Very Finnish Problems Episode 2: When the summer cottage is more labour camp than holiday camp

Old Finnish Summer Cottage

Are Finnish summer cottages more labour camp than holiday camp? Very Finnish Problems creator, and Helsinki resident Joel Willans, discusses Finns love of forest work with Ink Tank writer Thomas Nybergh. It’s revealed that Joel doesn’t get to play with the chainsaw and that Thomas hasn’t caught a fish in his entire life.


Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media



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About the show

What’s so weird and wonderful about Finland? British-born Joel Willans, creator of Very Finnish Problems, discusses, with a variety of fascinating guests, what he’s learnt after 15 years living in his much-loved, adopted country.

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Title photo by Kallu

9 replies

  1. think that some physical work and doing things “old way” is part of Finnish summer cottage culture.I would go crazy if I only read for 2 weeks. It’s very nice to go get some water from a well, and cut firewood for sauna ?

  2. The answer is yes, every trip to the family cottage in Finland is a work camp not a holiday. There is always something that needs a layer of paint or some three that needs to go.

  3. I think for us during the summer time it is 90% holiday. Of course there is a lot of cooking and stuff, but those things you would do at home too. We always have huge amounts of ready firewood so we do not need to chop any more. The labour camps happen during spring and fall when we prepare the place for winter and summer, do some upkeeping of the yard like cutting down shrubbery and burning branches and every now and then we chop down some trees and make more firewood. But during the summer it is all made up by relaxing in the sauna and having a nice swim in the ocean.

  4. like physical working at my summer cottage. Today I dig with hoe about 30 square meters field for potatoes and veggies. So hard soil and lot of roots! But I Like to keep myself physical condition…

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