Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf

This is the unusual and attention-grabbing title of a new book on Finland, as announced in the aforementioned e-newsletter from Canadian Friends of Finland. The announcement reads:


Finland is revealed in a new book by the linguist and Finland friend, Richard D. Lewis:

Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf gives an insight into every aspect of Finland and it’s people, as described by a keen observer of global cultural differences and in particular of the Finns. In relating numerous jokes and humorous stories the book shows the authors enchantment with his subject. Apart from its description of the Finnish people and culture the book provides an introduction to the country’s history and to the factors, geographical and historical, which have shaped the Finnish nature. In a review of the book, Prof. Oiva Saarinen in Finnish American Reporter states: “Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf is a book of many insights – not only about Finland but also of the world beyond… provides a highly useful guide for anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of the Finns and how they think, communicate and do business”.

About the author:
Richard Lewis’s fascination with Finland goes back to, when he as a young university graduate, interested in sports, visited the country during the Olympic games in 1952, which were held in Helsinki that year. He met my (U.F.) sportsminded younger cousin, Matt, who invited him to stay and work on his family’s farm. He stayed nearly a year on the farm, learning Finnish (particularily the earthy kind) while working side by side with the farmhands. For a while he explored the rest of Finland teaching English in order to support himself. After a few years in other parts of Europe he came back to Finland to open the first Berlitz school in Helsinki. From then on Lewis developed a cross-cultural expertise and is now head of Richard Lewis Communications, an international company with language schools in 15 countries and with 6 schools in Finland.

Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf, ISBN: 1-931930-18-X, can be ordered through local book stores. (I found it at with a 1 to 2 month shipping time.)

If any of my readers, especially Finns, have read this book, I’d be very pleased to hear opinions of it. Can a non-native really understand another culture and people completely? I was born in Finland, did not live there very long, have visited several times, correspond in Finnish with some relatives, and read about Finland and still continue to learn more about this amazing little country.

October 15, 2005 in Books, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric by Marja-Leena