Do you remember life with “dumbphones”? It’s a good time to get nostalgic, since just last month Nokia launched the new retro 3310 phone. Let’s go back in time to the golden days of Finnish tech giant Nokia when WiFi and 4G were futuristic daydreams.
Time to text
Before WhatsApp or Facebook messenger even existed, people loved SMS messages, or more familiarly text messages. In fact, the short message service is a Finnish invention. Matti Makkonen introduced his idea already in 1984, but his vision of “text talk” was declined at first. He did not let that bring him down and nearly ten years later in 1992, first text message “Merry Christmas!”, was sent from computer. Few years later, Nokia launched the first text message phone and the rest is history.
In 2008, Matti Makkonen received The Economist Innovation Award in the computing and telecommunications category for the work he made for SMS. Still, his attitude towards the invention was extremely Finnish – humble. He disliked when people called him an inventor of text messages and preferred to be called the one of the first people who understood the demand for the service.
Even though texting was a convenient way to stay in touch, there were a few pitfalls. Sent and received messages were on separate folders which led to extra clicking if you forgot what you had texted earlier, not to mention extremely limited storage space. After a dozen of messages, you had to carefully evaluate which messages were important enough to keep.
The struggle was real when optimizing the message usage, too. One text message could have a maximum of 140 characters and if you went over the limit, you had to pay for two messages. It was usual to shorten words and re-write the messages before sending. Moreover, there was no emojis, so people got creative and created smileys with colons, clauses, and characters. Sweet, huh :3
Forefather of smartphone
Smartphone generation might think that old phones were just dumb bricks used for calling. However, this was not the case. Maybe you could not take or send any pictures, but there was something cooler instead – logos and icons! Especially youngsters ordered these pixeled pictures via text message to decorate their phone screens. You could browse the options from the back of a printed magazine to find the fanciest one. The down side was that it was not possible to save icons. Once you ordered new one, the old one vanished into thin air.
The phone offered entertainment as well. Snake 2 was a classic and if you got through Space Impact, your street credibility increased immediately. One popular activity was to listen to the ring tones, which may not have been too entertaining for people around you. There were only few ringtones out of which Nokia Tune was, and probably still is, the ultimate hit. The well-known melody is in fact a part of a music piece Gran Vals. The Spanish classical guitarist and composer Francisco Tárrega wrote the artwork already in 1902. Little did he know that nearly 100 year later the song would make everyone reach for their phones.
Nokia 6 – Smartphone 1
Life without a smartphone might sound ascetic, but the brick had some unbeatable features. The battery life was extremely long compared to smartphones. Weekend at the cottage without electricity – no problem! Nokia served you through the weekend without interruptions.
In general, communicating was more relaxed because you could not see when someone had “been online” or if the other person had read your message. “I haven’t read or I did not notice your text” was completely legit reason not to answer. A good way to avoid arguments!
In addition, the old phones were extremely durable. The most legendary phone must be Nokia 3310, a phone that would “survive from a nuclear missile”. The cell did not mind if you dropped it to pavement or dip it into a toilet. Nokia phone has even been recorded to survive a week inside a fish. No wonder internet is full of memes and videos inspired by Nokia 3310!
Memories grow sweeter with time but you cannot deny that the world has changed. Life without smartphone would be like living on a deserted island. Social media and internet is crucial part of people’s daily communication and the good old 3310 has fallen behind in development.
When you come to study or just for quick visit to Tampere, or’’Finland’s Manchester’’ there are some places you must see! Tampere is known as one of the education centers in Finland. There are Tampere University, Tamperee Technical University and Universities of Applied Sciences. Also, there are many great sightseeing’s to spot!
Pyynikki Observation Tower
At Pyynikki Observation Tower you can see the city of Tampere. The tower is famous for its donuts (the best in Tampere), which are made in the same facilities. The tower is in a beautiful area of Pyynikki. After you have looked over Tampere from the top, you may walk along the peaceful trails in the woods and do some exercise on the famous stairs of Pyynikki, where many hockey train.
Cathedral is Lutheran church in Tampere and the seat of the Diocese of Tampere. Church is famous for its frescoes, painted by the Hugo Simberg between 1905 and 1906. The paintings were highly criticized at their time. You can admire this church in the city center of Tampere. Tampere cathedral is surrounded by a beautiful little park, where you may have a picnic.
