Life

Radio review: Getting to the heart of Finland

Nuala McCann

Start the Week: Finland at 100 Radio 4

You n Yours Radio 4

It is 100 years since Finland declared independence following the Russian Revolution.

The Finns have brought us the sauna, the Nokia phone, the heart monitor... and Sisu - which isn't quite Hygge. Go google.

Presenter Amol Rajan looked at what is unique about Europe's most sparsely populated country.

Forget the music of Sibelius and the art, I was there for the Moomins.

Why are the little creatures, created by artist and writer Tove Jansson, so successful?

Perhaps it is because they are so human. People can identify their own fears, the universal emotions, said Sointu Fritze, curator of a new exhibition of Tove Jansson's work on show in London.

The Moonins were very private and very personal to Jansson.

In a long ago letter to a close friend, she wrote that they came from the “infernal war years”. Her response to the horror was to be a painter of fairytales for children.

She also wrote to soothe herself.

We heard that the heart of the Moomin trolls is kindness and a willingness to reach out and tolerate those who are different... I'll second that.

Meanwhile, the days when we got excited to open the Advent calendar and see a new little picture – no chocolate – are long past.

Zoella's 12 door version went onto the market at £50. There was outcry and it has now been slashed to £25.

Zoella said the retailer set the price, not her and she was “so sad”.

You n Yours took up the gauntlet. One unhappy customer said: “I better be greeted by Santa Claus himself behind each door for that price.”

You can get gin calendars, whiskey calendars, beauty calendars and Lego calendars.

But don't do what a friend of mine did. It took her daughter a couple of days to discover that the reasons the chocolates in her calendar tasted a bit funny was because they were for dogs.

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