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Very Finnish Problems

Author: Ink Tank Media

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What‘s so weird and wonderful about Finland? British writer and Helsinki resident Joel Willans, the creator of Very Finnish Problems, and best-selling author of 101 Very Finnish Problems: The Foreigner’s Guide to Surviving in Finland and More Very Finnish Problems: The even more essential guide, discusses, with a variety of fascinating guests, life in his much-loved, adopted country.


Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media
16 Episodes
Very Finnish Problems creator Joel Willans chats with Joe Konderla, writer at the Finniot, a blog on adjusting to Finnish quirks. Topics include British imperialism in Wales, Helsinki versus Tampere and overdosing on Moomins. Co-host Thomas Nybergh advises against home ownership and suggests learning Swedish to fast-track Finnish citizenship.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes:Joe’s blog:’s new book - More Very Finnish Problems: City of Tampere: in Finland through learning Swedish, an official language in Finland: Finnish constitution, see Section 17 – Right to one’s language and culture: is now an official language in Espoo, a Helsinki suburb: on Helsinki metro expansion, look for section on platform length:’s recommendation - Time Timer, a productivity tracking app that helps keep focus with visual cues: https://www.timetimer.comJoel’s recommendation - Alita Battle Angel (trailer):’ podcast recommendation - It Could Happen Here, war journalist explains the second American Civil War: https://www.itcouldhappenherepod.comThomas’ recommendation, Chernobyl’, the TV series, which is excellent, but scientifically inaccurate: journalist on ChernobylExiled Russian journalist Masha Gessen on what ‘Chernobyl’ gets right and wrong:’ Finnish music pick: “Waterfalls”, a song from LCMDF’s, fun, catchy sophomore album Sad Bangers (Spotify, Apple Music)Spotify: Music:
Joel Willans, captain of Very Finnish Problems, investigates the extraordinary hot beverage habits of his adopted country. Lari Salomaa, from Swedish artisanal coffee and tea brewery Johan & Nyström, joins to spill the beans on the nuances of Nordic caffeine madness, with the help of his book on the subject. Co-host Thomas Nybergh breaks his dystopian entertainment cycle with recommendations of a classic Finnish pop album and an actually uplifting podcast.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes:Lari Salomaa's book on changes in the coffee industry (in Finnish, for now):’s new book - More Very Finnish Problems: between coffee strains from around the world: the Milk Snatcher’s effect on British schools:'s podcast recommendation - Cappuzine, on coffee (in Finnish): impact of Marcos Croce and family on the coffee industry:’s recommendation: The European Parliament on Facebook:’s second recommendation: vote in the European election. Really:’ podcast recommendation - Nocturne, stories exploring modern life’s relation to the night, with the most soothing narration ever:’ Finnish music pick: “Lähtisitkö”, a classic song from Pave Maijanen‘s exquisite, glossy-sounding 1984 album MaijanenSpotify: Music: Pave Maijanen:
Creator of Very Finnish Problems Joel Willans returns with a conversation on how and why Finland is big in Japan with project manager, exports specialist Sami Häikiö. We learn about the strides being made to bring Moomin to the world and the peculiarities of booking metal gigs in Tokyo. Co-host Thomas Nybergh deals with troublesome Nipponese electronics and contributes the bleakest recommendation segment yet.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes:Joel’s new book: More Very Finnish Problems: Finland and Japan obsessed with each other?: Japan’s love of fax machines (New York Times, 2013):’s 2016 And I’m Buying A New Japanese Fax Machine: overview of new Finnish rock and metal: you should know about the Japanese music market (2015): Guardian reviews ‘Who Will Comfort Toffle?’, a delightful moomin picture book: review of Moominpappa at Sea, the most grown-up novel in the Moomin canon: the Fermi Paradox, the possibility that the universe is surprisingly devoid of (intelligent) life:’ podcast recommendation, The End of the World With Josh Clark:’ 2nd recommendation: Kidding, superbly written dark comedy drama series starring Jim Carrey, Catherine Keener and many others:’s recommendation, Kitchen Nightmares:’s recommendation, Sons of Anarchy:'s second recommendation, Japan Times, excellent news reporting in English:’s old band, Karkkiautomaatti on Spotify:'s old band, Karkkiautomaaatti on Apple Music:
This time, Very Finnish Problems creator Joel Willans is joined by Joanna Nylund, author of Sisu: The Finnish Art of Courage, to discuss, as the book title suggests, Finnish resilience. Is sisu somehow a Finnish cultural trait or do Finns mostly benefit from briefly defining a necessary universal way to stay sane while facing hardship? Co-host Thomas Nybergh returns to blame Joel for British imperialism and remains skeptical about how close to nature Finns really are.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes: Joel’s new book - More Very Finnish Problems: explained: Joanna’s book Sisu in Finnish: Joanna’s book Sisu in English: Finnish Famine 1866-68:–68National romanticism: to Win Friends and Influence People: center-right politician Barack Obama touring the Nordics yanksplaining social democracy to business leaders: End of History:'s appearance on Finnish Public Broadcaster Yle’s podcast All Points North:’s book recommendation - Factfulness by Hans Rosling, on how the world has gotten better without the West noticing: Gates on Hans Rosling: Rosling interviewed on British TV:’ podcast recommendation - Behind the Bastards, an informative, funny weekly rant on some of the worst people in history:’s recommendation: Classical Trancelations, unforgettable electronic music reinterpreted by classical orchestra at Helsinki Arena (streamable worldwide):
