Population: 5.44M (1/10th RSA |Size: 338,424 km2 (approx 1/3rd size RSA) | Currency: Euro | Political Leader: President Sauli Niinistö (National Coalition Party) | Capital City: Helsinki | GDP: $229billion (43/195) | Offical Languages: Finnish & Swedish


Sirje Nikulainen

When and why did you come to South Africa? We came to South Africa for the very first time in 2009 when we internationally adopted our Johannesburg-born son. In 2010 we spent 3 months in Hout Bay. We fell in love with the place and decided that if ever get an opportunity to live here, we’ll take it. That happened in early 2013.
Where do you work/what do you do? I’m a Market Intelligence Manager working for our own company with a mission to get Finnish companies invest in (South) Africa. As a hobby I run an online store online store selling South African designs from micro entrepreneurs to Europe (www.nomzansi.com)
What do you love most about Hout Bay? Diversity of people.
What’s the best thing about your country? Trustworthiness of people. When Finnish people say something, they mean it.
…and the worst? Considering it is a very wealthy country with free (i.e. tax funded) education and healthcare, and extremely generous social security, people still complain a lot.
What do you think Finland is most famous for? Darkness. Heavy drinking. Formula 1 drivers.
If there’s one thing you could import from the Finland to South Africa, what would it be? Equal education for all children regardless their background. On a more personal level modern digital banking systems.
If there’s one thing Finns could learn from South Africa what would that be? Laughing and smiling more.
Teach us some Finnish! You greet someone with “Hei” (formal) “Moi” (informal). Thank you is “kiitos”.

[#UnitedNationsOfHoutBay and #HoutBayPeople are social media initiatives by the Hout Bay Partnership to celebrate the diversity and positivity of our community]