for a cup of coffee” for about a 15-45 minute break.  The purpose of fika is to take time away from your work to enjoy the company of coworkers by sharing your time with them while enjoying coffee and treats. This is a great way to break up the day and make sure that you are enjoying what really matters, which is interacting with other people. 

Now, unfortunately, working from remote we can not fika and this affects our happiness, doesn’t it?

Source: There’s Always Time For Fika
BBC Worklife: Is this the sweet secret to Swedish success?

Learn Finnish at home

You want to study Finnish? A list of websites available for you to study Finnish independently. The list has been compiled by the Multicultural Association of Satakunta.

An advert with Finnish women on it. Kivikylän Kotipalvaamo


Koti Suomessa
You can study Finnish yourself on the Home in Finland website. There is also information about Finnish working life and society.

Donnerwetter – suomen opiskelua englanniksi, saksaksi, ranskaksi ja bulgariaksi
Study Finnish in English, German, French and Bulgarian.

Digital dialects – suomen opiskelua englanniksi, ranskaksi ja japaniksi
Study Finnish in English, French and Japanese.

Suomi-englanti – sanastotestejä
On this page you can learn Finnish words using English.

Euro Mobil – suomen opiskelua eri kielillä
You can study Finnish on this page with the help of these languages: Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Czech, German, English, French, Hungarian. You need to download a program from the site that allows you to study Finnish.

Suomen kielioppia englanniksi
On this page you can study Finnish grammar in English.

Suomen kielestä englanniksi
The site contains information about the Finnish language in English.


Ylen sivut suomen opiskeluun
Yle’s website has Finnish training in Finnish and English. You can study Finnish at different levels of competence on Yle’s website. YLE is a government owned media source.

Verbix – suomen verbejä englanniksi
You can study Finnish verbs in English on the website.


Kuuntele suomen eri murteita
On the website you can listen to dialects and spoken languages from all over Finland.

The author ‘s ABC – information and learning material for writing in Finnish. On the website you can study how to write good text in Finnish. This page can also help when writing a job application.

Verkkokielioppi – suomen äänteet, muodot ja lauseet
On the website, you can study Finnish phonetics, form, and sentence theory.

Ammattisanastoja eri ammatteihin
The site has vocabularies related to some professions in different languages.

Other materials

Selkosanomat – suomen harjoitustehtäviä suomeksi
The website contains exercises in Finnish in Finnish. You can also read news written in an easy way.

Ylen selkouutiset
On the website you can read and listen to news in plain language. With the help of the news, you can study Finnish.

Suomen kielestä englanniksi
The site contains information about the Finnish language in English.

Source: The Multicultural Association of Satakunta has a number of online courses. Please check out here.

Finnish courses at the Rauman Kansalaisopisto adult education center

Leave a comment about which source you liked the most.
Any other pages you want to suggest?

Parking in Rauma is free

Parking in Rauma is free, but you have to follow the parking rules on how long time you can park. It is either 1 hour, 2 hours or 24 hours. The latter means that you move your car next day.

Free parking in old Rauma

You can use the parking clock or a piece of paper to mark down the starting time (last spring anything else than a Finnish parking clock was forbidden). And pay attention, you mark only full hours and half hours. If you arrive 13.01, you mark 13.30 as the starting time!

Unfortunately this means getting late to lunch and meetings in order to win half an hour extra parking time 😊 Imagine seeing a friend or feeding 2 small kids at the favorite Wen Jing restaurant in such a hurry in 1 hour. You don’t want to run out to park somewhere else, but changing the clock numbers is also forbidden.

The city also reminds you that a parking sign with a bus or a motorbike picture under P sign means that only such vehicles can park there.
And please follow the parking squares painted on the old town streets that refer to the places where parking is allowed.

In Rauma, several parking spaces have a two-hour time limit on weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm and on Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm. But the 2-hour starts to count in the morning -> for example, if you arrive on a weekday at 5pm, the car can then be parked in the same place overnight until the next morning at 10am.

