It’s summer and, suddenly, Finland is gorgeous.

The bars and cafés are buzzing, people enjoying the long summer days. It’s
bright and sunny late, late into the evening. The sun dips around 1am,
there’s a dusky twilight and then light again at 3am. You can’t sleep you
have so much energy.

Schools and universities are finished for the year. There are fewer and fewer
people at work – off for their summer vacation, usually taken as a block of four
weeks (this is in addition to the weeks of winter vacation). Even those still
at work take off early in the afternoon.

Many Finns are off to a summer cottage (kesämoki). The ideal
cottage is two or three rooms, made of wooden logs, near a lake
(rowboat provided), private wood sauna close to the lake, open fire and
unlimited wood. And far away from everyone else – one of the criterion
is how close is the closest neighbour and whether they are in line of
sight (ie will they be able to see when you run naked from the sauna to
jump in the lake).

And the Finns love it. Love it. They spend weeks at the summer
cottage. This is the contradiction at the core of Finnish culture. They
are one of the most literate, steel and glass style, early adopter,
technically savvy, technologically advanced modern societies in the
world. But they really enjoy life stripped back.

The full story in on the site here.