More Than the Degree

Culture Comparison: Turkey vs Finland

Skyline of Helsinki

Both Turkey and Finland are unique and fascinating countries, each with its own rich cultural heritage. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the cultural differences between these two countries, to gain a deeper understanding of the lifestyles, beliefs, and traditions of their respective populations.

Food: The food in Turkey is rich and flavorful, with a strong emphasis on spices, herbs, and grilled meats. Kebabs, baklava, and Turkish delight are just a few examples of the delicious dishes that are an integral part of Turkish cuisine. In contrast, Finnish cuisine is characterized by hearty and wholesome dishes, such as meat stews, fish dishes, and hearty breads. The Finnish diet is largely based on seasonal ingredients and is known for its simplicity and lack of spices.

Family values: In Turkey, family is considered to be the backbone of society, with a strong emphasis on intergenerational relationships. Children are raised to respect and honor their elders, and extended families are common. On the other hand, Finns place great value on personal space and individualism, which sometimes results in a less traditional family structure. Finnish families are often smaller and more focused on individual pursuits, with a greater emphasis on independence and personal freedom.

Religion: Turkey is predominantly Muslim, with a strong influence of Islamic values on the country's culture and daily life. Religion plays a significant role in many aspects of life, such as marriage, family, and education. In Finland, the majority of the population is Christian, but the country is known for its strong secular values and religious tolerance. There is a general sense of respect for all religious beliefs in Finland, and religious observances are considered private matters.

Social norms: In Turkey, hospitality is highly valued and guests are treated with warmth and generosity. Greeting others with a kiss on the cheek is common, and close physical proximity is often accepted as a sign of friendship and respect. In Finland, personal space and privacy are respected, and people tend to keep to themselves in public. Physical touch is less common in social interactions, and Finns generally prefer to maintain a comfortable distance from others.

Nature and environment: Both Turkey and Finland are renowned for their stunning natural landscapes, but they differ in their specific landscapes and environments. Finland is famous for its vast forests and numerous lakes, and its residents have a strong connection to nature and the outdoors. Hiking, fishing, and camping are popular activities, and the country's environment is considered a key aspect of its cultural heritage. On the other hand, Turkey is known for its coastal beaches and mountainous regions, with a rich history and cultural heritage that are closely tied to its geography and topography.

Lifestyle: The pace of life in Turkey is generally fast-paced, with many people working long hours and being active both in their professional and personal lives. In contrast, Finns are known for their relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, with a strong focus on work-life balance. People in Finland value their leisure time, and activities such as sauna, hiking, and fishing are considered an integral part of the Finnish way of life.

Music and Dance: Turkish music is rooted in its traditional folk songs, and the country has a rich history of classical music, including classical Turkish music and opera. Belly dancing is also a popular form of dance in Turkey, and it is considered an art form that is both beautiful and culturally significant. In Finland, traditional music is rooted in the country's folklore, and includes ballads and polkas. Finnish music is also known for its experimental and innovative sounds, with the country being home to many talented musicians and composers.

Art and Architecture: Turkey has a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in its art and architecture, with many historical and religious buildings, such as the Hagia Sophia, being considered works of art in their own right. Turkic-Islamic, Roman and Ottoman architecture is prevalent. In addition, Turkish ceramics, textiles, and calligraphy are also highly valued and considered works of art. In Finland, modern architecture is celebrated, with many buildings showcasing the country's innovative and creative approach to design. Especially Helsinki has spectacular architecture concentrated mainly in the center. Finnish art is very diverse, with contemporary art, photography, and sculpture being particularly popular.

In conclusion, Turkey and Finland are both unique and fascinating countries with rich cultural heritage. By understanding and appreciating the differences between their respective cultures, we can gain a greater appreciation for the world's diverse cultural landscape. Whether you are interested in food, family values, religion, social norms, or the natural environment, both Turkey and Finland offer a wealth of cultural experiences to explore and discover.

- San

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