Read more from Rauma town’s website

Tax reduction on household expenses

You have someone shovel your snow. There is an invoice. You can deduct part of these taxes from your tax return.

I want to inform you about the tax deduction of household expenses. This is something we do not have in Estonia and the idea of the Finnish government is to support the official taxation of all services provided, even when done at home.

When you buy services for your home or vacation home, you can deduct part of your expenses in your taxation as a household deduction. You will receive a deduction for routine household, care and maintenance work, maintenance and renovation work, and IT installation and consulting services.

You must apply for the household deduction yourself. Work performed and wages and salaries paid must be declared for tax purposes either online via or by post, for example on form 14A (household deduction from wages and salaries paid to the enterprise).

The deduction is calculated from the VAT price. The deduction is only given for the share of the work, not for the materials, for example. In 2021, you can deduct as a household deduction 40 per cent of the salary paid to an entrepreneur or company on the prepayment register or 15 per cent of the salary paid and incidental expenses.

The maximum amount of the household deduction in 2021 (as in 2020) is EUR 2,250 per. The amount may consist solely of household, renovation or IT work, or all of these. The reduction is accompanied by an annual deductible of EUR 100.

In 2021, you will receive the maximum reduction, ie a reduction of EUR 2,250, if the total amount of work in the services you purchase from the company is EUR 5,875 [(5,875 x 40%) – 100) = EUR 2,250].

The deduction is granted to the spouses as they request it. If the limit of € 2,250 is not exceeded, the deduction should only be requested for the other spouse. In this way, the deductible is reduced only once. If the amount claimed for deduction exceeds the maximum, the authority will automatically deduct the amount not deducted from the other spouse’s taxes. Spouses can receive a total of € 4,500 in deductions. If there is only one tax, the deduction can be made from the taxes of the person who has them.

The household work that is usually deducted is:
• cleaning
• shopping
• cooking
• lawn mowing
• snow cleaning
• home party catering

However, interior design or emptying a dirt well are not work that qualifies for a deduction.

You can deduct from care and nursing work that is done at home, such as caring for children or the elderly at home.  Hairdresser, manicure and other beauty services are not considered to be normal nursing and care work at home.

Maintenance and renovation work that qualifies for a household deduction
• renovation of the kitchen, bathroom or other rooms,
• renovation of sauna and basement facilities,
• painting buildings,
• installation of balcony glass,
• plumbing and electrical work as well,
• renewal, improvement and repair of heating systems.

A household deduction can also be obtained for maintenance of the boiler oil bulb, cleaning of the boiler, efficiency measurement of the boiler and cleaning, measuring, adjusting and maintenance of ventilation equipment. However, no deduction can be made for „chimney cleaning“.

The installation and repair of household appliances and equipment, such as refrigeration appliances or dishwashers, is not considered deductible maintenance work, unless it is carried out in connection with major repairs.

Information technology advisory and installation services entitling to a household deduction include:
• installing and repairing a digital device or antenna,
• installing and repairing your computer,
• setting up telecommunications connections,
• installation of security services, purchased software and purchased, updates on the IT equipment,
• guidance work on home information and communication equipment and connections (if it takes place at home).

The installation work of the alarm and security system is now subject to a household deduction. The surveillance system can be installed both at home or in a holiday home. No household deduction for maintenance and other service charges for alarm and security systems.


And the official website about this is

I wanted to share this information, because this is something complicated for a foreigner to understand. 🙂

Democratic leadership

The city government of Rauma is represented by such professions as a chef, a nurse, a police constable, a pharmacist, a school lecturer, a curator, a product engineer, a stevedore and a number of salesmen and entrepreneurs. As a rule, the city government meets every Monday.

chairman of the Rauma city government Kalle Leppikorpi

The chairman of the city government is a social democrat Kalle Leppikorpi. We see him in the newspapers commenting on city decisions and we see him at the store working as a security guard the other half time! So I caught him with a camera to ask a few questions.
Rauma city government members (see here)

He said he liked working that way, partly as a spokesman and partly doing something else. He has small kids at home, whom he can take care of from now and then when mother is busy.

