Ten Amazing Things from Finland

Here are 10 amazing innovations, inventions and inspiration that you may not know come from Finland, Europe’s 6th largest country with a population of just 5.4 million. For more awesome facts about Finland, check out this post!
1. Sauna All Finns love sauna! We have over 2 million saunas in Finland, that’s on average one per household. Health benefits of the sauna include: lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation, cleanses skin from toxins and impurities and blemishes, aids weight loss, relaxes muscles, decreases swelling and reduces stress. Did you know that back in the day, Finnish women gave birth in the sauna! Learn more about Finnish sauna traditions here!
 finnish sauna cure for all
2. Nokia
Did you know that there is a town in Finland called Nokia and the mobile phone company started out as a wood mill in the 19th century? Nokia also produces raincoats, tyres and rubber boots!
3. Xylitol
The amazing health discovery for dental health is a sweetener derived from the Finnish Birch trees. Xylitol’s health-promoting effects on teeth have been proven in many scientific studies. Xylitol cuts off acid attacks, prevents cavities, reduces the amount of plaque and prevents mothers infecting their children with caries. Xylitol also reduces children’s ear infections.” http://www.foodforlife.fi/english/finnish-innovations/xylitol-combats-cavities
4. Angry Birds Everybody knows Angry Birds but did you know they were created by a Finnish computer game company called Rovio? Today the Angry birds are popular all over the world and in Finland they have Angry Birds amusement parks, beauty products, evening gowns and everything under the sun in the Angry Birds theme.
5. Education System Not an innovation per se, but something to be very proud of! Countries all around the world (including very recently Saudi-Arabia) are trying to find out the secret to the success of Finland’s education system which consistently tops OECD charts. Learn more here “Saudis could take lessons from Finnish Schools”
6. SMS
Unfortunately the Finnish man that invented SMS messaging never earned a penny for his idea! 
7. Benecol The miracle product Benecol, which started out as a margarine that contains sterols and stanols which have been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol levels is now sold worldwide. 
8. Santa Claus The REAL Santa, Mrs. Santa and the Little Elves live in the Arctic Circle in Finland at a place called Santa Claus Village. The Santa Claus Village has a fully functioning post office which receives millions of letters from all around the world. Each and every letter will be replied to by Santa’s Little Helpers. You can write to Santa from this link. It’s not only children who write to Santa, sometimes he gets letters from adults seeking for advice in difficult life situations. Santa Claus could be called the world’s most famous Goodwill Ambassador!
rudolph pink nose reindeer finland
9. Ice Skates Apparently us Finns have already been ice skating for about 5000 years! No wonder Finns have the best Ice Hockey Team in the world! World Champions 2011!
10. Salmiakki
Only Finns will agree: Salmiakki, also known as salty liquorice, which is actually (Ammonium Chloride mixed into black liquorice!) is Finland’s gift to the world! Check out this HILARIOUS blog called Salmiyuck to find out how special this stuff really is! Adventures in Salmiakki, reviews of the endless world of wonderful salmiakki products. It is certainly an acquired taste ;)


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  • LaylahDecember 13, 2011 - 8:42 am

    Stephi-you must try it!!Maybe they have some sort of Finnish food stores? Or you could always order in online from the Finnish food shop: http://www.suomikauppa.fi/index.php?language=enReplyCancel

  • LaylahDecember 13, 2011 - 12:17 pm

    Sireh-Finns don't wear anything to the sauna LOL
    At home we will go naked, some public saunas at the swimming pools actually BAN from entering with swimsuit! If we are having mixed sauna people will wear swimsuits, but not everybody. Some wrap a towel around themselves.

    What type of sauna was it? I find the saunas abroad are light years from the original Finnish saunas. Is itReplyCancel

  • AnonymousDecember 13, 2011 - 11:53 am

    dear laylah,

    a telephatic and timely post I must say. I just registered a gym membership earlier this afternoon and saw a sauna bath in the changing room. I was wondering what it does for health and now I know :P

    Thought perhaps tomorrow I would give it a try. It is already warm in this humid tropical weather maybe that is why te sauna is just empty all afternoon.

  • MAHARUKHDecember 13, 2011 - 1:51 pm

    pretty informative.. loved the way used the images.. :) keep it up.. :)ReplyCancel

  • AliceDecember 13, 2011 - 5:07 pm

    Very interesting!!! Thank you for sharing! I really want to visit Finland.ReplyCancel

  • JennyDecember 13, 2011 - 2:11 pm

    Enjoyed learning a little more about Finland! I tried salmiakki once and thought it was very strange.ReplyCancel

  • MoOnDecember 13, 2011 - 8:00 pm

    the sauna reminds me of hamam maghrebi we get in the Middle East or as they call it Hamam in Turkey,
    That was an enlighting post and very interesting. loved itReplyCancel

  • PiaDecember 13, 2011 - 8:36 pm

    My dad was born in the sauna!

    In the UK under 18 year olds are not allowed to go to sauna (at gyms), or if you are pregnant. Makes me laugh and it really shows they have no clue about saunas here! The best Finnish sauna I've been to outside Finland was in Malaysia funnily enough.

