Episode 13: When you don’t get sisu

Finnish evening landscape in November, with a pedestrian bridge and reeds

This time, Very Finnish Problems creator Joel Willans is joined by Joanna Nylund, author of Sisu: The Finnish Art of Courage, to discuss, as the book title suggests, Finnish resilience. Is sisu somehow a Finnish cultural trait or do Finns mostly benefit from briefly defining a necessary universal way to stay sane while facing hardship? Co-host Thomas Nybergh returns to blame Joel for British imperialism and remains skeptical about how close to nature Finns really are.


Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fi

Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media



Joel’s new book: More Very Finnish Problems

Sisu explained

Get Joanna’s book Sisu in Finnish

Get Joanna’s book Sisu in English

The Finnish Famine 1866-68

National romanticism

How to Win Friends

American center-right politician Barack Obama touring the Nordics yanksplaining social democracy to business leaders

The End of History

Joel’s appearance on Finnish Public Broadcaster Yle’s podcast All Points North

Joanna’s book recommendation: Factfulness by Hans Rosling, on how the world has gotten better without the West noticing

Bill Gates on Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling interviewed on British TV

Thomas’ podcast recommendation: Behind the Bastards, an informative, funny weekly rant on some of the worst people in history

Joel’s recommendation: Classical Trancelations, unforgettable electronic music reinterpreted by classical orchestra at Helsinki Arena (streamable worldwide)


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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 Ilkka Jukarinen

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