Finnishness for me

What makes Finland the world's happiest country?

Finland recently ranked first in the world’s happiest country calculations according to the World Happiness Reports. Again. For the 6th time in a row. Why is that, what makes the Finns so happy? Is it the food? The weather? The GPD? The welfare? Maybe it’s some of them, maybe it’s a combination of all. However, in this blog I’m going to tell you what makes me happy living in Finland.

First of all no, it’s definitely not the weather for me. The summer is bright and warm and the winter is snowy and cold, but for half of the year Finland has next to no sunlight. You wake up in the morning, it’s pitch black, you get home from school or work and it’s pitch black again. Sunlight lasts for 5-6 hours per day during most of the winter.

Finland as a Nordic country has great welfare programs and a decent GPD, but this alone does not explain the happiness, since other Nordic countries like Norway and Sweden are better off in most of these departments. The thing that separates Finland from the rest and makes it the happiest country in the world in my opinion, is trust. Trust in the government, trust in your fellow citizens and trust in your services. Corruption rate in Finland is one of the lowest in the world. Even though Finland has one of the highest taxes in the world, the taxpayers can usually trust in the government to invest the taxes into things that actually benefit the people, like free healthcare and education.

But this isn’t unique to Finland either. What really makes Finland different, is in addition that, our geopolitical situation. We have been independent for a little over 100 years now and for most of that time, it has not been assured. Having the Soviet Union and then Russia as our neighbor made sure Finland couldn’t ally with western Europe. Finland got stuck between appeasing Russia and the west, but what this really meant, that Finland was alone. Finnish people learned to trust only in itself. This thought and the idea of taking care of each other has stuck with the Finns and made us more friendly and close with each other. I believe that really sets Finland apart from other nations and what makes us the happiest country in the world.


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