My experience of Finnishness

When I think about Finnishness, the first thing that comes to my mind is definitely ”sisu”. Sisu is a concept that is a huge part of Finnish identity, a word that other languages can’t fully translate. Sisu can be described as a combination of resilience, determination, and courage. It’s a mentality, a kind of inner strength that keeps us pushing through hardships even when the odds are against us. It’s about being brave, having willpower, and embracing discomfort.

On the downside, sisu can make us too stubborn. It can make it difficult to show any weakness or ask for help, even when it’s needed. I think that this is especially common in Finnish culture. Often, it’s expected that you should be able to handle things on your own, and it’s considered normal to find your day-to-day life hard at all times. Sometimes it feels like the culture pressures us to suffer even when there would be a possibility to change things to make life more enjoyable. Basically, it’s better to suffer and push through than to quit and be seen as weak.

Although I think sisu is an honorable feature of Finnish culture, I also believe that Finns should be more compassionate towards themselves and learn their own boundaries. Sisu is a great mentality to have, but every Finn should remember that life shouldn’t be all about suffering. Everyone should live a life that they also enjoy.


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