Most of the handshakes today take place electronically between different information systems and communication connections. Handshake skills are also required from the different units of various production lines these days. It’s worth noting that these handshakes also have some human characteristics. For instance, different protocols have been developed for these handshakes. In addition, different viruses also spread between them – while it’s not always possible to get accurate information about their origin.

If we talk about the traditional handshake between people, I believe that the Germans are still the leading nation in this sport. It is still suggested to instruct the exhibitors at the trade fair booths to Hände schütteln, Hände schütteln, und nochmals Hände schütteln (shake hands, shake hands, and shake hands again).

Finns are also fond of shaking hands. Of course, when the corona virus was raging, they tried to come up with different alternatives, such as greeting with an elbow, shaking their own left hand with their right one, or bowing in the Japanese style.

Finland’s biggest and most popular handshake event is the Independence Day reception. The presidential couple shakes hands with invited guests in the Presidential Palace, and almost the entire nation watches the handshakes on television. So far, no competing format has emerged for this program.

When Finns meet strangers, they often mutter their own name simultaneously. Despite shaking hands, however, both parties often remain as unfamiliar as before. Some Finns also use this engrained custom abroad. According to the story, Yleisradio’s reporter Paavo Noponen, who went to cover the Olympic Games in Mexico, caused astonishment in the other party when he pronounced his name. They interpreted the Finn saying: “pavo no pone” meaning the turkey doesn’t lay eggs.

A strong Finnish tradition is called “kättä-päälle”, a hand-to-hand agreement, which is still in use. The custom must have been invented before Finns learned to read and write. When the matter has been agreed upon, we look into each other’s eyes and shake hands. After that, it is very difficult to change what has been agreed, because there is no fine-print text referring to exceptions or special procedures. It is agreed, what has been agreed.


Fast-track Finnish

Pirkanmaan Yrityskummit ry
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