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50+ Captivating Finnish quotes and quotes about Finland

What makes Finland such a special place and the people some of the happiest in the world? Is it the people, the natural beauty, or the way of life?

Quotes are a great way to get an insight into the Finnish mindset and explore what people say about Finland.

This collection of 50+ quotes on life, travel, and love is just a small selection, and maybe I can add your favorites over time. Since the quotes are originally in Finnish, some expressions may differ slightly from the original.

But even if they might not be exactly like the originals, you will find a unique and original quote to use in a card or message for birthdays, leaving a job, leaving school, or any time you want to cheer up a loved one.

Finnish quotes

Quotes about Finland and the Finnish language

Let’s start with a category that includes a few quotes on a very hot topic in Finland: what do others say about us?

If you ask a Finn, a good Finland quote would probably come from a foreigner and reveal something about us that we would be happy for others to understand about our country.

Quotes from foreigners about Finland and Finnish

“My favourite country is Finland because once you get to a certain point, you can drive for hours without seeing a single person. I love peace and quiet – something I don’t get very often.”

Christopher Lee, actor

“You’re so sadly neglected

And often ignored

A poor second to Belgium

When going abroad

Finland , Finland , Finland

The country where I want to be

Pony trekking or camping or just watching TV

Finland , Finland , Finland

It’s the country for me”

Monthy Python: Finland Song

James May visited Finland in Top Gear to learn rally driving from the formula one legend Mika Häkkinen, this was part of their conversation:

May: “I wondered if I might be, in some way, a bit Finnish myself. I don’t like noisy people, so does that make me Finnish, d’you think?”

Häkkinen: “Yes.”

May: “At home, I quite like to have the spanners in my toolbox in order of size so that I can always find the right one — is that quite Finnish?”

Häkkinen: “Yes it is, very much. Personally that’s what I do, if you’re talking about the toolbox, and everything has to be very organized.”

May: “I quite like to have the air vents on my car all pointing the same way, exactly. Is that Finnish?”

Häkkinen: “Uhh..No.”

“In Sweden, we have what is called ‘The Finnish Disease.’ It consists of not talking much, or at all.”

Hannes Holm, director

“It [discovering Finnish] was like discovering a wine cellar filled with bottles of amazing wine of a kind and flavor never tasted before. It quite intoxicated me.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings

Life in Finland

Quotes from Finns on Finland and Finnish

“I am extremely proud of Finland. Here a child from a poor family can get a higher education and reach many places in life. A cashier can become even a prime minister.”

Sanna Marin, prime minister

“Finnish is not a language, it is a way of sitting at the end of the bench with your fur cap pulled over your ears.”

Paavo Haavikko, author

“The boreal owl on its branch was so wise, wise,

Because it didn’t say a word – In Finland even that was plenty!”

Eino Leino, poet

“This country of Finland is a windy place, the wind blows from each direction. You have to have a sturdy house here and in the meanest weather even plow with a fur coat on.”

Aaro Hellaakoski, poet

“The reason I love this country is that its surface is like its people – frozen on the surface but when the ice melts, no one has seen a more beautiful glow.”

Alisa Martikainen, poet

“I have to live in Finland. I could never fully leave this country; it would end me and mean the death of my art.”

Jean Sibelius, composer

Get to know the finns

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Finnish motto

This is an interesting one – does Finland have a motto like some other countries?

One doesn’t exist today, but the phrase “Vapaa, vankka, vakaa” was suggested in 1936. The translation would be something like “Free, sturdy, stable”.

Interestingly, mottos do exist for the municipalities and cities in Finland and some are very imaginative. YLE has collected a list of slogans on their website. Included are ones like “Life” by Uusikaupunki and Toholampi’s “natural home valley”.

Inspired by these, there have been various discussions about what Finland’s motto could be. A Twitter discussion on the topic got around 300 replies.

One of the most popular ones referred to the Finns’ love for coffee in the form of the humble saying “Ei minua varten tarvii keittää” or “You don’t have to brew it just for me”.

Finland and Finnish travel quotes

For a small country, Finns have traveled across the world and influenced a lot of places. No wonder then, that there are some inspiring quotes about travel and returning home too.

One travel related poem has even been printed on Finnish passports:

“Oh, from the swan now learn a lesson wholesome! They leave in autumn, come back in the spring. It’s our own peaceful shore that us-wards pulls them, Our sloping fell’s kind shelter will them bring.”

Eino Leino, poet

“The wonderful thing about traveling by sea is being so detached.”

