He (or she) considers verbal agreements and promises binding, not only upon himself but upon the other party too, and he (or she) considers that the value of words remains essentially the same, regardless of when and where they are uttered.Visitors should remember that invitations or wishes expressed in a light conversational manner (such as: “We must have lunch together sometime”) are often taken at face value, and forgetting them can cause concern.Culturally oriented Finns will take it for granted that like-minded visitors are familiar not only with Sibelius but with contemporary composers Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg, and orchestral conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sakari Oramo and Osmo Vänskä.
Cultural dating practices
The conception that Finns are a reserved and taciturn lot is an ancient one and does not retain the same validity as it used to, certainly not with the younger generations.
Nevertheless, it is fair to say that Finns have a special attitude to words and speech: words are taken seriously, and people are held to what they say.
“Take a man by his words and a bull by its horns,” says a Finnish proverb.
A Finn will carefully consider what he (or she) says and expect others to do so too.
As far as religion is concerned, there are very few dangers for visitors to Finland, even on subjects that in other cultures might be particularly sensitive.
Most Finns belong formally to the Evangelical-Lutheran Church (about 83%), while 1.1% belong to the Finnish Orthodox Church; but people in general are fairly secular in their views.
Being realists, Finns do not expect foreigners to know a lot about their country and its prominent people, past or present, so they will be pleased if a visitor is familair with at least some of the milestones of Finnish history or the sports careers of Paavo Nurmi and Lasse Viren.
Finns would be happy if visitors knew something about the achievements of Finnish rally drivers and Formula 1 stars, or if they knew that footballers Jari Litmanen and Sami Hyypiä are Finns.
Indeed, there are very few other culture-specific considerations that visitors need be aware of.