Nahuel Rios is an Argentine 38-year-old who has lived in Finland for five years. The country chosen by the United Nations as “the happiest in the world” for the fourth year in a row.
Contrary to what most people think, “World Happiness Report 2020 It does not evaluate the feelings of its inhabitants, but rather analyzes the various variables related to the economy, society and quality of life, which for this Argentine are far from what the word happiness means to him.
“Happiness is a concept, a title in quotes. They measure the comfort and per capita income that people enjoy, the development of GDP, lack of corruption, poverty index, security and the status of politicians,” Nahuel explained to Infobae.
“If we even look at all of that I can tell you that it is the best country in Europe to live in, But he’s wary of other emotional and mental aspects that don’t make her foreign-friendly.
While describing Finnish society as respecting the rules and working hard, he emphasized this “People are completely closed off, shy to get into a relationship, and usually don’t take time to foster a social life.” In fact, Nahuel rarely participates in meetings, as he did when he lived in Buenos Aires. “They love isolation and silence”, Notice.
“This doesn’t mean they can’t be reached, but they don’t invite you to eat at home. Sometimes you miss them together. They will never share a birthday for you and are hesitant to greet them on the street. Those who don’t see you being created, run away from you.” But they also have that when you become friends with someone, it’s friendship forever. ” Nahuel commented that He knew how to surround himself with Latin and European friends to make life more bearable in that Scandinavian country.
Despite the fact that the Finns have a reputation for being very inexpressive and very lonely, Nahuel highlights the high standard of living, Good functioning of public services, solidarity between people and the fight against inequality. There are no poor people here, we are all middle class. You will not find anyone who does not cover their expenses. People do not become a problem in this regard. ” Comparing Nahwil to what is happening in our country.
He even mentioned as an anecdote that when he found a smartphone on the train, his wife suggested that he take it to a government office where lost items are deposited because people often go there when they lose their belongings. “You told me, ‘Leave it because the owner will definitely call you’ and that’s what happened. I gave him my address and he came to look for it,” he said surprised because it was an expensive iPhone worth more than a thousand euros.
“Finland has a lot of positives. It’s 10 points in the economic aspect and in civic education, but it is very difficult emotionally and mentally. Here, the climate is not very friendly to foreigners. ”Be warned, when you mention it It took him a year to cope with winters of -30 degrees Celsius and continue for months without being able to see sunlight.
“From December to January, when we enter winter, we have between two and three hours of sunlight a day. After 3 in the afternoon it is as if it is 11 at night.”An example of Nahuel. Conversely, in the summer, “At two in the morning you can still see the sky as clearly as it were daylight, it is the eternal sunset.”
But he explained that this happens in Helsinki, where he lives with his partner Katri, “because if you went well north you could live three months in the dark and three months in full light.”
“My first year was a terrible one. I had no strength and often I was decomposing due to lack of light. When I experienced white nights for the first time I lost everything. Here you need blackout curtains because too much light doesn’t allow you to sleep, “he notes when recounting his experience.
The depression Nahuel experienced due to lack of sunlight reached such a point that he had to undergo treatment. “I was not used to having a lack of vitamin D in my body. In fact, when the doctor who treated me asked me where I was from, he told me to calm down because what was happening to me was normal because my skin was used to constantly receiving sunlight,” he remembers.
In any case, he said he loves to enjoy two main natural tourist advantages that he enjoys White nights And think about Aurora Borealis In the arctic region of Lapland.
Finland is an ideal country for nature lovers Two-thirds of its land is made up of forests, the highest of any country in the world. It also has a large number of lakes that you can go fishing in the summer or skiing in the winter.
In January, Helsinki saw record amounts of snow and the city turned all white. March cool in general. And starting in April, the snow begins to dissipate, which is the time when the days start to get a little bit warmer and people start enjoying the outdoors.
“At this time of year, the temperature is -1 degrees, it snows a lot and at 2 in the afternoon, it is already night. The sun shines for a while and then the sky turns gray. It’s three months like this.”Nahuel described, in addition to the fact that Finland imposed a tougher quarantine two weeks ago with the closure of non-essential businesses and the border with Estonia (where infections rose dramatically and the health situation almost collapsed).
However, Nahuel insists that Finnish society has not felt a fundamental change in their lifestyle in light of the pandemic in terms of entertainment and family outings because they are “moving from work to home”. I add: “Overall, I can assure you that when I arrived in 2016 I also felt like I was living in a pandemic because Finland is a country made to live indoors because of the climate.”
Today, Nahuel’s routine consists of going to work at the state post office in the morning and studying Finnish in the afternoon. In his spare time, he dedicates himself to uploading content to social networks for Landing Together with his partner, they show how they live in “extreme countries because of their climate and vegetation” and tell their experiences as travelers.
“Believe it or not, I overcame my fears thanks to the genius of my wife who suggested that I travel to escape the Finnish winter.“, Reflects that young man because the work structure in that country allows workers to take more time.
“Here if you work for a year, you already have a month off and on top of that it gives you an extra two weeks to take during the winter season. So employees like me take a month and a half off.
Since Nahuel and Catri left Buenos Aires, they have only returned once and noticed numerous changes in the economy. “When I left Argentina, there were 100 peso notes, and when I came back, in 2018, I found the 1000 peso note,” he said, referring to rising inflation. I took € 400 for 20 days and that wasn’t enough. Not that I was going to eat in Puerto Madero, er. I saw everything very expensive. It had a huge impact. ”And the I remembered.
But far from the job stability and high quality of life they enjoy in Finland They both dream of returning to Argentina And here she lives a new adventure. “If you ask my wife what she prefers, Finland or Argentina, she will tell you about Argentina. He told me,” I don’t change the good weather and the sun is there for anything. ” Nahuel admitted though that he lives in the happiest country in the world.