Silence as a part of culture

About the author of this post: My name is Simon Lukkonen and I was born in Republic of Karelia in Russia. Mixing two different Finnish and Russian cultures in my family made me interested in culture. Since early childhood traditions of both of these cultures were laid in my family. I am sure that learning about these two countries led sphere of my interests to history, culture and travelling. That is why I study tourism in such an international but at the same time authentic place as Lapland.

STUDYING OR VISITING LAPLAND?

I think that for foreign tourists and students who come to study to Lapland it would be helpful to know before that silence can be a part of culture. I would like people to understand that silence is not boredom. Additionally, for those who study tourism, silence could be a great tool of attraction tourists.

SILENCE AS A PART OF CULTURE

I have been living in Finland only two years but I think I definitely realized that silence in Finland is not something awkward as it perceived in “warm-hearted” nations such as Spain and Italy, but it is actually normal everyday life, and even more, a part of culture. I have been traveling a lot during last year and I changed a lot of places where I lived. I have to admit that only in Finland the word “silence” understands in the meaning of respect to each other, to animals and nature.

It seems like in Finland people are even a little bit afraid to disturb anyone because they know since their childhood that respecting personal space is crucial in relationships between each other, as well as with animal world. In Lapland people encounter with reindeers quite often but even with animals, Finns respect their personal space and way of life.

White reindeer in Rovaniemi

A reindeer in Lapland on the roadside. (Picture source: Simon Lukkonen)

Of course, not every person can understand cultural differences and misunderstandings lead to rumors and stereotypical thinking about a certain nation. So, probably, many of us have the impression that Finns are very closed in themselves people who do not share their feelings and feel out of their zone of comfort when communicating with people who do not understand the fineness of the Finnish culture. Perhaps this is partly true. However, I have met only one example. That how the Finnish loneliness, or silence looks like.

A mushroom in Lapland. (Picture source: Simon Lukkonen)

A mushroom in Lapland. (Picture source: Simon Lukkonen)

SILENCE IS NOT BOREDOM

It always takes time to start appreciating the silence. Nevertheless, “silence” does not really mean to keep calm and sit without saying a word. Understanding the culture of silence in Finland is possible through art, Finnish way of life.

Sunrise in Rovaniemi

Silent morning in Rovaniemi. (Picture source: Simon Lukkonen)

In a small Lappish village Kaukonen every summer the Silence Festival is being held. Silence gives the impression of peace and quiet. On the other hand, the word festival evokes the idea of a herd of jubilant people. The idea of this festival is bringing together northern artists from different artforms and getting together in a peaceful and inspiring surrounding. It is a great opportunity to enjoy Finnish nature which gives freedom of thinking to everyone and at the same time to know more about Finnish art. Silence can be different, always keep it in mind!

SILENCE IN TOURISM

Why do people travel? What factors drive people when they choose a tourism destination? The product has to be unique and special. Finland and especially Lapland has the advantage to offer silence in tourism! Crystal clear lakes, forests, wild animals and of course a small number of inhabitants make tourists from overpopulated areas coming to Lapland and enjoy the silence!

The forest in Rovaniemi. (Picture source: Simon Lukkonen)

The forest in Rovaniemi. (Picture source: Simon Lukkonen)

Isn’t it charming when a person who lives in a huge city like Shanghai or Singapore visits the land of thousands lakes and getting relaxed only because of being alone with own thoughts? In the rush and crush of modern life, the rarities are what we value most, such as space, quiet and time. The space to breathe, a time to dream… it can be found in Lapland, where the lakes are many and the people are few. Visiting Lapland once, the trip would help people to understand and start respecting personal space and silence.

Ounasvaara (Picture source: Simon Lukkonen)

Ounasvaara (Picture source: Simon Lukkonen)

Author: Lapland Safaris

This is the blog of Lapland Safaris, which is a company specialized in all sort of activities in Finnish Lapland both in winter and in summertime. In winter we enjoy snowmobiling, husky and reindeer-sledge rides, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing among other things. During the summer we cruise on river boats, visit the reindeer and husky farms, and hike in the forests. Do you have questions? Ask us anything in the comments of this post. We will be happy to help you!

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1 Comment

  1. I think this idea is absolutely fantastic. Most people live in an extremely noisy and boisterous world. I live in Australia and appreciate quietness whenever possible.
    Thank you to the Finnish people for being who you are.

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