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Fish trap

You’re fond of Finnish summer cottages. Very fond. There’s basically no point in trying to get you away from the water. You’re the centre of attention: even the fish come over to see you. You certainly like fish – and they like you. Keep yourself open and jump right into the water. That’s when you’re at your best. And in a moment, the food is practically on the table.

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Lappish wooden cup guksi

When a malformation – a gnarl – develops in a birch tree, your creator sees all its imperfect beauty. And potential. You don’t mind all the looks you get – you’re an object of decoration – and yet there’s something wild and mythical in you. Since the wilderness is all around you, you join your group for a hot cup of coffee prepared on an open fire. Your existence is honoured in a ritual that combines cognac with good company.

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Savoury vendace pie

You’re a Finnish institution through and through, and your name translates poorly into foreign languages. Whatever your rye exterior keeps inside, it’s a surprise to everyone: vendace (a small fish that’s a cousin to the salmon) and pork belly. Your roots are deep in the land of Savo, Finland’s easternmost province, but you can easily be found in marketplaces across Finland.

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Snow shovel

No doubt about it, you’re a fan of winter. You start your holiday as soon as the coltsfoot and the snowdrop see the light of spring, but you’re much harder at work in the wintertime. Your source of strength and working partner is an honest, reliable Finnish man, who is happy to get some daily exercise. You may need a little nudge, but together you always come through!

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Maternity package

When a stork enters Finnish airspace with a child in tow to take to its waiting parents, that’s not the only thing it’s carrying. In fact, you get to meet every newborn Finnish child on your journey. You can proudly call yourself a civil right if you like and, beyond that, one of the first that a person in Finland enjoys. Many a Finn has slept some of the first nights of his or her life surrounded by your four walls – which suits you fine. You offer everything a little one needs during the first weeks of its life.

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Salted liquorice

Like blue cheese, you divide folks into lovers and haters. For some reason, however, you have conquered the hearts of the Finns. It is said that your dark exterior and bittersweet attitude mirror what it is to be Finnish quite well. Typically, you dress in black and you’re really square, but your relatives are found in all kinds of colours and flavours.

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Sauna whisk

You split opinion. Half the Finnish population calls you one thing, the other half something else (you have two different names, depending on where you’re busy). Some love you when you strike them on the back with your birch branches in a hot sauna – while others can’t stand you. You don’t leave anyone cold, however. Your fresh scent brings to mind the summery shores of lakes, and that’s why your fragrance is also sold as an industrial preparation for urban saunas.

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Kicksled

You’re outgoing and dependable – the best friend to have when someone has to get somewhere on an icy road. You’ve delivered both children and shopping bags in your wooden embrace through winds and blizzards. Your steely runners and simple design have withstood the test of time, making you extremely ecological and economical.

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Jussi sweater

You favour tradition and have a warm character. Though you’re from the large farms of Southern Ostrobothnia, you offer protection and woollen comfort across Finland, from small children to granddads. Your traditional pattern currently decorates bags of sweets as much as T-shirts, and for many you bring to mind the haylofts and rolling fields of the countryside.

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Sheath knife

Above all else, you’re practical and efficient. Sometimes you emphasise your looks, but for the most part you show you’ve been hard at work. You’re sharp and a cut above the rest, but when well-handled you’re an indispensable help in making a fire and in camping, not to mention fishing and hunting. It’s hard to imagine anyone in Finland who would think about leaving for the forest without you.

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Rag rug

You like recycling. You’re an aesthete, but you love comfort. You turn ragged clothing that would otherwise be discarded into durable works of art. Your favourite place to be is on a carpet scrubbing jetty in the sunshine. Although others trample you down continuously, you always respond by gently tickling the soles of their feet.

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Shoe grate

You’re faithful, diligent and satisfied with little. You’re capable of spending decades waiting by the doorstep – always ready to clear the snow and mud off others’ boots. Your simple design doesn’t attract attention, but you stand the test of time. You serve only one master: practicality. You’re the world’s best at what you do.

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