Aino Kallas, author

“When you travel from your own country to another country for a long period, you do become aware of the differences. For example, verbal expression is much more important in France – in Finland people don’t speak so much. Also, Finnish people say things directly; that kind of direct honesty would be very impolite in France.”

Kaija Saariaho, composer

“Travelling is about making comparisons.”

Matti Kurjensaari, author

“It is cheerful to travel when you can say anything, and no one will understand what is going on.”

Mika Waltari, author

Travelling in Finland

“You must go on a long journey before you can really find out how wonderful home is.”

Tove Jansson, author, in Comet in Moominland

Experience adventures, travel by land,

See green lands full of berries,

Taste the tastes and hear sounds,

Find out, don’t simply assume,

Experience the journey of life wildly,

Live every, every moment.

Anonymous, a poem often written on cards

“I started going down the road again, a fellow, always cheerful.”

Aleksis Kivi, author of Seitsemän veljestä (Seven brothers)

“There are those who stay at home and those who go away, and it has always been so. Everyone can choose for himself, but he must choose while there is still time and never change his mind.”

Snufkin, character in Tove Jansson’s Moomins

“The world is nothing but branching paths.”

Einari Vuorela, poet

Finnish quotes about happiness

Finland has been crowned the happiest country in the world for 5 consecutive years. Maybe these quotes contain the secret to why Finns are so happy?

“Everyday happiness consists of being content.”

Elina Hirvonen, journalist

“I haven’t really looked back. Nostalgizing accelerates the end of the world. I have become happier little by little over time.”

Paula Vesala, singer and songwriter

“In difficult times, it gets easier if you do something that makes you feel good every day: a cup of good coffee, reading a book, going outside, listening to music, anything, even just for 15 minutes a day.”

A reader comment in Kodin kuvalehti magazine

Happiest country

“Touch is a form of being seen. It grounds people into the world in a concrete way and the biological and chemical reactions that are related to it bring happiness.”

Silvia Hosseini, writer

“It is simply this: do not tire, never lose interest, never grow indifferent—lose your invaluable curiosity and you let yourself die. It’s as simple as that.”

Tove Jansson, author, in Fair Play

“Rest, hope, contentment and moderate joy keep a person healthy and sometimes even heal the sick.”

Elias Lönnrot, philologist

“Time doesn’t measure happiness, only your own glow measures it.”

Saima Harmaja, poet

“When you forget what you can’t change, you are happy.”

Arvo Ylppö, professor

“It is not the man with silver and gold who is rich, but the man who is content with little”

Mika Waltari, author, in The Egyptian

Finnish quotes about life

Finns have a very practical outlook on life and sometimes even face the challenges in life with a little bit of humor. These quotes offer a taste of it!

“Life is full of great and wonderful things for those who are ready for them.”

Moominpappa, a character in Tove Jansson’s Moominpappa at Sea

“Human life is a combination of tragedy and comedy. The shapes and designs that surround us are the music accompanying this tragedy and this comedy.”

Alvar Aalto, architect

“It is not good to work too much. You must also be lazy sometimes, sometimes have fun.”

Minna Canth, writer and social activist

“Peace is a question of will. All conflicts can be settled, and there are no excuses for allowing them to become eternal.”

Martti Ahtisaari, president, mediator and Nobel Prize laureate

“The salt of life is the unpredictable nature of it.”

Jorma Uotinen, dancer and choreographer

“There are lots of people who give their all and have that inner glow on. It’s a shame that majority of them are under seven years old.”

Esa Saarinen, philosopher

“Do what you believe in. Believe in what you do. Do what you think is best. Don’t believe what others say. Say what you think.”

Tommy Tabermann, poet

Finnish life

“It is part of being adult to accept that life is ragged. When for the thousandth time you forgive yourself for the same thing, you can’t afford to judge others anymore.”

Tommy Hellsten, author

“In life, it is usually wise to trust that everything goes well. It usually pays off even when you don’t really believe it.”

Mauno Koivisto, president

“Life is always beautiful. It just doesn’t always show you. Then you often need to wash your eyes with water made out of tears.”

Marleena Ansio, artist

“Life is at its best when it arrives without asking or hesitating, when you haven’t earned it or anticipated it.”

Kari Hotakainen, author

“Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.”

Eliel Saarinen, architect

“Life is quite peculiar. Here I have been thinking all my life that a silver plate can be used only one way and then it turns out it is much better for something completely different.”

Moominmamma, a character in Tove Jansson’s Moomins

“Life is black if you believe it to be black. Life is a cheerful yellow color if you say it is a cheerful yellow color. You write the manuscript of your life with the ink of your choice.”

Tom Lundberg, journalist

“It is good to try to understand everything, but not to accept.”