What’s it like to spend most of your time living in the Finnish wilderness? Joel Willans, author and creator of Very Finnish Problems discusses the beauty of Northern nature with explorer and Instagram personality Joonas Linkola. What about extreme heat versus the absurd cold? Co-host Thomas Nybergh wants cell reception in the wilderness and ensures the show ends with reading and listening recommendations.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes:Joel's book, 101 Very Finnish Problems: Linkola on Instagram: is what a no-deal Brexit looks like: Iraqi (not Irianian!) who saved Norway from Oil: for the above oil article and click on article via Google to skip paywall:' book recommendation, "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck" by Mark Manson:,10679Joel's book recommendation, "The Men Who Stare at Goats" by Jon Ronson:' podcast recommendation, My Indian Life, young Indian adults in the 21st century explored by Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin:
What’s different about femininity in Finland? Joel Willans, author and creator of Very Finnish Problems consults lifestyle and travel blogger Varpu Pöyry, of Her Finland. We learn about the perils of gender stereotypes and Varpu’s engineering approach to improving her memory. Co-host Thomas Nybergh is mostly concerned about the social lives of Finnish men.A special guest, Yle News journalist Ronan Browne, also appears briefly while shooting a story about Very Finnish Problems.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes:Yle News’ story on Very Finnish Problems: circumstances surrounding Finland's first female prime minister's resignation:’s book - 101 Very Finnish Problems: News - Finland ranks sixth in English skills, early instruction crucial:’ book recommendation - “How to Learn Almost Anything in 48 Hours: Shortcuts and brain hacks for learning new skills fast” by Tansel Ali:’s book recommendation - “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara:’ podcast recommendation - The Assasination, an investigation into the death of Pakistan’s first female prime minister, Benazir Bhutto: out Varpu’s Finnish words and memory tricks on Instagram:
Why do Finns stand in line for free buckets? Joel Willans, creator of the Very Finnish Problems social media sensation, chats with Jyrki Kallinen, co-founder of crowdsourced market research service Crowst. We learn the tricks of the trade of getting reliable and comprehensive questionnaire answers from shy people. Co-host Thomas Nybergh wants to pair artificial intelligence with his Facebook rants and makes sure Jyrki recommends some metal music.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes:Joel’s book - 101 Very Finnish Problems: Kallinen on LinkedIn: free goodies by answering surveys in Crowst’s app (currently Finland only): EU's General Data Protection Regulation: Nokia helps despots spy on and oppress people:' book recommendation: On Writing by Stephen King:’ podcast recommendation - Twenty Thousand Hertz, the stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds:’s podcast recommendation - Remainiacs, a hilarious weekly take on the Brexit dumpster fire: http://www.remainiacs.comJyrki’s recommendation - the hauntingly beautiful metal album Winter’s Gate by Insomnium: to Winter's Gate on Spotify:
What makes a chatty Brit prefer Finnish silence? In this special episode, renowned Finnish comedian André Wickström interviews Joel Willans, author of 101 Very Finnish Problems, in front of a live audience at the Helsinki Book Fair. We learn about the backstory of Very Finnish Problems, how Joel ended up in Finland and much more. In a bonus segment, co-host and producer Thomas Nybergh reveals his future plans for the show.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes:Hat tip to Sakari Heiskanen of Gummerus Publishers for recording the interview:'s book - 101 Very Finnish Problems:é Wickström on Twitter:'s book recommendation - Chasing the Scream (on the so-called War on Drugs): http://chasingthescream.comThomas' podcast recommendation - Haven's Gate, in-depth documentary on the suicide cult of the same name: https://www.heavensgate.showThomas' podcast recommendation - Cults, documentary series on religious cults:'s podcast app recommendation - Apple Podcasts (included on all Apple mobiles):' favorite podcast app (iOS) - Overcast:' podcast app recommendation (iOS & Android) - CastBox:
Are electric vehicles taking off in Finland? Joel Willans, author of the best-selling book 101 Very Finnish Problems, is joined by Antti Korpelainen of Virta, a car charging services company. Topics include battery technology, long drives to Lapland and more. Co-host Thomas Nybergh is annoyed by misguided bio fuel subsidies and wants the current Finnish government to shove it.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes:Thomas’ article on Finnish electric car adoption, anti-electric lobbyists and harmful subsidies: Norway’s government made electric gars irresistible: cars in China: in battery technology and cost: car crash safety:
Let’s talk ski jumping toddlers. Joel Willans, author of the best-selling book 101 Very Finnish Problems, discusses winter sports and other outdoorsy stuff with former semi-professional ski jumper Jussa Lauhamaa. Co-host Thomas Nybergh is curious about Jussa’s job involving the Sports Tracker app and wearable tech for active lifestyles.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes:Jussa being sporty on Sports Tracker: on Instagram:'s home town of Rovaniemi: jumps as part of the Lahti cityscape: jumping: sporting goods conglomerate Amer Sports: to you by Carl's Jr.: Thomas prefers iPhones despite them being crap in the cold:' recommendation - "Homecoming", a stellar dystopian sci-fi drama in podcast form: Guardian's review of "Homecoming":
Comments (1)

simon heddle-baker

Great, interesting and entertaining episodes. Keep them coming 👍

Sep 6th
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