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Finland became the first country in the world to unveil a collection of national emojis in December, 2015.
Finland became the first country in the world to unveil a collection of national emojis in December, 2015.

Finland is set to become the first country in the world to have its own country-themed emojis added to the Unicode Standard.

Petra Theman, the director of public diplomacy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, reveals to Uusi Suomi that the two country-themed emojis – one of which depicts a person in a sauna and the other a pair of woolly socks – are likely to be introduced to the emoji keyboards of smart devices around the world next June.

“[Emoji] proposals are approved once a year, in November. They're usually [added to devices] the following June. Various hardware manufacturers will design their own versions of the emojis. The design work takes time, as do the updates,” she says.

The Unicode Consortium approved the emojis for inclusion to the Unicode Standard on 10 November, 2016, according to a press release from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. “It's significant in the sense that then [the emojis] are practically here to stay. Once they've been added to the keyboards, they won't be taken out,” views Theman.

Theman, who was one of the judges at the first Emoji Spelling Bee at EmojiCon in San Francisco on 5–6 November, points out that emojis can be used very creatively. The sauna emoji, for example, can be used to describe “all things hot”.

“Now Finns can also finally use an emoji to tell they've had a sauna,” she adds.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Handout – The Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Source: Uusi Suomi

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