Aerial view of Helsinki capital of Finland

Today marks 100 years of Finnish independence. I’ve been baking pretty much non-stop since I woke up this morning but I thought I’d take a moment to acknowledge the occasion. It’s no secret that I love this country even if it sometimes also infuriates me. Medium happily put together a list of 100 things that make Finland a kick-ass country.

For my part, I love the food. Karelian pies, rye bread, reindeer. I love that wherever you go, you can get at least fair coffee. I love that we, at least for now, have an assumption that everyone should be equal, even if we sometimes need to be reminded of that. I love the language even if my own usage of it is pathetic. I adore the mythology where it’s just assumed that everyone does magic because that’s what Finns do. I love that the mythology more or less explicitly recognizes the differences in people like the fact that there are people for whom a length of silk cloth is a bigger draw than sex. I love that enduring is so codified in our society that it is considered one of our primary virtues while recognizing that that codification probably contributes to the high number of suicides. And I love the fact that we’re so far up north that we get such long summer days, even if does mean that we get endless winter nights in return. I so many words, I love Finland.

There are serious problems that we as a people need to deal with, the rise of the far right and the infinite patience the police hold for the same, for one. But I’m hopeful. In the last 100 years, Finland has dealt with some huge problems and come out on the other side. Battered and bruised, maybe, but still standing.

Happy birthday to Finland.