Hi everyone — City Editor Alina here.
Growing up with a grandmother who moved here from Finland, I was quickly introduced into all things Finland. Everytime a Nokia commercial came on TV or if there was a new Finnish hockey player that joined our local team, it was a must for one of us to point out that they were in fact Finnish.
This has led to two habits — an ongoing inventory of everything that originated in Finland (including an ability to call out Finnish last names with 100% accuracy) and the compulsion to point them out to whomever I’m with whether they care or not.
So now I share with you a short list of things that are Finnish here in Seattle, because I must.
- Pirkko. | An essential shop where Finns can pick up Marimekko designs, Moomin coffee mugs, and Fazer bars.
- Joonas Donskoi | A Seattle Kraken right-winger from Raahe + the only Finn on the team. Tsk tsk.
- Saunas | Yes, it’s originally Finnish and it’s pronounced s-ow-nah, not saw-nah. Check out Banya5 or be very Finnish and install your own home sauna with Redwood Outdoors.
- Salmiakki Koskenkorva | A salty licorice candy often dissolved in vodka and then drunk straight. It was not made in Seattle, but you can get shots of it at Nue and Screwdriver bar.
- The Finlandia Foundation: Seattle Chapter | While we Finns are shy, we do like being around other Finns — as long as no one tries to make too much small talk.
- The Nordic National Museum’s Kalevala Day Celebration | The Kalevala is Finland’s national epic poem and serves as the record of Finnish folklore. It is such a big deal that we celebrate its importance every year.
- Me | I am very Finnish. In fact, I am named after my great-great grandmother who herded reindeer in Kemijärvi above the Arctic Circle.