The Saudi husband vs the Finnish husband

This post is not to be taken too seriously and YES it contains sweeping generalisations of both cultures. This is a humorous comparison of the typical Saudi man and his Finnish counterpart as husbands.. The Saudi man is very romantic, sweet talk is what he knows. The Finnish man doesn’t talkRead more

Janadriyah Cultural Heritage Festival in 2011

Janadriyah Cultural Heritage festival of Saudi Arabia is held annually on the outskirts of Riyadh at the Janadriyah Village. This post depicts images from the festival in 2011. For more information about the folk festival itself, the timings and dates of Al Janadriya, check out Blue Abaya guides toRead more

Saudis Love their King Abdullah

King Abdullah has returned to Riyadh from his long hospital stay abroad and he received a very warm welcome from Saudis. The streets of Riyadh are lined with flags and large pictures and posters of the King are plastered on every building with slogans like “Thank God for the King’sRead more

Saudis Could Take Lessons from Finnish Schools!

It’s not a big secret that people think the Saudi public schooling system sucks. Even the Saudis complain about the system all the time. Some have called it one of the worst in the world. It’s mostly bashed for being tied to rote learning and for an over-emphasis on religious studiesRead more

The Four Seasons in the Magic Kingdom

The saying goes that there are only two seasons in Saudi Arabia and they are: Hot weather and cold weather.  I’ve come to realize there are in fact four different periods in the year which could be defined as seasons, although very different to the ones I’m used to back in my homeRead more

Saudi Government Offices- Women’s only sections

Saudi-Arabia is a gender segregated society where government offices are no exception to the rule. Women are not allowed in the main buildings at all because their male family members are supposed to take care of most of the woman’s issues. However there are specific much smaller sections forRead more

The Abused "Inshallah"

Inshallah, insh’Allah, insha’Allah -God willing is a very frequently used term among Muslims. It stands for “if God wills, it will happen” and it’s meant to be said as a positive thing. Responding with “inshallah” after having been asked to do something,Read more

Cultural comparisons- Small talk

This week was Finland’s Independence Day and we attended the dinner at the embassy of Finland in Riyadh. In attendance of course were many Finns but also Saudi diplomats and other guests mingling with eachother. This got me to thinking how different our cultures are when it comes to smallRead more

Thank you my dear Saudi patients!

Dear patients, I wanted to write this letter to all of you to express my gratitude for everything you have given me during the years. I will not be seeing you for a while because I will soon be going on maternity leave. It is all of you wonderful patients that I will miss the most from the ward.Read more

Expats in Saudi-Arabia and Learning Arabic

Many western expats come to the Kingdom for employment not knowing a word of Arabic and that is unfortunately also how they end up leaving. I could strongly recommend expats planning to come to work in Saudi-Arabia to try learning some basic Arabic even prior to arrival. Once here I would recommendRead more

Saudis And Finns-The Ultimate Survivors

I noticed saying to myself, it’s starting to get a little chilly in Riyadh..Actually it was “only” +30C..How embarrassing for a Finn! But it looks like winter is around the corner. Saudis have started switching to their thick wool abayas and thobes and my patients have the heatingRead more

Honeymoon Destination: Tonga

Why choose Tonga for our honeymoon destination? We love to travel ‘off the beaten path’, meaning to destinations that have not yet been changed by the mass tourism industry. That way you get the most authentic experience from the local culture and the nature remains mostly unspoiled.Read more