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Kulttuuri, Metsälä, Uutiset

Book review: More very Finnish problems

More Very Finnish Problems

At first, I’d like to introduce myself. I am an exchange student from Germany, currently spending my exchange-year here, in Finland. The reason I’m telling you this is, because my position, as a foreigner living here, might be helpful in reviewing this book.

The title of the book is “More very finnish problems”, a sequel of the book “101 Very finnish problems” written by Joel Willans. He was born 1972 in Great-Britain, then moved to Finland in 2002, where he married his, until then, girlfriend. They are now living here with their two kids.

Both of the books are a collection of very sketchy, sometimes a bit stereotype-like situations, that could seem weird to visitors of finland, written in a very humorous and friendly way. In addition to that, there are a lot of so called “memes”, funny little pictures, adding a bit of visualization to the book. They are well designed, as is the cover of the book.

From my point of view, some of the situations described in the book are definitely true. For example, learning Finnish is exactly as one of the memes shows, you hear and learn a word 1000 times and in the end you forget it because there is another similar word. Same with his stories about people in elevators and busses, not wanting to be close to each other. These are very true. Some parts of the book I haven’t experienced yet, for example several holidays, parties and the long days/nights. Others are not relatable for me, because I am not allowed to drink alcohol here, for example.

Another interesting and very true “stereotype” is Finns being quite shy. They are talking a lot less than Germans and are way more comfortable with silence and being on their own, but I guess there is much I can learn from this calmness. Looking forward, I’m very open to more experiences and maybe you can read a conclusion at the end of this year in this journal.

To conclude, I can, without reading the first book, definitely tell this one is a great piece of art. You can really tell, that the author put a lot of thought into this book. Also it is very actual, as it is mentioning the climate change, with this summer’s long heat and meeting of Trump and Putin. Every Finn, who might want a different, sometimes very funny, view on his own culture will enjoy this. Same for everybody else, who might just want to learn something about a different culture or is interested in the Finnish one specifically. For all these people, the book is a great joy to read. It is also very rereadable, meaning you may have a look in it every now and then and it won’t be boring at all. In the end, I can just recommend everybody reading this book and also following the social media accounts “veryfinnishproblems” as they keep you up to date on new funny facts.

Niklas Stahlke