Finland is a country of gender and profession equality. All of the professions are respected and paid accordingly. If it were only politicians at the city government, their decisions could be far from realistic.

Rauma city council has 43 councilors and they get together on the last Monday of each month. 18 members of the city council are members of the currently Finnish leading Social Democratic party (that is led by Antti Rinne).

Rauma city council members (see here)

The Prime Minister of Finland, Antti Rinne, is actually planning to visit Rauma quite soon, on August 9th. He has a speech at the Rauma Marketplace (in front of the town hall) from 6 pm to 7 pm. People sing and coffee is served.

The polite and modest Finns

The way people call each other sounds like they’ve been friends for ages. It’s a “you” with a small letter, not the “You” that you call your teacher, the strangers or the older people in your own country. So if you follow your friend in a town, seems he knows everyone. And if he comes to your country, seems like he is flirting with strangers.

The other politeness related issue is that Finns don’t say please as a word. They put ‘ko at the end of the verb and that’s it . ( Voitko antaa minulle .. = Can you give me).

A nice habit is to say “thank you” after each meal before getting up. Even the smallest kids say so, regardless of whether the hostess hears it or not.

Unlike Russians or Estonians, Finnish people do not have the habit of bringing flowers when visiting somebody. Even at the wedding you might end up having a flower girl stand empty handed (the little girl who is supposed to collect all the flowers guests bring).

Rauma vanha hautausmaa

But they do care about people on the “other side”. For me it seems that they take too expensive flowers to the graveyard and visit the graveyard every week of December. ..when instead I’d pay more attention to the ones alive. The graveyards are then full of candles.

Finnish people are very polite and modest to my mind. They speak few and seldom you hear them speak about someone behind the back. Avoid getting to the yoga class too early. You end up looking at your toes quietly for too long time and it’s a pain.

Finns are rather too early than late. Especially the church and the concerts, sometimes even half an hour early.

Ther eis a certain tradition with the funerals that you have to learn or see what others do or tell you.

At the birthdays and parties it is considered polite not to come to the table when a hostess calls people! It shows that you came with an empty stomach. Unlike me, don’t take too much cake. People take a queue for the cake and the coffee. At bigger events, people at the first table go first. Then second table and so on.

Unfortunately I have to say something sad too. Finnish party, if alcohol is offered, turns out into a zoo. A grayest mouse becomes a talkative brave bull. The events last too long, from 17 til 1 or 2 at midnight. Alcohol is consumed to become social. At the beginning hardly anyone speaks and it just doesn’t get started til people rescue themselves by smoking corners to avoid the restless situation or hide behind the beer cans. Alcohol is expensive in Finland. The winner gets to carry one home in his stomach.

The nice bad flower

I just wanted to write you what a nice colorful candle-like flower called lupine grows on the roadside.

As an outsider, you would notice it right away. But for the locals it is a rapidly spreading weed that should be destroyed. It is in the national list of harmful alien species that doesn’t enable local flowers to grow . Read more here.


Finnish coffee

Finns are the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. Was it 6 cups per day, I can’t remember. I try to manage with 4 and not drink coffee after 18 ‘clock.

Their is no gathering without a Finnish coffee and coffee bread.
Shops attract people by offering free coffee . Old coffeepots work well on advertisements. I have about five such pots to sell, if you want to. 15 eur?

Finnish coffee, either President or Kulta Katriina usually, tastes weird to a foreigner. But you get used to it and even addicted to it.

Coffees are of light and strong taste. Quite cheap. Sometimes 3 packages for a price of 10 euros.
The Kahvipulla is about 2.60 eur.


The World’s Top Coffee Consuming Nations

  • Finland – 12kg per capita per year.
  • Norway – 9.9.
  • Iceland – 9.
  • Denmark – 8.7.
  • Netherlands – 8.4.
  • Sweden – 8.2.
  • Switzerland – 7.9.
  • Belgium – 6.8.