The Nordic Theory of Everything

In ‘The Nordic Theory of Everything’, Anu Partanen discusses the differences between living in a Nordic country (Finland 🇫🇮) and the U.S. 🇺🇸
The book is divided into nine chapters, which include an array of different topics such as education, universal health, family, and love.

When I moved to Finland five and a half years ago I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It turned out to be a very enriching journey – while reading this book I got to see a Finn’s point of view. Anu is a Finnish journalist and a naturalized American citizen, and she emphasizes how different life is in these two countries, starting from maternity leave to education to health care.

One of my favorite parts of the book is a story she tells about Finnish kids being independent from a very young age. Perseverance is a part of the culture, and no matter the weather, kids have outdoor recess and walk to school on their own. Safety is also a large component in the Nordic culture, as a result of which kids become independent very early in their lives.

She talks about “sisu“, a Finnish word that is a bit difficult to define in English but the closest description would be “strength, perseverance in a task that for some may seem crazy to undertake, almost hopeless”. Over the years I’ve learned that sisu is a must in this country, if not for anything else but the climate itself. Getting out of bed in the winter can be pretty rough, but when you wear sisu on your sleeve anything can be achieved.

Sweden 🇸🇪, Norway 🇳🇴, and Denmark 🇩🇰 are mentioned in the book as well, and some of their traditions enrich the Nordic culture altogether. I highly recommend this book and Anu’s work, the book is very well written.

Have you read it? Let’s discuss! 🤩

2 thoughts on “The Nordic Theory of Everything

  1. I loved the way you talked about this book. Now I feel the urge of reading it ASAP! Congrats, Zana. Keep going!


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