The culture of Finland combines indigenous heritage, as represented for example by the country's Uralic national language Finnish, and the sauna, with common Nordic, Russian and European culture. Because of its history and geographic location Finland has been influenced by the adjacent areas various Finnic and Baltic peoples as well as the former dominant powers Sweden and Russia. Finnish culture may be seen to build upon the relatively ascetic environmental realities, traditional livelihoods and a heritage of egalitarianism, (see e.g.: Everyman's right and universal suffrage) and the traditionally widespread ideal of self-sufficiency (see, e.g.: Summer cottage).
There are still cultural differences between Finland's regions, especially minor differences in accents and vocabulary. Minorities, some of which enjoy a status recognised by the state, such as the Sami, Swedish-speaking Finns, Romani, Jews, and Tatar, maintain their own cultural characteristics. Many Finns are emotionally connected to the countryside and nature, as large scale urbanisation is a relatively recent phenomenon.
The Finnish sauna (pronounced 'Sow-na') is a substantial part of Finnish culture. There are five million inhabitants and over two million saunas in Finland - an average of one per household. For Finnish people the sauna is a place to relax with friends and family, and a place for physical and mental relaxation as well. Finns think of saunas not as a luxury, but as a necessity. Before the rise of public health care and nursery facilities, almost all Finnish mothers gave birth in saunas.
The sauna in Finland is an old phenomenon]citation needed[ and is difficult to trace its roots. Bath houses were recorded in Europe during the same time period, but Finnish bathing habits were poorly documented until the 16th century.]citation needed[ Because of the years of habitation and variant rule by Russia and Sweden, it is possible that the sauna custom evolved from them. It was during the Reformation in Scandinavia that the popularity of saunas expanded to other countries because the European bath houses were being destroyed. Hundreds]when?[ of years ago, when bathing was something to be done only rarely or never at all, Finns were cleaning themselves in saunas at least once a week.]citation needed[
A sauna suit is a garment made from waterproof fabric designed to make the wearer sweat profusely. A sauna suit is sometimes called a "rubber suit" because the early types were made of rubber or rubberized cloth. Now, sauna suits are typically made of PVC or coated nylon cloth. The construction is typically in the style of a waterproof sweat suit, consisting of a pullover jacket and drawstring pants. The closures at waist, neck, wrists and ankles are all elasticated to help retain body heat and moisture within the garment. In some sauna suits, the jacket also includes a hood to provide additional retention of body heat.
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.