Finland is a nation of head-bangers—at least according to the country’s new emojis.

By Melissa Locker
November 10, 2015
sauna emoji

Finland just became the first country in the world to release its own set of emojis. The new set of social media-friendly icons are meant to explore different aspects of Finnish identity, so they feature people partaking in some of Finland’s favorite pastimes. There are two people sitting in saunas (check out our list of Finland’s best saunas here), using those old unbreakable Nokia cell phones, and, yes, rocking out in a tiny homage to Finland’s legacy of heavy metal music. (Finland has more heavy metal bands per capita than any other nation, making the rocker a necessary addition to the set.)

More emojis are on the way, too. Over the Christmas season, Finland’s tourism board will reveal a new emoji, once a day, like an online Advent calendar via the website However, if you were one of those kids (or adults) who ate all of the chocolate out of the advent calendar on November 30th, you’ll be happy to know that the entire collection of more than 30 emojis can be downloaded from app stores for free on December 1st, the same day the Christmas calendar is launched. Until then, you can grab the first three emojis off the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs' promotional website and start texting saunas to all of your friends immediately.

finland ice bath
Credit: Silvia Otte

“The Finland emojis were designed with a tongue-in-cheek approach, but I hope that they will tell the world not only about our special features, but also something about our strengths. One example is disarming honesty,” Petra Theman, Director for Public Diplomacy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs said in a statement. In that tradition, these emojis are pretty awesome.

The emojis, which were designed by artist Bruno Leo Ribeiro in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, will be available in 13 different languages. The national emojis work well with Visit Helsinki’s new program, #HelsinkiSecretResidence, which will give visiting social media influencers an apartment in the center of Helsinki to use as a basecamp while covering the town. Bloggers and other social media influencers from around the world can apply to stay at the residence via the website.