The sauna boom has spread in the Finnish Embassies around Europe lately. The Embassy in London launched Diplomatic Sauna Society in January. The Finnish Embassy in Reykjavik arranged a sauna-themed day in the best sauna of the region in February. Finally, the sauna of the Finnish Embassy in Berlin received the Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience Quality Certificate.

The idea for developing Berlin Embassy’s own Diplomatic Sauna Society came especially from the Embassies in Washington and London. The German sauna culture differs quite a lot of the Finnish culture. For example, it is forbidden to throw water on the stove in a German sauna. It is also not good manners to talk too much in the sauna. The Embassy wanted to show Germans what the Finnish sauna is like. They also wanted to offer comfortable facilities for small and strategic networking events. What could be a better place for that than the Finnish sauna? The only rule in their sauna is that everyone has the permission to relax and forget excessive rules!

Diplomatic Sauna Society brings the sauna diplomacy into the 2020’s in Berlin

Executive Manager of Sauna from Finland Carita Harju participated to the sauna evening at the Embassy for celebrating the granting of the Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience Quality Certificate as well as the launch of Diplomatic Sauna Society Berlin. Together with Harju, Anneli Wilska from Sauna und Garten was also representing Sauna from Finland. Other guests of the evening were representing the media, Visit Finland, and Business Finland. “The evening was warm all around and memorable for all guests for sure,” Carita Harju says happily.

The sauna facilities for men and women and the fireplace room for relaxing after sauna are on the first floor of the Embassy. Finnish wood, glass, steel, and light concrete have been used in many ways in the facilities. Press and Cultural Officer of the Embassy Tanja Huutonen thinks that the sauna area is the hidden gem of the Embassy building. It offers a unique environment for networking after a day at work.

“Sauna diplomacy has been active in Finland already for decades. During these difficult political times it is increasingly important that all means of diplomacy are utilized and brought into the 2020’s. The sauna culture not only reflects traditions, but also the modern and innovative Finland.” According to Huutonen, they will present the digitalization in Finland, the Finnish top-design, and companies in the wellness and health sector in the events. Not forgetting the Finnish food!

The renewal creates refreshing and modern sauna facility

The biggest singular transformation in the sauna facility was replacing the old stoves with new Harvia stoves. Additionally, the bathrobe and towel selection were renewed with Jokipiin Pellava products which are perfect for relaxing after the sauna. The German-styled thermometers were replaced with stylish thermometers by the Finnish Hukka Design. The shower area has pampering Osmia sauna products, for example in the scents of tar and cowberry. Huutonen says that they focused also to the presentation of the products and the overall visual look of the facility. All choices took the sustainability aspect into account. The sauna experience includes, for example, proper recycling bins, and bigger, reusable bottles for cosmetic products.

The staff of Embassy describes that the development process went quite fast and efficiently, but the process felt extremely rewarding. They were happy to develop more functional sauna facilities for their guests, but in the end, the most important thing was that the sauna area tells the tale of the fresh, modern, and innovative Finland. Tanja Huutonen reveals the meaning of sauna in their future functions:

“Diplomacy and sauna. They belong together. There are no titles in the sauna, but everyone is equal. Co-operation and bringing up the strengths of Finland are casually done in the Finnish steam.”

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