Finland Has Its Own Emojis
Finland is the first country in the world to produce and publish its own set of emojis. The collection was originally part of a Christmas calendar put together by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of ThisIsFinland, a Finnish website.
There are more than 50 Finnish emojis to choose from and more are always being added. The emojis capture words, customs and ideas that are unique to the Finnish experience. See them below and find out why they are so relevant to Nordic life.
1. Tom of Finland. Why it's important for Finland: Tom of Finland is Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen's contribution to the advancement of human rights. His homoerotic drawings have advocated for respect, freedom and tolerance since the 1950's.
2. The Sami. Why it's important for Finland: With homelands stretching across northern Finland, Sweden, Norway, and a corner of northwestern Russia, the Sami are the indigenous people of the European Union. The Sami flag was recognized in 1986.
3. The Polar Bear. Why it's important for Finland: Well, it's really not. Contrary to popular belief, there are no polar bears roaming the streets of Finland, or even in Lapland. Shrugging in front of the Helsinki cathedral, this polar bear is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the myth.
4. Icebreaker. Why it's important for Finland: If you need an icebreaker, you can use this emoji or recite this fact: An astounding two-thirds of the world's icebreaker ships originate in Finland.
5. Aurora Borealis. Why it's important for Finland: Finland is one of the very best spots to see the Northern Lights. You can catch glimpses of the colorful phenomenon throughout the country, but the best views are up in Lapland (where you can even watch from inside glass igloos.)
6. Kicksled. Why it's important for Finland: Besides being an eco-friendly and practical way of getting around, kicksled racing is a serious sport in Finland. Add wheels and this granny can be mobile in the summer, too.
7. A Trusted Friend. Why it's important for Finland: Like Finns, horses have serious "Sisu." Stubborn yet strong, it's no wonder the Finnhorse has been a reliable companion in work and play for centuries.
8. The Voice. Why it's important for Finland: Lead vocalist and founding member of the band Nightwish, Tarja Turunen is now a solo artist and symbol of music ingenuity. Her incredible vocal range allows her to blend two of Finland's biggest strengths: classical music and heavy metal.
9. Sauna Whisk. Why it's important for Finland: Called "Vihta," this bundle of birch sticks can be found in most Finnish saunas. Gently whipping your skin with it improves circulation, among other health benefits.
10. Fashionista Finns. Why it's important for Finland: Finns have their own unique voice when it comes to fashion. Socks with sandals are an example of Finns' "smart casual" style, with keeping feet warm a priority.
11. White Nights. Why it's important for Finland: In Finnish summers, the sun never truly sets. When you walk out of the bar at 4 am, you'll find it just as light as when you woke up. Visit Finland for endless days of fun.
12. The King. Why it's important for Finland: Meet Jari Litmanen, AKA "The King", AKA Litty. Nothing comes between the famous Finnish footballer and his game.
13. The Cap. Why it's important for Finland: Finns don't toss out their secondary-school graduation caps or leave them to collect dust. Each year on May Day, they are worn proudly around town to celebrate the arrival of spring.
14. Pesapallo. Why it's important for Finland: Sometimes referred to as the national sport of Finland, Pesapallo is Finnish baseball. It's often played in schools, in which players are picked by two team captains.
15. Out of Office. Why it's important for Finland: If you want to reach a Finnish person at their desk in July, you're out of luck. Along with the weekends in summertime, it's when Finns retreat to one of their 500,000 summer cottages.
16. Baby In a Box. Why it's important for Finland: In Finland, all new mothers receive a cardboard box filled with goodies, which once emptied becomes a bed for the newborn. The maternity box system is now making its way into other countries.
17. Four Seasons of BBQ. Why it's important for Finland: Regardless of the season, you can find Finnish families celebrating with a barbecue at home on portable, gas, coal or wooden grills. There is even a Finnish Championship in "Ball grilling" called "pallogrillaus."
18. Pusa Hispida Saimensis. Why it's important for Finland: How cute is the Saimaa ringed seal? Lake Saimaa, Finland is the only place you'll find this fresh water-inhabiting, endangered species. Volunteers help construct snow and ice shelters for cubs to survive in the winter
19. Kokko. Why it's important for Finland: Back in the day, bonfires were lit during Midsummer to fend off evil spirits that might interfere with the crop harvest. Today, these huge fires are still a huge part of the Midsummer celebration.
20. The Conductor. Why it's important for Finland: Susanna Malkki was the first woman to ever conduct an opera in the history of La Scala in Milan, to be named the principal guest conductorship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and become the Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.
21. Superfood. Why it's important for Finland: Nordic blueberries are one of the many superfoods of Finland. Bilberries contain more antioxidants, resveratrol, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and ellagic acid than any other berry.
22. Moominmamma. Why it's important for Finland: Since the 1950's, Finns have grown up with the Moomin family, created by Finnish illustrator and author Tove Jansson. Moominmamma is a favorite of the comic books for her calm and loving nature.
23. Black Gold. Why it's important for Finland: You either love it or hate it, but Finns can't get enough of black licorice. Salmiakki is a special kind of sweet and salty licorice spiced with Ammonium chloride. It has even been used to cure disease.
24. Matti Nykanen. Why it's important for Finland: The world's most successful ski jumper is also known for developing catch phrases. Some favorites to quote are "Every chance is an opportunity" and "Life is life."
25. The Original Santa. Why it's important for Finland: The real Santa lives in Korvatunturi of Lapland, Finland, not the North Pole. You can visit him and his reindeer there year-round.
