Of course. I did not mean to imply that this would be a uniquely Finnish view or experience. It is easy to see how such experiences can (and will) be shared and appreciated by all who have “served their country”. (Although it should be noted here that in modern Finnish context, “serving your country” just means practicing for the worst-case scenario; not being hauled to remote countries for missions. Finns do missions abroad, such as in UN peacekeeper operations and in the ISAF and the like, but this is voluntary and professional; conscripts doing their compulsory service are not involved. So Finnish conscripts and reservists, except those who have later on actually voluntarily served abroad on peace-keeping missions, do not really have actual “war stories” to tell to each other; only stories about the time when they were in basic training for their prospective war-time duties.)tuulen wrote:Honestly, I think military experience goes far beyond being only a "Finnish" thing, and goes far beyond one's 20s, as a lifelong experience.Jukka Aho wrote:...In practice, all this matters very little in so far as the daily life in Finland is concerned. Except when a group of young Finnish men in their 20s gather together, from time to time, the recent “shared” military service experience may suddenly pop up, as a topic of discussion, and people will begin reminiscing about their service time, usually telling colorful (or colored) anecdotes about their weirdest experiences while “in the forces”. (It’s a Finnish thing.)
The smartest and the stupidest all get mixed into one group, and that group learns to depend on each other for their lives.
There is no college or university which can teach that kind of experience, as only the military can do that.
What I meant was simply that in Finland, a very large percentage of men “automatically” share that common experience of having been trained in the military, by the force of law and custom, so it’s easy to start a casual discussion about your experiences on the assumption that the others have most likely experienced similar things and can immediately relate to the stories, military slang or expressions, or whatever. In countries which do not have compulsory service and where a large number or even majority of men have never served, this topic might not come up as readily, frequently, or casually.