Today on Sauna Talk, we welcome a random, spontaneous, non rehearsed or edited collection of Finns, talking about sauna.
I approached a few Finns on the street today, in Helsinki. I kept the interview process spontaneous. I was respectful with approaching a few people all of whom appeared to me to be unhurried, with a few unstructured moments in their day. A guy smoking a cigarette outside a store. A hotel receptionist with nobody around. Someone waiting for their friend at a cafe.
I’m happy to say that every guest I approached was kind and respectful (surprise? This is Finland!). As you will hear, all were very open with me about talking about sauna and their life with sauna.
Sauna Talking on the streets of Helsinki
Last time I was in Finland, in 2109, I interviewed 12 guests for Sauna Talk, all in one way shape or form connected to sauna. We had Jasper the Finnish actor and owner of löyly spa, We had Sauna Timo, and Kimmo Helistö, owner of two public saunas in Helsinki, and Jesse from Narvi, the folks from Harvia, Dr. Jari Laukkanen, Satu and Carita from Sauna from Finland, just to name a few.
Yet today, I’m warmed to bring you the voice and straight up Sauna Talk from these random guests.
The intent of these interviews is to help share with you what sauna… authentic sauna… means to the people in Finland, the motherland of sauna.
As sauna becomes more and more popular, I think and hope you agree that the integrity of sauna is becoming more and more important. The Finns, by nature, are understated and polite. Many have no idea how their word and tradition – sauna – is being adopted and dare I say “manipulated” for commerce, profit, and marginalization.
So, the Finns are pure with their sauna practice. With over 3 million saunas in a land of 5 million people, Finns need not have to look over their shoulder with concern about any compromise to sauna. For example, a Finn would simply not relate to a sign saying “don’t throw water on the rocks” or a marketing ploy to purchase a quote “infrared sauna” because the marginalization of the authentic does not exist here. What does exist in Finland is the ubiquity of fucking great sauna. And super nice people who share the love and appreciation of the practice.
It’s been said that the worst sauna in Finland is better than the best sauna in most other countries. This may or not be true, but what is true are the following words from these Finns.
Welcome to Finland.
Welcome to sauna. Real sauna. Authentic sauna.