Tuesday, March 17, 2015

5 things to buy in Finland

This is a bit of a different post from the usual stuff, but I was asked some recommendations on stuff to do and buy in Finland. I thought maybe some one else might find this interesting, too?
So, if you are travelling to Finland and wondering what you should buy, here are five Finnish things that I personally own and love, and think you might enjoy, too.
All of these are easily available all around Finland, in department stores and big grocery stores.
1. Moomin mug
My collection so far.
As you may or may not know the creator of Moomins, Tove Jansson, is Finnish. Hence, Moomins are a big deal in Finland. There are of course the books, but also all kinds of Moomin merchandise: toys, sheets, toys, towels, bags, cosmetics, coffee, candy…
However the mugs are a classic. I’m willing to bet that almost every household in Finland at least one Moomin mug. And a lot of people collect them and buy each new mug. There is one of all the characters, but also themed ones. For example, they release a new winter themed one each year (I personally collect these).
The designs are usually sold for a few years, except the seasonal ones which are usually available only for a few months, and then replaced with new ones. Some of the older ones have been auctioned for quite high prices, around 1000 €.
You can find these at about 10-15€, but some of the seasonal ones can be more expensive, such as the Tove Jansson 100 years mug last year, which was around 25€.
2. Finnhook
I try to use this everyday.
This one is a bit hard to explain, but it’s basically a massage pressure point thingy. And it's amazing. You hold the straight bit and use the hook part to find sore spots in your body and then just gently press on them. You can see a video on how to use it here.
This is hands down the best home massager I’ve ever tried. It actually works. You feel so light afterwards, that’s the only way I can describe it.
It also hurts. The Finnish name for this thing is Kipukoukku, the pain hook, but I guess they wanted to go for a different name for the foreign market. The first time I used it felt like I was all a sore spot, but as you use it more you’ll find less and less sore spots. I think this is pretty much a must if you do any type of sports or sit a lot at the computer.
There’s a plastic version in fun colors, but I suggest you get the wooden one. I find it feels nicer and sturdier. It doesn’t weight much and lies very flat folded, so it’ll fit easily in your suitcase.
You can find this at around 30€.
3. A Book
These are my two favorite (well-loved) children's books, but I don't think they are available in anything, but Finnish. They should though!
A bit vague, but buy a book you like! Finland has some great literature. There are classic novels such as Mika Waltari’s The Egyptian and Nobel winner Frans Emil Sillanp√§√§’s Meek Heritage. However, I especially recommend Finnish children's literature. There are the Moomin books (of course), but there are also other wonderful children’s books you might never have heard of. A lot of books are available not only in Finnish, Swedish and English but in other languages, too. I suggest you head over to a book store and have a browse.
If you don’t know what to buy, I suggest books by Mauri Kunnas.  I think nearly all of his books have been translated to English and some are also available in other languages, for example, in German, French, and Russian.
The Canine Kalevala tells the story of the Finnish national epic Kalevala in a humorous way, depicting the characters as cat’s and dogs. Kunnas also has several books about Santa Claus (who of course lives in Lapland in Finland).
10-30€, depending on the book.
4. Fiskars scissors
Different colors for different tasks.
Another item that I guarantee every Finnish household has. Maybe you don’t think there is that much difference between types of scissors, but there is.
The classic Fiskars scissors are sculpted to the shape of the hand, so they are very comfortable to use. You can find different ones for left and right handed people. They are also very good quality and cut well.
The basic color is orange, but you can also find them in many different colors and patterns, including Moomin (of course). I have the orange ones and pink breast cancer awareness ones. I also have their craft scissors and nail clippers (not sculpted).
These cost around 15-25€ depending on the color and pattern.
5. Salmiakki
Ok, you can not leave Finland without having tasted salmiakki. I know it’s an acquired taste, but just try it, you might like it! Or at least shock your friends with it.
There’s a lot of different kinds, hard, soft, hot, mild… And there’s also salmiakki chocolate, ice cream, soda, alcohol, gum etc. I suggest you get a small box at first to see how you like it.
1-5€ depending on the brand , size etc.
That’s just five things I came up. If you are a Finn and want to recommend something, or if you’ve travelled in Finland and bought something awesome, please comment below!
This is not a sponsored post (none of my posts are), these are things I felt I could genuinely recommend.

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