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Since they follow quite a bit of international news, the have strong opinions about events, so you can find yourself engrossed in stimulating debates if the opportunity presents itself.

Location: Northern Europe, Scandinavia, bordering Norway 729 km, Sweden 586 km, Russia 1,313 km Capital: Helsinki Climate: cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes Population: 5,268,799 (2014 est.) Ethnic Make-up: Finn 93%, Swede 6%, Sami 0.11%, Roma 0.12%, Tatar 0.02% Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 89%, Russian Orthodox 1%, none 9%, other 1% Government: republic Of the two official languages of Finland, Finnish is the first language spoken by 93% of the country's 5 million inhabitants.

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Dating culture in finland

On a recent school day, as I dug into a lunch of fish sticks and steamed potatoes at the teachers’ table in the cafeteria, I was joined by a Finnish colleague.

We exchanged hellos (since, you know, we hadn’t yet greeted each other that day), and then ate our meals in complete silence.

You’re American,” remarked my colleague, smirking from across the coffee table.

My other Finnish coworkers, from the school in Helsinki where I teach, nodded in agreement.

To prevent you from innocently stepping on some Finnish toes, here are a few social no-goes to be aware of. At first glance, the Finnish locals might appear almost hostile, but do not be deceived by appearances.