Hush Now, Tavastians!

Kanta-Häme was still 5 years ago an unknown piece of Finland for me. Then I drifted here for work, and since then I have been continuously in touch with Tavastians.

When it regularly comes up that I am not a native Tavastian, the following happens: A local comments with big astonishment, how “we Tavastians are so bluff, how do you even enjoy yourself here?”

Stop it! You are not bluff and terrible.

Well, facts as facts, I myself come from Western Finland. It is the heartland of quiet Finns, where at the dinner table you do not speak unless you have something relevant to say. If I would be from the areas of the cheerful people from Eastern Finland, might my understanding be different.

The truth is however that a 2010s Tavastian greets their colleague, opens the door for someone and starts to chatter with a stranger at the taxi stand.

Usually if a Tavastian invites me to their home, I have got coffee. Quite often also buns. And sometimes even so many sorts that I have to refuse for something, even though I am ashamed.

Tavastians want to share from their own, berries as well as books have been offered to a stranger.

A Tavastian surely declares their love for HPK whilst being a little tipsy in the small hours, but you can hear genuine pride about Aulanko, Verkatehdas and the parks and bodies of water in Hämeenlinna even when they are sober.

To be honest: you are nice and hospitable! Just accept it!

There is no need to brand yourself as rude.

Wikipedia tells that “Tavastians are seen as prudent, reliable, slow, persistent and determined, that kind of people who do not easily set out to do anything but when they do, they do it always carefully and persistently until the end.”

For example persistence and grit could be Tavastians’ new assets instead of bluffness.

Those could be asked about from people brought by train and they could be talked over.

Because of small or a little bigger image dimples you should not get discouraged. If milk is on the floor, you should wipe it away and then look towards the next glass of milk.

Original article by: Sanna Heinonen
Original article from: Just. Page B3, art B of Hämeen Sanomat (issue of Wednesday 27th July 2016)

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