Janice Turner in the Times, writing about her recent trip to Finland:
Leaving Finland, I wondered how this country ranks so high in the international happiness ratings, a testament to the forbearance of its people. A stallholder who sold me cinnamon buns told me her bipolar husband struggles desperately through the dark winters. I couldn’t be cheerful in a country where lakes are still frozen in May, there’s little to do but skiing and saunas, where the landscape is unremittingly flat and empty and the architecture (thanks to the retreating Nazis burning every old building) is grim and utilitarian.
But they are strong, calm and silent. Studies show Finns utter the fewest words of any western nation, particularly the men. Which must be maddening in a husband, but in a taxi driver, when you’re tired and empty of small talk, is blessed thing.I must say I agree about the silence -- it's been a while since I heard anything from Finland. Hope all the people at FILI are well and busy as usual.