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A helpful Finnish instructional video from 1979

Dear all,

As we wind down for Christmas, it is important to ensure that we keep ourselves safe, and I have found this wonderful but short instructional video, purportedly from Finland c. 1979, helpfully showing how to open a door correctly. I would recommend turning on the English subtitles for most of us, but other subtitles are available for those of us unable to understand the wonderful Finnish language.

I have a nagging feeling that this might have been a parody of ‘health and safety’ instructional videos, but if that was its aim, it has failed miserably to stem the tide.

16 comments to A helpful Finnish instructional video from 1979

  • An interesting point is the raised door stop. In a country as cold as Finland (during winter at least), it makes sense to have a flush fitting bottom piece of wood preventing draughts, but if that was in my apartment it would be the subject of some annoyance as I continually trip over the damned thing.

    I suppose if you have them on every door muscle memory would remember, but still.

    Having my door snakes (fabric draught excluders) in use is irritating enough.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns

    He danced through that door.

    I wonder if the mustache enhanced his dexterity.

  • Schrödinger's Dog

    Replace the Finnish narrative with a plummy British accent and it would pass as something from Monty Python.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    The comments also provide helpful information:

    Dave Bryan
    11 months ago
    Kids don’t try this at home , this man has trained for years and is a professional

    9 months ago
    “Approach the door calmly”. Easier said than done for beginners like me.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed – it was indeed a parody of the fad of instruction videos.

  • bobby b

    He never smiles. It is authentic Finn.

    I’m forwarding this link to several Finnish friends. On this winter solstice, it might help them smile.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b

    In the deep dark places there are a monsters – but there are also Finns, who hunt the monsters.

    As for Finnish harshness – they just hold other people to the high standards they also have for themselves. They judge themselves strictly – not just other people.

    Deep down when we fear that a Finn is going to say we have failed in some way – it is because we know that we have failed in some way. We want them to be a bit dishonest (engage in “white lies” – I do that myself, everyone in England does) and say we have not failed to live up to what they expected from us – but they are not like that.

    Of course, the flip side of that is that if they say we have done well – they mean it. It is not an empty compliment.

  • Matthew H Iskra

    Thanks for the link. Growing up in the seventies, I can dig his vibe, man. It’s solid.

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks
    December 22, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    “As for Finnish harshness – they just hold other people to the high standards they also have for themselves.”

    I used to drink with a lot of (Minnesota) Finns. Their high standards mostly related to consumption levels and angst. If I had to give their parties a characterization, it would be the parties with the highest chance of someone breaking into sobs at some point in the evening.


  • Jussi

    I am sorry to tell you Finland has been lost to wokery, same as UK. They might not have hair-nets for men in the army as in Sweden but the thinking is the same. The Finnish language protects from the alphabet mafia, but you have hate-speech laws used by the highest legal government official in her personal woke and twisted social democratic agenda.

    Finland of the 1970’s, and even mid-90’s, is long gone, you may see glimpses of it in the countryside, by a lake, in a sauna.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns

    Bobby B:

    Like this?

    Finns are also expert dancers.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns

    Paul Marks:

    There is this story of the high standards in Finland:

    Two Finns walk into a bar, sit down to drinks. One raises his glass:


    We did not come here to talk.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns

    But now let us cross the border.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Doors are indeed a marvellous invention. Consider how difficult it would be to pass through walls without them (ghosts obviously excepted).

    If you have a moment, you might like also to meditate on their spiritual significance. No mere slab of wood or glass, but rather, a portal to the other side.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I dare to hope that Jussi is wrong.
    From my last (very brief) visit to Helsinki, it seems to me that the Finns have gained a lot of self-confidence, and sense of humor, since the 1990s.

    The fact that the Finn Party has been accepted as legitimate, is also encouraging.
    (That holds independently of whether you agree with the Finn Party…and i myself have no opinion about that.)

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    I have seen a great Fin movie, called ‘Rare Exports’, about a boy, and his father (So a family movie!) who capture a smelly old naked man, and slowly realise that he is one of Santa’s helpers. When they blow up Santa, they train the helpers to wear red, and to be nice to kids, and they export a Santa to every country in the world!