Mökille is the must-do for Finns in the spring and summer, it means going to the summer cottage in Finnish. Finns crave Mökille all year round. Why is that? There’s a joke about the real reason – so Finns can avoid people. We all know Finns love personal space and don’t like small talk. So once a while, they need to be left alone in the middle of nowhere.
I was invited to friends’ summer cottage in different summers during my study at Aalto. The first one was in Lahti, about one hour drive from Helsinki, I visited the first summer cottage within the first month I started my new life in Finland. We reached there by car. The view was stunning.
So what do we do on the island? We drove the boat to see a few islands around.
Then we sat at the shore with knives at hands to clean the chanterelles with seawater. My friend cooked them for lunch.
Of course, there’s a sauna. It’s very sunny on our way to the summer cottage on a small island. Then the weather changed rapidly. Rain fell in the evening and cooled down the air, which made it better to enjoy the sauna. Come out from the hot sauna and go swimming in the sea. Super refreshing. No doubt, Finns go to sauna naked and swim naked. A great way to get connected to mother nature.
The sauna has a small place to heat up the water for showers. Of course, we collected the seawater. Since the drinking water has to be transported to the island. It’s a life of minimalism there. What about electricity? Some use solar panels, some with power generators. Outdoor lights for the terrace and the route to a dry toilet are LED equipped with solar panels.
I’m not Finn, I grew up on a small island, Taiwan, with a dense population. I totally get Finns’ need to avoid people from time to time. There’s no better way to recharge and spend quality time with your family and friends in the summer cottages. No screens, take a break from reality, just enjoy mother nature and the company of each other.
After I return to the city, I get the craving for Mökille just like Finns.
MA of Creative Sustainability