"For anyone other than a Finn...”

“You could argue that for anyone other than a Finn, it is a disaster to spend three years in Finland, as I have just done. Finland is flat, cold and far from the busy centres of European life. Nature has not favoured Finland, nor has art for that matter. Up until quite recent times, the residents of Finland have included peasants, hunters, fishermen, and a small group of foreign rulers who spent most of their money elsewhere. The rich cultural history of Europe has left fewer marks in Finland than anywhere else in the Western world, perhaps excluding Iceland. Finnish cuisine deserves an extra punishment for its barbaric dreadfulness: only the mushrooms and crawfish are worth mentioning.”

Sir Bernard Ledwidge, the UK’s ambassador to Finland, 1972, as quoted at the beginning of Finland’s national brand strategy, Mission for Finland, 2010.