Practical Information

Sisu and Sauna

Sisu is a concept used to describe a certain feature that is considered by Finns to be typically Finnish. Sisu is what makes a Finn grit his teeth against all odds; go on to win a race even after falling over. Sisu is”what it takes”: guts, determination.

A nation with 1,5 million saunas has no need for etiquette for the sauna, since practically everyone grows up with it, and bathing in the sauna comes as naturally as speaking. Because of its naturalness, the Finnish way of sauna bathing comes in many forms – no Finn could ever say to another person about sauna bathing that ”you are doing it wrong”.

This is a good principle for the guest, too: one should listen to one’s own body and follow one’s own rhythm in moving between the steam room, the showers, the outside air and perhaps the lake or the sea or even snow. The sauna is a place without hurry. It is customary to continue the evening with conversation, drinks and sometimes a light meal.