19 episodes

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.

Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fi

Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media

Very Finnish Problems Ink Tank Media

    • Comedy

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.

Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fi

Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media

    Episode 19: When Midsummer is Finland’s best and worst celebration

    Episode 19: When Midsummer is Finland’s best and worst celebration

    Very Finnish Problems creator Joel Willans interviews the minds behind Midsummer Madness, a free Helsinki open-air Midsummer event for 2020. Jeroen Sebrechts and Claire Delhom discuss their personal journeys to Finland from Belgium and France respectively, and explain why Midsummer Madness is a licensed Moomin event, despite featuring zero trolls or Hattifatteners. Co-host Laura Suihkonen shares a very bleak movie recommendation.

    Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fi

    Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media

    Shownotes:

    Midsummer Madness Open Air Festival (Jun 19-20 2020): https://midsummermadness.fi/en/

    The Finnish Sauna Association’s Primer on sauna culture: https://www.sauna.fi/in-english/finnish-sauna-culture/

    Laura’s recommendation: The Joker (2019): https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/joker_2019

    Jeroen’s recommendation - go check out Hungarian movies: https://hungarytoday.hu/thursday-top-ten-movie-time-best-hungarian-movies-53259/

    Joel’s recommendation - The Guardian Weekly’s journalism: https://www.theguardian.com/weekly

    Claire’s recommendation - "The Moomins, The World of Moominvalley" by Philip Ardagh and Frank Cottrell Boyce: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36473933-the-moomins

    • 45 min
    Episode 18: When it's December 24th and it still hasn't snowed

    Episode 18: When it's December 24th and it still hasn't snowed

    In this episode, Joel Willans, author of the Very Finnish Problems books, discusses journalist Erika Benke’s amazing journey from communist Hungary to the BBC World Service and her recent stories on Finland. Topics include stories on how the climate crisis is tackled northern Finland, and the country’s recent limited trials of Universal Basic Income. Co-host Joe Konderla and Erika present their recent experiences of how London has been utterly ruined by overcrowding.

    Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fi

    Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media

    Shownotes:

    Episode 12 of our show features in-depth discussion with a Finnish wilderness explorer: https://inktank.fi/vfp-ep-12-northern-light-joonas-linkola/

    Erika’s summary of the Finnish Universal Basic Income trials: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nPQM54oPMg

    The town of Ii: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ii,_Finland

    Joel’s recommendation - Very Brexit Problems merchandise: https://verybrexitproblems.com/

    Erika’s recommendation - Death in Ice Valley, the BBC’s and NRK’s true crime podcast on a mysterious, potentially espionage related death in Bergen, Norway: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p060ms2h

    Joe’s recommendation - his own blog on life in Finland: http://www.thefinniot.com

    • 53 min
    Episode 17: Wearing 15 layers of clothing to stay warm

    Episode 17: Wearing 15 layers of clothing to stay warm

    Joel Willans, author of the Very Finnish Problems books, learns how the polluting textile industry is facing much-needed renewal thanks to Finnish innovation. Emmi Berlin from Jyväskylä based wood pulp fiber/textile startup Spinnova brings us unsettling details on the dead ends of fast fashion, while providing an alternative that just might keep us clothed for decades to come. Co-host Joe Konderla points out teachable moments in a UK program which caused the scrapping of perfectly usable Ford Escorts.

    Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fi

    Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media

    Shownotes:

    Joel’s latest book - More Very Finnish Problems: https://www.gummerus.fi/fi/kirja/9789512407507/101-very-finnish-problems/

    Spinnova’s technology: https://spinnova.com/our-method/technology/

    Episode 6 of our podcast features more musings on the textile industry and fast fashion: https://inktank.fi/very-finnish-problems-episode-6-rinna-saramaki-ethics-clothing-industry/

    UK Vehicle scrappage scheme wasted perfectly good cars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_scrappage_scheme

    Emmi’s recommendation - Stacey Dooley’s documentary on fast fashion: https://www.timetimer.com/

    Joe’s recommendation - Facebook Marketplace for secondhand-oriented shopping: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/

    Vaaterekki - Helsinki-based clothes lending service: https://www.vaaterekki.com/

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 16: When you think life is hard in Finland

    Episode 16: When you think life is hard in Finland

    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.fi

    Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media

    Shownotes:

    Joe’s blog: http://www.thefinniot.com/

    Joel’s new book - More Very Finnish Problems: https://www.gummerus.fi/fi/kirja/9789512407507/101-very-finnish-problems/

    The City of Tampere: https://www.tampere.fi/en/index.html

    Integrate in Finland through learning Swedish, an official language in Finland: https://integration.luckan.fi/integrating-in-swedish/

    The Finnish constitution, see Section 17 – Right to one’s language and culture: https://oikeusministerio.fi/en/constitution-of-finland

    English is now an official language in Espoo, a Helsinki suburb: https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/espoo_plans_english-language_education_from_kindergarten_to_doctorate_in_two_years/9837902

