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China Talk: Ambassador of Finland to China
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C: So when Chinese people heard of Finland, they like to know something about Sauna, we know that the words Sauna comes from Finland, could you kind enough to give us a brief introduction to traditional Sauna in Finland?

A: It is indeed a traditional thing and goes back as far as past we can see. But it is quite a modern thing Sauna bathing has appeared everywhere because the modernity of Finland. In fact, the current estimate of number of Sauna bathing room in Finland stands as 1,7 million you have to compare that number to our population that is 5.3 millions, if you have the same number of Saunas in China it would be 400 millions. In fact, it is not only in the country side and suburb; we also have Saunas in cities in apartment blocks, flats. I mean every flat. Why do we like the Sauna so much, that more difficult to explain, in the distant past, it has been the place you clear yourself, you wash yourself and it has also been a warm place where you can spent time in the cold season. Now is not more necessary but it is a former recreation we like very much and it is a inside part of our holidays, I’d like to go, for example, to the country side where we have a summer cotes, me and my sisters together, that is the best thing you can imagine in the holiday. Have nothing, no obligations, gather up and have free time and heat up to Sauna. The heating act itself is recreation or activity. And you can also do it often with your friends; it is a form of socializing as well. The fact is we liked it very much still today maybe one factor is only one or two generations ago, majority of Fins lived in the country side being gave the opportunity to go back to something existed in the past, but you are welcome to come to try it yourself.

C: So thank you for introduction about the Sauna in Finland, as I read some materials, they said that when guests went to Finland it is a most honor to visited some households and be invited to the Sauna rooms. As we know you have sold your house in Finland when you are sent to foreign countries and therefore no matter which country you have been sent to, you will take all furniture with you, why did you have this kind of decision? Do you help your wife to decorate every new home?

A: You are necessarily sold the house or rented it and I and my family have done both, sometimes we have sold and sometimes we have rented our houses when we are abroad. Not many Finnish members of diplomatic service are rich enough to have two homes, one in Finland and one abroad. You have to sell or rent either one. Why we take our furniture, the reason is I want to take my furniture and my private objects and books and that kind of staffs. I want to have a home, that the family subjects give me this feeling, so we established our family that’s make the home. This is the indeed a practice in the Finnish diplomatic service. And I think in many private companies as well. Why the ministry permits this, I don’t know, this tradition has existed when I came in more than 30 years ago and I certainly hope that it will be maintain, because it would be sad to sell your household every few years. So simply to put a reason for why we want to do it this way is to have a family at home. No matter it in the Finland or in here. I am giving quite a long answer but I still want to add something, actually I do want to help my wife when furnishing and decorating our new house especially for some physical work, but sometimes we have difference of opinions of what’s should been down, but in the end we worked out fine.

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