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Saunas, reindeer and the northern lights are just a few of the things the Finnish foreign ministry wants emoji users to associate with Finland.
On Monday, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland added seven new designs to its successful collection of Finland-themed emojis. Some are meant to reflect everyday aspects of Finnish life, while others address common misconceptions about the EU’s northernmost country.
Many of the new designs reflect Finland’s location in the Arctic region. One of the newest emojis, aptly titled “The polar bear that never existed,” shows a polar bear lost in Helsinki, poking fun at the fact that—contrary to popular belief—there are no wild polar bears in the country. Another refers to “kaamos,” the period in December and January when the sun doesn’t rise in Lapland. Others are less esoteric: A woolly socks emoji in the previously released Winter set nods at Finns’ love of being comfortable and cozy, similar to the Danish concept of “hygge.”
There are also designs that aren't weather related: an emoji of an old Nokia handset, which references the Finnish brand that dominated the pre-smartphone mobile phone market; and one honoring artist Tom of Finland, added to coincide with next month's legalization of same-sex marriage in the country.
Two of the emojis—the sauna and woolly socks—have been approved for inclusion in the next emoji keyboard update by the Unicode Consortium. In the meantime, the whole set of 56 is available via the Finland Emojis mobile app.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland’s emojis currently have more than 200 million users. Given that Finland will have only 3.6 million smartphone users in 2017, eMarketer estimates, the vast majority of Finnish emoji users are in other countries.
Finland is the only country in the world with its own collection of official emojis. Its first set was introduced in December 2015.
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