26. Happiness. Why it's important for Finland: If you don't understand the friendly rivalry between Finland and Sweden, picture them as brother and sister. For Finns, happiness is beating its neighbor Sweden in anything.
27. Sisu. Why it's important for Finland: Sisu is a word for the Finnish spirit that can't be directly translated into English. The closest would be having "guts," as Finns are proud of their grit, bravery and unwavering determination.
28. Girl Power. Why it's important for Finland: Finland was the first country to grant women the right to vote and be elected. Finnish women are highly educated and encouraged to pursue careers. The pronoun "han" is used for both he and she.
29. Reindeer. Why it's important for Finland: There are more reindeer than people in Finland, and Finns love them. Cute and delicious, reindeer are eaten in stew and with mashed potatoes and lingonberry in Lapland.
30. Kalsarikannit. Why it's important for Finland: Wait, the English language doesn't have a word for "getting drunk at home alone in your underwear?" It's a long word but a common occurrence, so luckily there is an emoji for it.
31. Joulutorttu. Why it's important for Finland: This Christmas pastry has burned the mouths of many Finns, but it's worth it. The pinwheel pastry has warm plum jam in the middle that tastes like sweet nostalgia.
32. Torilla Tavataan. Why it's important for Finland: When something great happens, you go to Market Square. From hockey game to singing contest wins, any celebration will bring even introverted Finns to their city's market square.
33. The Handshake. Why it's important for Finland: Finns are honest and trustworthy. You can count on the law-abiding citizens to follow through on their word, which is sealed with a handshake.
34. Iceman. Why it's important for Finland: Finnish Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen is known as the "iceman" and therefore coined this Finnish attitude. It's the feeling of "Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing."
35. Stuck. Why it's important for Finland: Every child's been warned not to lick a metal pole when it's freezing out, especially in Finland. Still, a dare's a dare. A Finn can tell you the way to get unstuck, but you probably won't like it.
36. Lost hopes. Why it's important for Finland: Finland hasn't had the best luck in the Eurovision singing contest, so high hopes have been consistently let down. That is, until 2006, when Finland entered its band of monsters, "Lordi."
37. Unbreakable. Why it's important for Finland: Nokia is from Finland, and just like the Finnish spirit, its classic 3100 phone is unbreakable. There is even a mobile phone-throwing contest in Finland inspired by this.
38. Christmas Party. Why it's important for Finland: Christmas parties are when even the most quiet of Finns turn into wild party animals. You know what they say: What happens in "pikkujoulut" stays in "pikkujoulut".
39. Forest. Why it's important for Finland: The Finnish soul is often linked to the forest, as the country's landscape is covered in the areas of fresh air and silence. Finns pick berries and mushrooms in the forests and you're allowed to camp anywhere under "Everyman's right."
40. Meanwhile in Finland. Why it's important for Finland: Finland is cold. Like, really cold. But Finns are used to it - so much so, that even a 0 degree Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) freezing day feels balmy.
41. Perkele. Why it's important for Finland: It translates to devil in English, but Perkele is the mother of all curse words in Finland. Put an emphasis on the "r" to really say it like you mean it.
42. Bear. Why it's important for Finland: The winters in Finland are dark and long, so wanting to sleep through it like a bear is a common feeling. This emoji expresses the urge to hibernate.
43. Peacemaker. Why it's important for Finland: Former president of Finland Martti Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his three-decade efforts in resolving international conflicts on several continents.
44. Karjalanpiirakka. Why it's important for Finland: Luckily for those who constantly crave it, this traditional pastry can be found all over Finland. The rye crust is filled with rice or potato porridge and topped with egg butter.
45. Finnish Love. Why it's important for Finland: An icy heart is the perfect way to portray the way Finns show love - quietly, yet deeply. Love may not always be expressed verbally, but for Finns, actions speak louder than words.
46. Suomi mainittu! Why it's important for Finland: This list is an example of Suomi mainittu! Finns love when Finland is mentioned abroad, and they have reason to celebrate. The successful country often makes headlines, and not just for its emojis.
47. Headbanger. Why it's important for Finland: Heavy metal is the mainstream in Finland. There are more heavy metal bands per capita than any other country in the world.
48. Kaamos. Why it's important for Finland: The sunless days of Finland's long winters lead to a certain feeling. The dark stretch between December and January is called "Kaamos."
49. Sauna. Why it's important for Finland: Sauna originated in Finland and is still considered an essential part of Finnish life. There are 3.2 million saunas for the 5.4 million people in Finland, where they retreat to cleanse the mind, body, and spirit.
50. Cup of Coffee. Why it's important for Finland: Finland drinks more coffee than any nation in the world, and the average Finn will drink 2.6 cups per day. Most workplaces are required to provide coffee breaks, as it is consumed frequently throughout the day.
51. The Flag. Why it's important for Finland: Like its skies and clouds, lakes and snow, the Finnish flag's colors are white and blue.
52. Woolly Socks. Why it's important for Finland: Every Finn has a pair of warm wool socks knitted by their grandma. They provide comfort when sick and warmth when skiing, especially when made by someone with love. Finns are not above pairing these socks with flip flops, either.
53. Bus Stop. Why it's important for Finland: Finns like their personal space. It would be odd to sit next to someone on the bus when there are plenty of other seats available, and you won't see many Finns making small talk at the bus stop.
54. Cross-country Skiing. Why it's important for Finland: It's not long after Finns learn to walk that they learn to ski and skate. It's a fun and healthy way to enjoy the snow and explore the country's beautiful landscape.