Sylvi Kekkonen, writer and First Lady

Finnish quotes about dreams and goals

The Finnish superpower, sisu, allows people to achieve great things. Here is some advice on how they do it.

“Go towards your dream. Whatever it is like. If others try to push you down, don’t surrender. No one or nothing can deny you your dreams and goals. They can try but they have no right to do it. Fight them. Go all in and never let them beat you.”

Samu Haber, singer and songwriter

“A person is at their bravest when they are middle-aged. They won’t try anything that takes superhuman effort just to look like Marketta next door and they have the courage to go pick up the mail in their spouse’s clothes. A person like that is not afraid of anything.”

Roope Lipasti, author

“When you believe in your dreams, you start growing towards them.”

Tommy Hellsten, author

Explore Finland

“Without crazy dreams no wise decisions are born.”

Tommy Tabermann, poet

“I honestly think the reason I’ve been able to improve year by year is work. Work with the team, work with my ability, focus on all the single details.”

Valtteri Bottas, Formula 1 driver

“I want to stand at the border where the future starts and shout: ‘I’m not afraid!’”

Edith Södergran, poet

“I could do anything and still I do nothing at all. Oh how fun it is when you can do whatever you like.”

Little My, character in Tove Jansson’s Moomins

“I often conduct an orchestra in my sleep; my orchestras are so huge that the back desks of the violas vanish into the horizon. And everything is so wonderful.”

Jean Sibelius, composer

Finnish quotes about love

You might think that because Finns are said to be quiet, they don’t really express their love much. Is that true? Read these heartwarming quotes about love and decide for yourself.

“Finland is a famously introverted nation. Finnish joke: How can you tell if a Finn likes you? He’s staring at your shoes instead of his own.”

Susan Cain, writer

“Those who have heart will make it even if their head is not the brightest.”

Jukka Parkkinen, author

“Love leaped out in front of us like a murderer in an alley leaping out of nowhere, and struck us both at once. As lightning strikes, as a Finnish knife strikes! She, by the way, insisted afterwards that it wasn’t so, that we had, of course, loved each other for a long, long time, without knowing each other, never having seen each other.”

Mikhail Bulgakov, author, in the Master and Margarita

“I love you, I know it. It is not just the thrill of a moment. It is the quiet glow of a campfire, it is burning hot raging fire. And when we walk with heavy steps. And when time brings us sorrows to our house, I will hold your hand even gentler. I promise to love you even more.”

Juha Tapio, singer and songwriter, in Minä sinua rakastan

“What I have learned throughout the years is that love doesn’t come when you order it. It happens, if it is meant to happen.”

Jorma Uotinen, dancer and choreographer

Finnish winter

“We are all now on a ship and going through the waves of the big sea. We were born with struggles and once die with strain. But what is in between, let that be warmth, love! When two join together when it snows, the going gets easier too.”

Eino Leino, poet

“That night, I wasn’t missing anything until I saw you and suddenly I was missing everything.”

Hanna Lind, poet

“In the end, we don’t feel the most important things were what we achieved or how we performed. The strongest memories are drawn based on the experiences and moments that we got to share emotionally with another person.”

Maaret Kallio, psychotherapist

“The golden rule, often broken. In war and love everything is fair. Except love in war and war in love.”

Juice Leskinen, poet, singer and songwriter

“When you recognize love, you have to receive it. There is no point in denying it.”

Ismo Alanko, singer and songwriter

“Throughout history, truth and love have always won.”

Minna Canth, writer and social activist

I hope these quotes have provided fun insights and some inspiration. What are some of your favorite quotes, Finnish or otherwise? Let me know in the comments.

Here are some other articles on Finnish sayings and wisdom you might find interesting:

30+ Famous Finnish Sayings that Will Inspire You

50 Funny Finnish Phrases & Words in English that Describe the Finnish Mindset

20 Sweet Ways to Say I Love You in Finnish


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About Varpu
I’m the founder of Her Finland. I love cultural tidbits, aha moments, Finnish folklore, and cinnamon buns. My newest interest is learning bird songs. Read more about me..

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Saturday 3rd of December 2022

Great article, I enjoyed it a lot! I especially liked seeing how some of my favorite authors and characters (Tolkien, Snufkin) embrace the essence of Suomi, which is so magical and unique, yet often overlooked. But maybe that's a good thing - Finland is like this mysterious land that only true lovers can truly appreciate.

Kiitos as always for your insight and perspective.


Friday 9th of December 2022

Thank you so much, Netta! You made my day with this comment. Kiitos sydämeni pohjasta! <3

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