    FAQ on Helsinki metro expansion, look for section on platform length: https://web.archive.org/web/20171224033638/https://www.lansimetro.fi/en/information-on-the-project/faq/

    Joe’s recommendation - Time Timer, a productivity tracking app that helps keep focus with visual cues: https://www.timetimer.com

    Joel’s recommendation - Alita Battle Angel (trailer): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7pYhpJaJW8

    Thomas’ podcast recommendation - It Could Happen Here, war journalist explains the second American Civil War: https://www.itcouldhappenherepod.com

    Thomas’ recommendation, Chernobyl’, the TV series, which is excellent, but scientifically inaccurate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9APLXM9Ei8

    Moldovan-American journalist on Chernobyl

    Exiled Russian journalist Masha Gessen on what ‘Chernobyl’ gets right and wrong: https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/what-hbos-chernobyl-got-right-and-what-it-got-terribly-wrong

    Thomas’ Finnish music pick: “Waterfalls”, a song from LCMDF’s, fun, catchy sophomore album Sad Bangers (Spotify, Apple Music)
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/6RNwbzHDMOcaWHyv8285L5
    Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/fi/album/sad-bangers/1416634075

    • 49 min
    Episode 15: When your world-leading coffee consumption is a sham

    Episode 15: When your world-leading coffee consumption is a sham

    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.fi

    Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media

    Shownotes:

    Lari Salomaa's book on changes in the coffee industry (in Finnish, for now): https://like.fi/kirjat/kahvivallankumous/

    Joel’s new book - More Very Finnish Problems: https://www.gummerus.fi/fi/kirja/9789512407507/101-very-finnish-problems/

    Differences between coffee strains from around the world: https://driftaway.coffee/coffee-from-around-the-world/

    Thatcher the Milk Snatcher’s effect on British schools: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/apr/15/margaret-thatcher-education-legacy-gove

    Lari's podcast recommendation - Cappuzine, on coffee (in Finnish): https://soundcloud.com/cappuzine

    The impact of Marcos Croce and family on the coffee industry: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/apr/15/margaret-thatcher-education-legacy-gove

    Joel’s recommendation: The European Parliament on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/europeanparliament/

    Joel’s second recommendation: vote in the European election. Really: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/european-elections_en

    Thomas’ podcast recommendation - Nocturne, stories exploring modern life’s relation to the night, with the most soothing narration ever: https://nocturnepodcast.org/the-blue-time/

    Thomas’ Finnish music pick: “Lähtisitkö”, a classic song from Pave Maijanen‘s exquisite, glossy-sounding 1984 album Maijanen
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/6RNwbzHDMOcaWHyv8285L5
    Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/fi/album/l%C3%A4htisitk%C3%B6/713756755?i=713756816
    About Pave Maijanen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pave_Maijanen

    • 46 min
    Episode 14: When your main exports are spooky hippos and metal music

    Episode 14: When your main exports are spooky hippos and metal music

    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.fi

    Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media

    Shownotes:

    Joel’s new book: More Very Finnish Problems: https://www.gummerus.fi/fi/kirja/9789512407507/101-very-finnish-problems/

    Are Finland and Japan obsessed with each other?: https://theculturetrip.com/europe/finland/articles/are-finland-and-japan-obsessed-with-each-other/

    On Japan’s love of fax machines (New York Times, 2013): https://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/world/asia/in-japan-the-fax-machine-is-anything-but-a-relic.html

    It’s 2016 And I’m Buying A New Japanese Fax Machine: https://kotaku.com/its-2016-and-im-buying-a-new-japanese-fax-machine-1785288793

    An overview of new Finnish rock and metal: https://musicfinland.com/playlists/new-rock-and-metal-from-finland

    What you should know about the Japanese music market (2015): https://mxd.dk/arkiv/what-you-should-know-about-the-japanese-music-market-in-depth/

    The Guardian reviews ‘Who Will Comfort Toffle?’, a delightful moomin picture book: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/nov/01/featuresreviews.guardianreview30

    Kirkus review of Moominpappa at Sea, the most grown-up novel in the Moomin canon: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/tove-jansson-2/moominpappa-at-sea/

    About the Fermi Paradox, the possibility that the universe is surprisingly devoid of (intelligent) life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNhhvQGsMEc

    Thomas’ podcast recommendation, The End of the World With Josh Clark: https://www.theendwithjosh.com/

    Thomas’ 2nd recommendation: Kidding, superbly written dark comedy drama series starring Jim Carrey, Catherine Keener and many others: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS6Gt76e_NA

    Joel’s recommendation, Kitchen Nightmares: https://www.youtube.com/user/KitchenNightmares

    Sami’s recommendation, Sons of Anarchy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sons_of_Anarchy

    Sami's second recommendation, Japan Times, excellent news reporting in English: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/

    Sami’s old band, Karkkiautomaatti on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2HbjhoqYElSXZsak99LAkR

    Sami's old band, Karkkiautomaaatti on Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/fi/artist/karkkiautomaatti/265592886

    • 58 min

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