When it comes to his home country of Finland, Juuso Westerlund (b. 1975) says that the sauna may be one of the biggest clichés around. However, he’s quick to clarify, “It is also the greatest gift to the universe a nation can give.”
The sauna is a Finnish ritual, a part of life and culture, an institution. It is a place where all signs of the ordinary world, like clothing and possessions, are left behind and humans are finally enabled to undress from their social structures and hierarchies. It is a place for leisure and health, but more importantly, it is a place where elements of physicality, spirituality and society are able to congregate. Naked as the day they were born, Finns take fun seriously in the sauna.