Vapriikki museum central
At Vapriikki museum central you can see several exhibitions with just one single ticket. For example, at this moment there is an exhibition about the Forbidden City. Vapriikki is located in the historical old factory Tampella, next to Tampere’s courthouse.
Amusement park Särkänniemi
Amusement park Särkänniemi has over 30 rides and many other attractions, such as Doghill Fairytail Farm, Planetarium and Aquarium. At Särkäniemi gourmets, fun lovers and thrill seekers and animal enthusiastic can have adventure of their life! Easy arriving possibilities to Särkänniemi are possible because it is located in the heart of the city.
Näsinneula is the heart of Tampere. The peak of the tower goes up to 168 meters. With a clear weather, you can see almost up to 20 kilometers. You can also have the most delicious food at Näsinneula restaurant with the beautiful view of Tampere. While you enjoy your five courses meal, you can see each corner Tampere because the restaurant rotates around itself.
Arboretum is located in the field, where Hatanpää mansion used to be. It was established in the 1970 century. You may see many kinds of trees, bushes and flower species. All the species have a name tag for the observers to recognize the kind.
Amuri Museum of Workers’ Housing
The museum area is a typical enclosed quarter of the 1880´s including 32 apartments, which illustrates the life of local industrial workers from 1880 to 1970. Interiors from different periods. Two shops, a bakery and a public sauna. At Worker’s Housing museum, you can see yourself how people used to live in the 80s.
Come to Finland’s own Manchester and explore the great sightseeing here yourself!
There is so much to love about Finland even before you get there. If you have ever dreamt of seeing the Northern Lights, meeting real Santa Claus and crossing the magical Arctic Circle, or enjoying the authentic Finnish sauna and taking a refreshing dip in the icy lake afterwards, Finland has probably made its way on to your travel bucket list.
But once you get to Finland, you will discover there is so much more to this country than you anticipated. That original bucket list? As soon as you check one item off, then you add another and check off dozens more. Here are a few of those list-worthy experiences to get you started dreaming of Finland:
Spot the Northern Lights, check.
The thrill of witnessing the Aurora Borealis is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people. Finland is one of the best places in the world to spot this unique natural phenomenon. The Northern Lights are visible on roughly 200 nights a year or every other clear night in Finnish Lapland. On the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s website you can even sign up for free email alerts sent whenever you are able to view the nature’s most spectacular light show.
Enjoy the Husky Safari, check.
Experience unforgettable moments and thrill of speed in a husky sled ride through the forest. Friendly, active and jolly huskies will absolutely make your day pulling you at a speedy pace through the breathtaking Lappish scenery. Doesn’t it sound like the best sightseeing tour you can imagine?
Meet Santa Claus, check.
Everyone knows that the one and only real Santa comes from Finland. Santa’s official office on the mysterious Arctic Circle is open each day of the year for everyone. Santa and his team of little helpers and furry reindeer friends are ready to deliver happiness and welcome you all year around!
Experience the Finnish Sauna, check.
There is no better place in the world to experience a sauna than in Finland, the country that invented it. The Finnish Sauna is not just a “popular thing to do” in Finland, it is a part of the national culture. For the full sauna experience, you should consider going to sauna next to a lake, so you can cool off with a plunge into the icy water. Having grilled sausages and beer is a very typical Finnish after-sauna experience.
Celebrate Midsummer, check.
Midsummer has a special place in the Finnish calendar, representing the lightest time of the year and the proper start of summer season. Usually a celebration of Juhannus (Midsummer) is spent with friends and family at a summer cottage away from the city, either partying or relaxing. Lighting bonfires and bathing in saunas are two of the main Midsummer traditions in Finland. An important feature of the Midsummer in Finland is the white nights and the midnight sun. Spending the night outdoors admiring the different colors of the midnight sun set over a lake – can it get any better than this?
Party at a Festival, check.
Finland hosts an unbelievable number of music festivals every summer. For many Finns, touring as many festivals as possible throughout the summer is a yearly tradition. Some of the biggest festivals gather tens of thousands of people and have been organized for decades: Ruisrock, Flow Festival, Qstock, Ilosaarirock and many other ones. Oh, there is a Sauna Festival too!