    Love your blog, it's so interesting to learn about Saudi culture and what life is likeReplyCancel

  • Almost a MuslimahDecember 13, 2011 - 10:26 pm

    I love Finland and other Scandinavian countries :) it's my dream to go and spend some time there. thanks for an interesting post, i didn't know angry birds were Finnish!ReplyCancel

    • finnSeptember 23, 2014 - 2:21 pm

      The upper peninsula of Michigan has a large Finn population. there’s a restaurant in Houghton called the soumi, even. Minnesota has a spread out Finn population. But we all take sauna (pronounced SOW-na) the traditional Finn way, naked! The best food I’ve had was a pannakakku (spelling?), Finnish pancake made by my grandpa’s girlfriend in the western UP. We finns are proud to be soumilinens.ReplyCancel

  • Meraj KhattakDecember 14, 2011 - 6:16 am

    Also add Linux (the most popular *nix system) to this list :) as it was born in Finland.ReplyCancel

  • LaylahDecember 14, 2011 - 9:33 am

    Maharukh-thanks and welcome to my blog :)ReplyCancel

  • LaylahDecember 14, 2011 - 9:35 am

    Jenny-which kind of salmiakki did you try? Some of them are really strong and even some Finns find them..strange LOL
    You should start with a mild soft one IMHO.ReplyCancel

  • LaylahDecember 14, 2011 - 9:35 am

    Alice-thanks for commenting :) aah I wish you can visit some day!ReplyCancel

  • LaylahDecember 14, 2011 - 9:38 am

    Moon-thanks! The hamams in Turkey are not like the saunas we have in Finland..hamam is more like a steam room with lower temperatures..sauna should have temp from 70-100 and we control the heat by throwing water on rocks.
    But that said the Turkish hamam are fabulous! Absolutely love them.ReplyCancel

  • LaylahDecember 14, 2011 - 9:40 am

    Pia-OMG really??In which part of Finland? wow I thought this was like back int he 19th century or something LOL
    I remember as a kid we were not allowed in the saunas at the public swimming halls in the states, they were not allowed for under 16 yr olds!
    How can ppl be so clueless?
    And what’s gonna happen if a 15 yr old goes in?
    Is she gonna melt??ReplyCancel

  • LaylahDecember 14, 2011 - 9:41 am

    Almost Muslimah-thank you, I hope you can visit Finland too! I would recommend going in July when the weather and nature is best!ReplyCancel

  • LaylahDecember 14, 2011 - 9:43 am

    Meraj Khattak-ya I was thinking of adding Linux but you know we just have SO many innovations from Finland that I could not possibly get them into one post ;)
    Also, it’s tuesday TEN so the list was full!ReplyCancel

  • PiaDecember 14, 2011 - 12:49 pm

    My grandparents lived in the countryside of Southern Ostrobothnia and in 1949 when my dad was born, my grandparents only had a horse and carriage. So, I assume the sauna was probably a nicer option when in labour than travelling to the hospital in bumpy roads :D Maybe in the countryside it was more common as hospitals were quite far away and not many people had cars those days. They probably had midwifes who came to people’s homes then.

    I will ask next time I see a sign like that that why they have such silly rules and what do they think will happen to a 15 year old who goes to sauna! :)ReplyCancel

  • LaylahDecember 18, 2011 - 9:02 pm

    Pia-that is amazing, when you think of it,only one generation ago this was happening.
    Please do ask them!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousDecember 20, 2011 - 3:48 am

    What about that guy who helped invent Linux? He was Finnish too, wasn’t he? :D

  • LaylahDecember 21, 2011 - 2:32 pm

    Mary-Yes he was a Finn! Didn’t have space for more than ten things :)ReplyCancel

  • SylviaDecember 22, 2011 - 12:19 pm

    #1 is definitely the greatest thing Finland gave to the world, I simply adore going to (Finnish) saunas! Are there any in Saudi?

    All the saunas I have visited (this being in Croatia, Austria, Italy…) were +18, or +16 at best…I reckon this is because they are all mixed-gender saunas where nudity is compulsory. Though sometimes in Austria I saw very small children in the sauna in spite of this rule!ReplyCancel

  • SiivetönDecember 28, 2011 - 5:19 pm

    Santa is from Turkey :)


    I was amazed too! :)ReplyCancel

  • JeanJanuary 29, 2012 - 3:58 am

    Honest, I have difficulty enjoying saunas. So I’ll just stick to a hot (humid) days.

    Thanks for this trivia. We will be having speakers and exhibitors from Helsinki for our conference on cycling in ….Vancouver, British Columbia!ReplyCancel

  • […] this Blue Abaya post you can find 10 Amazing Innovations and Inventions that come from Finland, one of them being the famous efficiency of the Finnish Education system. […]ReplyCancel

  • sirkkuVOctober 1, 2014 - 9:08 pm

    Mirena, hormonal intrauterine device was developed in Finnland thirty years ago! A great birth control method and a great help for women with heavy menstruation.ReplyCancel

  • Ashish KumarJuly 9, 2015 - 9:34 am


  • Kimi LahtinenJuly 23, 2015 - 2:49 pm

    Nokia also produces bulletsReplyCancel

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