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While Finns are aware that Nokia is often mistakenly thought to be a Japanese company, this misconception is viewed forgivingly but with pity.They are proud that Linus Torvalds, the inventor of Linux, is a Finn.Finland is a country where considerable weight is attached to the spoken word – words are chosen carefully and for the purpose of delivering a message.
The first female Finnish bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is Irja Askola. Chauvinistic or patronizing attitudes towards women are generally considered unacceptable, although such attitudes do persist in practice.
Codes of behaviour are fairly relaxed, and reputations – good or bad – are built up over time as the result of personal actions rather than conforming to norms or standards.
It is difficult in Finland to make or break a reputation with a single social blunder.
Finns place great value on words, which is reflected in the tendency to say little and avoid ‘unnecessary’ small talk.
As the Chinese proverb puts it, “Your speech should be better than silence, if it is not, be silent.” Finns have a very strong sense of national identity.