As you begin to discover the characteristics of other cultures, in this case Finland, remember that cultures vary internally. There are usually many cultural differences within the country and nationality. People in the northern part of Finland differ a lot from the ones living in the south.
The Finns are often interested in knowing what other nationalities think about them. This curiosity has brought up a lot of research, where the images, opinions and stereotypes of other nations about the Finns have been explored. When asked from the Danish, Italian the Estonian, the Americans and the Chinese, a typical Finn is friendly, timid, withdrawn and silent. The conception that Finns are a reserved and silent people does not retain the same validity anymore, certainly not with the younger generations. But it is true, that a Finn does not grow nervous if there are breaks in the conversation; silence is regarded as a part of communication.
Finns don't consider it to be so important to enhance the feeling of togetherness with the person they're talking with: Finns don't use many words or gestures. This lack of symbols for contact and togetherness is often interpreted as impoliteness or awkwardness in the conversation. The inability of Finns to use softening words and polite phrases can also be interpretated as frankness. Small talk, a skill at which Finns are notoriously lacking, is not especially valued in the Finnish culture. The social silence, as it is also called, is sometimes a big problem for the intercultural communication, for it can lead to many misunderstandings.