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Sauna as Symbol

Society and Culture in Finland


Lisa-Marlene Edelsward

Every culture has a secret ingredient, and for Finnish culture and society it is the sauna. The sauna is an actual bath and bathhouse which in practical life brings people together in ways otherwise impossible. And the sauna as symbol brings together and integrates the many contradictory ideals and realities of Finnish society and culture. Through the sauna, nature and culture, the individual and society, the person and the polity, may be woven into an integral whole.
Contents: The sauna as a window onto Finnish culture and society - Exploration of the Finnish world view and personality as well as the specific sauna rituals.