Man and Wild - Every Person's Right in Finland

Did you know that Finland is one of the few countries that practice every person’s rights? In Finnish language, the word is “jokamiehenoikeus”.
Person in nature

Every Person's Rights

According to “jokamiehenoikeus”, people have the right to be close to nature without requiring permits for certain public or privately owned land, lakes, and rivers. This includes activities like camping, line fishing, swimming in lakes, trekking etc. for recreational and exercise purposes. Of course, with these rights also come responsibilities. People are obligated not to harm, disturb, litter, or damage wildlife or crops in any way.

In this blog, I want to share a few of my experiences here in Finland, a country with stunningly beautiful forests, and people who love nature!

One of my favorite activities was when I went berry picking and mushroom picking with my friends in Helsinki. The perfect time to go berry picking is late summer and early fall. Some berries like strawberries, for example, grow well in the summer. Once it starts raining, that is a good time to look out for mushrooms as well. But be careful when identifying the edible mushrooms and berries... some can be dangerous!

In the forest, you can often see rabbits and squirrels running around – and sometimes in public parks. Most running water streams have a paddling of ducks swimming around, sometimes making different formations. I don’t know why they do that. It looks like a dance!

In Oulu, I like standing over the bridges near the city center and watching the ducks in the stream underneath. On the way back from university, I enjoy the peaceful walk alongside the river starting from the famous Toripoliisi, towards the Hollihaka park, which is next to my apartment.

I’m so happy I get to live here, because it is beautiful all year round.

In the summer, the water is blue, and the golden sun brings out the best color in the grass. The people walking their dogs, the cheerful cyclists, the birds and the boat docks liven up the place. People love hanging out here and grilling. When it rains, you can see a rainbow! There are some dog parks and skateboard parks nearby, and I love these places.

In the winter, everything here is covered in white snow, of course. Finland is popularly known as a winter wonderland. And everything, including the frozen trees look like they are made of glass. I once saw a person dig a hole in the frozen river and drop a fishing line in. It’s called ice fishing and it is common here in Finland! This, again, is possible due to every person’s rights.

It is always possible to go trekking in the forest, visit nature and spend time in summer cottages. It was a good break for me to take myself away from homework and find some relaxation and new experiences. I still have many things I want to cross off my list. And of course, the list is never ending!

About the author

Niyati Kandikanti from India is studying Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of Oulu. She had never travelled abroad before coming to Oulu, and now her travel list has been growing ever since.