In the beginning of February, Facebook made a campaign with video clips about our friends (here) . It was for Facebooks’ birthday, but I first thought it had something to do with Valentines’ Day. Then I remembered, it’s only in Finland that Valentines day is a Friends’ day.
Yes, here it’s called Ystävän päivä (ystävä = friend, day = päivä) and since children are small, they draw post cards in school to give for friends. At least it was like that when I was a child… I’m not sure if they still do that? As teenager we always did something between friends on that day; went to movie together and gave presents between best friends.
A Spanish friend told me about hes’ first year in Finland, and how he got scared when on Valentines’ day a girl he have knew for about a week, came with some chocolates and wished him Happy Valentines’ day! He was asking if the girl wasn’t going a little fast, as they had just met… She had to explain that it was a gift for a friend, as in Finland 14th February is a friends’ day. The Spanish guy immediately felt better ;).
While I was living in France, I reminded my friends so many times about it, that last years my French friends also sent me messages for Valentines day by saying “…because in Finland it’s a friends’ day, happy Valentines day…” Or something like that.
In France I also used to celebrate Valentines’ day in the both ways, as a lovers-day, and as a friends’ day. Sometimes I had romantic dinners with my boyfriend, sometimes with him and our friends, but for me the most important was to remember my good Finnish friends on that day. I didn’t send any postcards, even that some years I still got some (God that was warming my heart!), but I always sent messages for my good friends to thank them about being here and being my friend and to tell them how much I care about them.
Well, as for Valentines day as a lovers’ day, also as a friends’ day, I don’t think we need a special day marked in the calendar to tell our loved-ones how much we care about them… But as that day exists I can as well use that day to remind my friends that they are important for me.
For me friends are the most important thing in my life, and I think they earn a special day. This might be a cliché, but for me good friends are the ones that always stay and that you keep for your whole life. Other relationships come and go and change all the time, they are great meetings and experiences but not always lasting…
And this brings me to Finnish people as friends, because I have to say, my best, most important and reliable friends are Finnish. And God how much friends and great people I have all over the world! I know Finnish people are difficult to approach and in the beginning they are not very talkative. It can take long time to break the ice and get something deeper from a Finnish person. But, once you’ve become friend, and you’ve earn the trust with a Finnish person, you will have him as a good friend for the rest of your life. Finnish people have a lot of negative points and things I don’t like, but one thing I really admire with them is their honesty and transparency.
Of course I love my friends from other countries too, and they have a lot of good qualities that Finnish people maybe don’t… For example hugging, kissing and touching much more between friends!
With my good friends I know, that even we don’t meet in years, and even we are very slightly in contact, the day we see again we start on where we stopped the last time…
In Finland Valentines’ day is of course becoming more commercial every year, and it have become a lovers’ day as well. People do talk about romantic dates and participate on love events, or buy heart-chocolate and flowers… And that’s fine, I did participate on that too when I was in Paris. But in Ivalo, I can’t see almost anything about that! It’s not like in big cities, where you have ads all over, and as I don’t watch TV I don’t see the Valentines’ ads there either! And that feels good.
I can still celebrate 14 February as a Friends’ day and be happy about all the great people I have met in my life, and who have became my friends! ❤
Happy Valentines’ Day for all, no matter if you are celebrating your friends or lovers, or no-one… Enjoy your day! 🙂