The Silliest Events in Finland
Finns are a peculiar people. At first glance, they seem stiff and serious, but you’ll find they have a great sense of humour. Just have a look at the silly events they organize and compete in.
Yeah, we know many things listed below don’t make any sense whatsoever. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: Most of them are just great excuses for post-event celebrations.
Air Guitar World Championships
So you act and party like a rock star but never bothered learning to play an instrument? Here’s a chance to strut your stuff on stage, no musical talent needed! According to the ideology of the Air Guitar, wars would end, climate change stop and all bad things disappear, if all the people in the world played the Air Guitar.
Wife Carrying World Championships
This “discipline” dates back to the 19th century, if legend is to be believed. Local villain Ronkainen used to swing his favourite girl on his shoulders and leg it, an act duplicated by competing couples at the World Championships, staged annually in Sonkajärvi, Eastern Finland since 1992. The length of the official track is 253.5 metres. Its surface is partially sand, grass and asphalt and it has two dry obstacles and one water obstacle, about a meter deep.
Swamp Soccer World Championships
Messi-esque technical moves are not likely to pay off here. The pitch is a swamp, there’s no offside rule and, as is customary, whoever scores the most goals, wins. Well, now you’re prepared for the swamp footy World Cup in Hyrynsalmi, North East Finland. Don’t lose your boots in the mud…
Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships
That smartphone made the old Nokia redundant now, did it? We beg to differ. Let that piece know who’s boss and hurl it towards the Milky Way! Contestants may be relieved to learn that there will be no doping tests.
Berry Picking World Championships
Say what? Can’t compete in berry picking? Sure you can. The current record will be a tough one to beat, though – 27,98 kilograms of lingonberries in an hour! There’s prize money, too, and entering is free, so why aren’t you heading to Suomussalmi in Eastern Finland already?
Kick-Sledding World Championships
For those not familiar with the kick-sled, it’s something used to glide on snow, kind of like a wintertime scooter. Kind of. Well, they too can be raced, as the competition in Multia, Central Finland proves.
Announcing the fact that it takes place in a hole in the ice usually sends the first batch of enthusiasts right back into their warm attire. This is actually done as a hobby all over Finland, but lately, has evolved into an international competition sport. Try it! You might be surprised.
At some point in time, the following disciplines have also been competed in:
• Mosquito Squashing – we’re sorry to inform you that living things might have been hurt during the competition.
• Milking Stool Throwing – this one baffles even us.
• Table Drumming – not just an annoying habit.
• Rubber Boot Throwing – this one has turned into an international sport.
• Sitting on an Ants’ Nest – when you’re out of things to throw.
Contrast is the main ingredient in Finnish cultural life, probably because everything looks and sounds different from our northern perspective. This may explain heavy metal music played on cellos and films almost completely without dialogue.