DiscoverVery Finnish Problems
Very Finnish Problems

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
13 Episodes
Episode 13: When you don’t get sisu
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):
Episode 12: When Northern Lights have been seen by everyone except you
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:
Episode 11: When you don’t like strong women
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:
Episode 10: When you queue for free buckets and they run out
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:
Episode 9: When you can’t figure out which dairy product is milk
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:
Episode 6: When your children need to wee after getting dressed for winter
Joel Willans, creator of Very Finnish Problems and author of the best-selling book 101 Very Finnish Problems, chats with clothing industry activist and sci-fi writer Rinna Saramäki about the evils of the clothing industry. Thomas Nybergh, co-host and producer of the show, is skeptical about ethical consumerism and likes his sci-fi bleak and dystopian.Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fiProduced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank MediaShownotes:Rinna’s blog (in Finnish): https://rinnasaramaki.wordpress.comRinna’s books (in Finnish): ethical consumerism isn’t enough:’s book pick - Emmi Itäranta’s critically acclaimed “Memory of Water” (Teemestarin kirja):’s book pick - “The Day of the Triffids” by John Wyndham: didn’t like the movie adaptation of “Valérian and Laureline”: meaning of “Jumping the Shark”: New York Times’ Review of Thomas’ dystopian book pick, P.C. Jersild’s “After the flood”. Jersild’s “A Living Soul” is also awesome:’s book pick - “Z for Zachariah” by Robert C. O’Brien:">Joel's pick: "Z for ZachariahRinna’s book pick - “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi: 75 took place in Helsinki this year: http://www.worldcon.fiKuoriaiskirjat, a cool small Finnish book publisher: https://kuoriaiskirjat.wordpress.comOsuuskumma, another cool small publisher of fine Finnish fiction. Some books translated to English and Spanish:
Comments (1)

simon heddle-baker

Great, interesting and entertaining episodes. Keep them coming 👍

Sep 6th
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