Time may be a relative concept everywhese else but not in Finland.

Being on time is a matter of principle to most Finnish people. When you’ve agreed to meet someone, you allow yourself 15 minutes of leeway – which then usually means you’re 15 minutes ahead of schedule all the time.

This is obviously all fine in Finland when everyone adheres to the same principle.

Did the inventor of clocks have Finnish ancestry?

When abroad, Finns find it hard to adjust to the new concept of time. Foreigners may find it odd to receive a call from a Finn, apologising in advance for being five minutes late. Finns on the other hand will be extremely annoyed 15 minutes into the scheduled appointment if you’re not there.

A dinner party scheduled to start at 19 will start exactly then and the food will be ready shortly after. In my feeble attempts to control my Finnishness, I’ve arrived to a Greek dinner party 30 minutes late and still always managed to be the first one in.

The same applies to public transport for example. If the bus is 5 minutes late, you’re practically on the phone with the company trying to find out what’s wrong. Delays of more than 15 minutes are atrocious and inexcusable.

We may just be the most punctual nation in the world.


One thought on “Time

  1. There are so many blogs about Finns and ‘the essence of Finnishness’ but I have to say that this is by far the best and most accurate one I’ve ever read. Keep it up, this is ihan vitun hyvä.

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