From welfare to well-being. No wonder Finns are the happiest

I didn’t take notes during professor Antti Kaupinen’s presentation. Not because I was not interested on the subject (Happiness and Well-Being) but because I was so captivated and intrigued at the same time by the topic that I did not know what to write down. Yes, Finland has been number one on several happiness rankings for quite some time — which the mention of it, ...  (continue reading)

The Finns are starting to sweat – but it’s not for the reason you would think of

What’s hot, steamy and basically everywhere in Finland? Yep, right, it’s the Finns #1 national pride: Sauna.

It is said that there are more saunas in the country than people (five million). The Finnish Sauna Society estimates the number at two million.

During our week in Helsinki, we see them everywhere. Saunas belong to the Foreign Ministry where we kick off our week, get to know each other and ...  (continue reading)

When a negative is actually a positive

I have learned the secret of Finnish happiness. And I’m going to reveal it exclusively to readers of this blog.

After consulting some of the country’s top academics (and several people down the pub) the answer turns out to be … drumroll … a lack of UNhappiness.

Now, that answer may not be very satisfying, but you’ve got to admit it’s rather Finnish.

 ...  (continue reading)

Are Finns happy?

Helsinki, Monday 8 am …The Finnish capital seems strangely calm during rush hours. Trams and cars intersect, but very little traffic. The city of 650,000 inhabitants doesn’t know the traffic congestion. On the radio, not really traffic information, it is necessary only in case of snowstorm. In the city in June, many bikes. Passersby and cyclists even take the time to stop to answer questions. ...  (continue reading)

See you soon Finland

It was 15 years since my last landing at Vantaa Helsinki Airport. But already the first impression – it was about 11 PM when my flight arrived but still not dark of course – was Finnish capital changed a lot. On the way to the hotel I noticed Helsinki is a city under construction. So many construction sites which is always a sign of a growing economy and national self confidence. Many ...  (continue reading)

Comeback from the future

Starting 2010 I’ve travelled to Finland several times and constantly kept an eye on its way forward. Meanwhile I’ve lived and worked abroad and somehow convinced myself that my home country Romania is on its right track itself – moving slowly, but it would eventually get there.

Never in the past years have I experienced such a dire feeling that, maybe, it won’t, than when I got back from ...  (continue reading)

A country of utopias – just next to us

Finnish nation is extremely distinctive: from national character and historical heritage to modern lifestyle. Few books published in Lithuanian recite about it.

Although our nations are quite intimate by temperament, it is not that easy to find similarities of their lives. I was convinced of this fact during the week of Foreign Correspondents’ Programme (FCP) that allowed comparing ...  (continue reading)

Why Finns are so happy? Because the whole country works so well

By Veronika Malá

“We are in a hurry” or “We have to be there on time” – these are the most frequent sentences I remember from the Foreign Correspondents Programme 2003. This year, the focus on punctuality was not so intensive but still it is one of the most common features any traveller would encounter in Finland. Therefore, the best of the FCP 2019 for ...  (continue reading)

The FCP Alumni Edition 2019 was a blast!

We have had some time to recover from this year’s Foreign Correspondents’ Programme by now and it’s time to take a look at the eventful week we had with such a great group of journalists. We’re already missing them!

In this blog post, we are summing up the eventful week with summary from each day of the programme. After that we’ll reflect how well we tackled some of ...  (continue reading)

15 years ago…

We are living in the world which is changing so fast, so dramatic and in so many ways that a decade and a half seems like a whole eternity. I was a participant in FCP almost 15 years ago and it was a time of optimism, economic growth, political stability and prosperity in general.

EU doesn’t have any problems with understanding its fundamental values, roots and civilization acquisitions like ...  (continue reading)