04 Dec '17, 6am

Five things to know about Finland.

HELSINKI: Finland, a former Russian Grand Duchy, celebrates the 100th anniversary of its independence on Wednesday (Dec 6). Here are five things to know about the nation on the Baltic Sea. SAUNA RITUAL (Photo: AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand) The sauna (which means "bath" in Finnish) is a ritual - almost even a rite - which Finland's 5.5 million inhabitants carry out at least once a week. A sociable event that once lent a sense of community, saunas are now generally enjoyed privately or with friends: There are an estimated two to three million saunas in the country. During the Cold War, Finnish president Urho Kekkonen negotiated with Soviet diplomats in the sauna of his residence in his birthday suit - a sauna is enjoyed in the nude in Finland. Advertisement Advertisement In 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin also dropped his towel when he sweated it out with the husband of hi...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/five-things...

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