Why this Australian moved to one of the coldest places on the planet
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Australian Melissa Georgiou moved to Finland over ten years ago, seeking happiness in one of the coldest and darkest places on the planet.
“One of my prefer the things about life here is that whether you’re in a residential area or in the middle of town, it’s easy to get to nature, ”says Melissa.
Originally a teacher, she traded the beaches of Sydney for those of Finland dark winters and ice cream some lakes 11 years ago and hasn’t looked back since.
“For Finns, the idea of happiness is very different from an Australian’s idea of happiness,” says Melissa.
She says Finns embrace representations of themselves as melancholy and reserved – a popular local saying goes, “he who has happiness must hide it”.
“One of the first things I noticed about being here is you don’t go to a dinner party.y or a BBQ and talk about real estate. No one asks where you live, what suburb you live in, where your child goes to school.
“Finns seem pretty happy with the way things are, and they don’t seem to want more consistently,“ Lemon balm said.
Since its inception, the Nordic nations have dominated the top 10.
“The Nordic countries tend to be countries where there is [good] unemployment benefits, pensions and other benefits», Explains Frank, happiness expert and researcher. Martela.
But Frank says Finland’s position often surprises its own people.
“The Finns, they were almost angry because they thought it couldn’t be true. We listen to sad music and hard rock...
“Therefore happiness was not part of the Finnish self-image.
The other side of Finns’ melancholy is a cultural focus on perseverance which Frank says has redefined the way Finns view happiness – a concept called sisu.
He says it’s better embodied in the nation’s favorite pastime – warming up in a sauna after a dip in the ocean in subzero temperatures.
“It’s about that contradiction – there’s something going from one extreme to the other that’s quite an interesting experience… because it takes persistence.”
A state built on trust
But there is a lot about Finland that is great and contributes to the happiness of the country, Lemon balm said.
Finland has been one of the European countries least affected by the pandemic, which experts attribute to high confidence in the government and low resistance to subsequent restrictions.
And Trust in government comes from the states Investment in their citizens.
the the public school system, which rarely tests children, is among the best in the world. Finland too has a universal health care system, with affordable prices childcare and Robust Support for the parents.
Melissa says, “tthe whole country is concerned with the education of childrenren and the system is configured so well. So, from the birth of my son to his education at home, then to his sending to nursery then at school, every aspect of it felt really good supported.“