Finland, for the fourth consecutive year, topped a list of countries evaluated on the well-being of their inhabitants. Finns embrace depictions of themselves as melancholic and reserved — a people who mastered social distancing long before the pandemic. A popular local saying goes, “Happiness will always end in tears.” But for four consecutive years, Finland has been named the happiest country in the world by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which publishes an annual report evaluating the happiness of people around the world. Read more in the New York Times article about What Makes a Happy Country?
“I have yet to meet Sanna Marin in person, because the COVID-19 pandemic has thwarted our tradition of Nordic leaders meeting regularly. Instead of meeting face-to-face, we have kick-started our vision of being digital front runners and met online. I watched virtually as Sanna began her role as Prime Minister of Finland, taking office just weeks before the country’s first case of coronavirus was diagnosed in January 2020. New to the job, Sanna did not have much of a honeymoon period, but she adapted quickly. By implementing a lockdown in March and banning travel in parts of the country, Sanna helped to keep coronavirus case
Food that is both good for the environment and for humans is what more and more Finns are beginning to consider. Not only what is eaten, but how it is grown, how it is transported, and the packaging it comes in are all increasing important factors in the food sector and to Finns. With Finland’s “everyman’s rights,” giving people the right to freely roam land and gather wild food, interest in wild berries and mushrooms is increasing, as is interest in urban farming, with people being able to grow more products at home, such as mushrooms in used coffee grounds. Alternative sources of protein are
Where is the easiest place to get to know a Finn? Some now say that it’s in the sauna, and new public saunas are opening in Helsinki to become social centers, for example, as hangouts on Friday nights. A perfect example of this is Sompasauna, a trio of wood-heated, hand-constructed public saunas on the end of a peninsula in Kalasatama, across the water from the city center. It’s available to anyone for free, which is part of the allure, where talk is social and a new type of sauna culture brings people together just to have a good time without a need for quiet deep