Naked saunas, headbangers and old phones: Finland embraces emojis

CNN  — 

Finland is a nation of sauna-going headbangers carrying outmoded cell phones — and now it has the emojis to prove it.

The Nordic country, recently named Europe’s happiest, has decided to spread some tongue-in-cheek cheer by launching a new range of emojis that sum up its national identity.

Not shy of stereotypes, they’ve gone for naked people steaming in a sauna.

There’s also a rock music fanatic giving a hairy nod to Finland’s status as the heavy metal capital of the world.

And there’s a clunky but “unbreakable” Nokia 3310, once the pride of Finland’s now largely foreign-owned cell phone industry.

There’s more to come too.

Designed by Bruno Leo Ribeiro, these are the first in a series of 30 new national emojis to be released in the run up to Christmas.

They’ll be published one-a-day, Advent calendar style, via the website and the social media channels of tourism body ThisisFINLAND.

MORE: How Finland went from ‘land of sorrow’ to happiness

Embracing weirdness

Petra Theman, director of public diplomacy at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tells ThisisFINLAND, it’s all about embracing Finnish “weirdness.”

“We have been anything but serious when creating these emojis,” she says.

“Hopefully they will open up not only our weirdness but also our strengths, of which unarming honesty is one example.”

It’s an admirable effort, especially for a country that apparently could easily just resort to a smiley face — although perhaps not in the dark depths of winter.

It’s got us thinking about what emojis could represent other countries.

Check out the above gallery for our own suggestions and let us know yours in the comments below, or via @CNNTravel on Twitter and Instagram and