I’ve always considered Ylioppilaslehti (a bimonthly Finnish student paper) as mostly boring, but the newest issue had one good article: Suomen yliarvostetuimmat ja aliarvostetuimmat: an article about the most overrated and the most underrated things in Finland. A few points there really hit home. A couple of examples:
As the most overrated movie: Levottomat. I completely agree. It was one of the worst Finnish movies I’ve seen and I wholeheartedly agree with Matti RÃ¤mÃ¶’s comment: “If Levottomat is a generation-movie and the autistic main character the interpreter of his generation, evolution has taken a step backwards.”
And as the most underrated manner: punctuality. That is so true. In general Finns are quite punctual, but there are occasional chronic latecomers. When several people wait for someone to join a meeting, the amount of collectively wasted time can easily amount to hours or even days. Again, the article brings up a very good point: considering even the chronic latecomers are usually on time for airplanes, trains and movies, it has to be concluded that being late is a conscious choice.
As a personal addition, I could mention smiling as another underrated manner. Finns never smile when they don’t feel like it – nor in 90% of the occasions when they feel like it. I know some returning expats have been relieved to return to Finland where cashiers and others don’t constantly smile. I don’t really understand this attitude. Sure, fake cheerfulness can be annoying when overdone to the extreme, but I’d rather receive a somewhat fake smile and exchange pleasantries than get an honest riled expression and a grunt at the checkout.
Especially when it’s a known fact that emotions and their expression is not a one-way street; i.e. consciously ‘forced’ facial expressions (like smiling) actually make us feel more like the look we’re expressing.