Fall in Love with Finland, check, check, check!
Because once you visit this magic country, it will stay in your heart forever.
Based on the survey results conducted by InterNations, the world’s largest for people who live and work abroad, Finland now makes it to the top in the Family Life Index, while last year’s number one, Austria, drops down to the fourth rank.
The Family Life index includes the quality of education available to expat families looking to give their children the best start in life. The quality of education in the countries listed below is based on the findings by InterNations.
#10 Australia – “Education is deemed easy to afford by 64% of expats, compared to 45% globally. The quality of education is also appreciated by an impressive 84% of respondents.”
#9 The Netherlands – Finding the right school is a big decision for expat families, but there are various public and private options, and expats don’t need to be concerned when it comes to the standard of education in the Netherlands.
#8 Taiwan – The Quality of Education comes in a respectable eighth. “Life in Taiwan seems to be rather inexpensive as well, as it ranks third in the Cost of Living Index.”
#7 Belgium – This year, a third of expat parents find the quality of education in Belgium very good. Last year, it was just about one-sixth.
#6 Israel – The quality of education is considered favourably by the majority of expat parents in Israel (84%)
#5 Hong Kong – The quality of education is top notch, but Hong Kong is in the bottom three for both the availability of education and cost.
#4 South Korea – “47% of expat parents in South Korea rate the quality of education as excellent this year compared to just 22% last year.”
#3 Switzerland – According to expat families, the quality of education is among the best in the world.
#2 Singapore – The living and education cost of Singapore are extremely high, but “53% of expat parents also rate the quality of education as excellent.”
#1 Finland – The top country for expat education, 70% say the quality of education to be excellent in Finland, compared to the global average of just 21%.
Finnish cuisine is known to be delicious and simple – you can enjoy fresh and healthy food around the year. In addition, Finnish food safety is one of the best in the world, so you can explore the local flavors carefree.
Usually, the dish looks tempting and work up your appetite, but like always, the exception proves the rule. We listed top 5 weird-looking (yet delicious) Finnish foods.
Sweetened rye pudding
Do not mistake this to be poop! Mämmi is sweetened porridge made from rye flour, rye malt and water. A pinch of salt and syrup will perfect the flavor. Finns eat the delicacy with sugar and cream or milk around Easter time, which means you need to visit Finland during spring to experience the black treat.
Mämmi-related fun fact: Finnish cross-country skier, Juha Mieto, eats nearly 30 kilograms of mämmi every year during Easter. That’s a respectable amount!
2) Musta makkara
The next dish is bloody delicious – literally. The exotic sausage is made from grained meat, blood, and rye grains and usually served as a snack with lingonberries. Most genuine way is to buy a portion from a food stall at the market square and experience the atmosphere. The origin of musta makkara lies in Tampere – the same city where Edunation’s headquarters is located!
Flat meat/apple pie
Don’t judge a book by its cover! Even though this pastry does not look like an amazing culinary experience, you should include it in your bucket-list when travelling in Finland. Delicious flavors of the flat, oil cooked savory with meat or apple filling will tickle your taste buds. You can find the treat easiest in Eastern part of Finland and the most traditional location to munch lörtsy is at market square in Savonlinna (a city in Finland).
No, nobody has vomited on the plate. The green soup is patiently cooked for hours for the best taste. The main ingredients are simple: dried peas, meat, and water, whereas onion, carrot, salt and mustard can be used to give more flavors. The traditional lunch dish is usually enjoyed Thursdays with pancake dessert. There is no specific reason why the day is Thursday, yet one explanation comes from centuries ago, when Fridays were fast days and people preferred a heavy and nutritious meal the day before. Nowadays, it’s just a habit.
I bet every Finn has tasted karjalanpiirakka, a pastry that you can find easily in every bakery, supermarket, and coffee shop in Finland. Hence, you simply can’t skip this bite which is a tasteful combination of rice pudding and crispy rye crust.
The pastry is a convenient snack for students and busy people because it tastes delicious even without any preparations. However, the best way to enjoy karjalanpiirakka is warm straight out of oven with egg-butter-spread.
Check also our blog post where we listed reasons to visit Finland during the summer.