Most people think that the most Finnish things are sauna, winter swimming and sisu. I must add two even more Finnish things: lavatanssit and pesäpallo. The first one means traditional style dancing with a random partner in a shed by the lake during the nightless night in the summer. And the second one, pesäpallo, is the most Finnish sport ever.
Pesäpallo was invented and is played only in Finland. It is mainly played in smaller cities in Finland, but Tampere also has its own pesäpallo team, Manse PP, which plays on a national level. In the elementary school every Finn has played pesäpallo – until the 1990s in elementary schools, especially in the countryside, during winters, kids would ski, and when there was no snow they played pesäpallo. That is why many of us are pretty traumatised by pesäpallo.
A must do when visiting Tampere during summertime is to book a ticket to a pesäpallo game in Kauppi stadium. Don’t mind even if you don’t have any idea of the rules of the game – neither do some of the spectators, because the pesäpallo played at elementary school usually has simpler rules than at the national level game. But at least you can find some comfort if you have watched baseball; the equipment used is pretty similar in both games. Just buy a warm sausage from the stall, shout loud ‘Manse’ and enjoy the game!